Saturday, August 27, 2016

Week 11 Santa Fe Rural C/Oficina

 Hola amigos, familia, y cualquier otra persona! (las cuales también deberían ser mis amigos :) jaja)
(Hello friends, family, and any one else!  Which should also be friends :)) haha

Sometimes I just want to write my letter in Spanish, because it's just easier. But I make an effort just for you guys. :)

A jam-packed, eventful, tiring, rewarding week, as transfers always seems to be.

Monday, we had lunch with the three missionaries who finished their missions in a restaurant around the corner from the office. It was pretty delicious. I have to say, the meat in Argentina is just better than the meat in the United States. Argentine steak>American steak. I'm not exactly sure why, but they seem to get how to cook and grill meat. Anyways. Elder Marquez and Elder Hopkins also came to our pension this week, and have been there all week long (they're in Rincon, a part of Santa Fe Este). Elder Marquez hurt his foot a little bit and can't walk, and Elder Hopkins might have pneumonia, so he's basically been locked in a room with blankets and heater for the whole week, and Elder Marquez has been resting and helping take care of him. It's been fun to see and talk to Elder Marquez again. :)

Tuesday was a crazy day. We spent the morning doing some office work, and then we did a deep clean of the office to get ready for the new missionaries. They all arrived at about 5pm. There are 11 new missionaries, one hermana and ten elders (3 latinos and 7 gringos). They are all awesome, happy, spiritual missionaries who are excited to work and baptize. They arrived tired, but excited, and we spent some time chatting with all of them while they each wrote quickly to their families, filled out a questionnaire, and had a quick welcome interview with Presidente Perez. After we finished up all the interviews, we all went to the mission home for dinner. I sat next to Elder Tutton, and we talked a lot. He seems like a great guy, and he was happy, and excited to get out there and work, and excited to be in Argentina. After dinner, we took all the new missionaries to our apartment so they could get some rest, and then Elder Llanos, the asistentes and I went back to the office to wait for the suitcases. The suitcases always arrive separate, and normally about an hour before the missionaries, but they had been delayed. We waited, and we waited, and we waited, and they weren't arriving. We called the guy who was in charge, and he told us that the driver's cell phone had died, so we couldn't communicate with him. Finally, we left Elder Blackmon and Elder Robles waiting in the office, and Elder Llanos, Elder Maynard, Elder Pearson and I went to Walmart to buy some things that we needed for the next morning. We had planned on going earlier, but the suitcases delayed us, so we ended up going at about 11.30 at night. Definitely a first in the mission. But we took a couple pictures just for the memories. As we dropped off Elder Pearson and Elder Maynard at their pension, Elder Blackmon and Elder Robles called us and told us that the suitcases had finally arrived, and this was about 12:30 at this point. We called the stake president, Presidente Carlotta, who has a big van and was going to help us bring all the suitcases, went back to the office, loaded up the suitcases, and brought them back to our pension. We finally got to bed at about 1:15am. It was definitely a long day. Sometimes the suitcase guy just doesn't deliver jaja.

Wednesday morning Presidente and Hna Carlotta came and made breakfast in our pension for all the new missionaries, and then we headed over to the church to have the meeting where all the new missionaries meet their trainers. We gave an introduction to the mission, I gave my little short training on the finances of the mission, and then everybody got to meet their trainers! That moment is always fun. After that we had lunch together, and then we sent everybody off! That evening, Elder Llanos and I spent most of our time preparing our announcements for consejo de la misión (mission leadership council) and getting caught up on our office work from the last three days.

Thursday we had consejo. Elder Llanos and I went and talked about some new policies we were going to put in place with paying rent for apartments and boring things like that. :) Then while they continued with consejo, we went back to the office, and got all of the things ready that the zone leaders needed to take to their zones, and also helped get all of the things we needed for lunch. We're kind of like the errand boys for everything sometimes. :)

Yesterday was crazy, as we had to get caught up on about a week's worth of office work. Elder Clayton also headed out yesterday for Victoria, so he is officially gone. Overall, it's been a packed week.

One of the coolest things this week was that even though we were absolutely slammed with things to do, Elder Llanos and I made the effort to go out and work in our area in the little time that we had, and even though we were only in the area for a matter of hours this week, we were able to successfully commit an investigator to come to church, teach a lesson to some other progressing investigators, find some contacts that we had done and set up follow up appointments, as well as find an entire new family that accepted an appointment for next week. It was absolutely miraculous. The Lord is truly a God of miracles, and I know that when we put Him first, when we make the time for Him, he magnifies our efforts and makes up for what we can't do ourselves. That is why it is so critically important to have the Spirit with us as missionaries (and members of the church). Without the guidance of His Spirit, it would be almost impossible to do this work. This work is so much bigger than any of us. It is the work of eternity, and it is directed by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He works miracles, and what a satisfying experience it is when we can be a part of that work. I know that the Lord blesses us when we do what He asks us to do.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Meyers

Me and Elder Maynard at lunch on Monday with all the finishing missionaries, the office, asistentes, and Presidente and Hermana Perez

My lunch (it was this pretty cool steak-pepper-egg-potatoes thing)

Me with the new $500 bills that just came out in Argentina

Hma Castilla was trasferred, so we took pictures together with her and Hna Tomala on Monday before she left.  Super awesome misionera, I'm pretty sure she had investigators in church every single week she was here for three transfers

Our District:  Elder Tello, Elder Clayton, Elder Dillon, Hma Castillo, Hma Tomala, me, and Elder Llanos

Our District

Me with Elder Tutton (a new missionary) at the mission home

Elder Call, Elder Mackelprang, and Elder Oldham (new missionaries) in the mission home





Me with the new missionaries

The new missionaries with Presidente and Hermana Perez (10 Elders and 1 Hermana)

Crossing the bridge to Walmart

Our late night errand to Walmart with Elder Maynard and Elder Pearson (two of the assistants) and me and Elder Llanos

The suitcases finally arrived! (Me, Elder Llanos, and Elder Blackmon)

All the new missionaries eating breakfast in our pension! (along with Elder Marquez, Elder Clayton, Elder Llanos, and Elder Parker ZL from Concordia)

Me and Hna Carlotta (wife of our Stake President) after breakfast with the new missionaries

Elder Llanos, Elder Lorash (trainer), Elder Blackmon, and me

Selfie with all the new missionaries and their trainers (new missionaries from front left going back: Elder Mackelprang, Elder Pauole, Elder Duval, Elder Goimarac, Elder Tutton, Elder Call, Elder Pena, Elder Mamani, Elder Contreras, Elder Oldham)

Picture of the new missionaries with President and Hermana Perez

Me and Elder Clayton

Elder Maynard with me, Elder Llanos, Elder Mackelprang, and Elder Pearson

Elder Maynard selfie after consejo de lideres (leadership council), with all the zone leaders, asistentes, hnas capacitadoras, the senior couple Franco, and Presidente and Hna Perez

From Consejo de la Mision: Elder Chauque, Elder Lord, me, Elder Ramos, Elder Guevara, and Elder Blackmon

Picture with some zone leaders after Consejo de la Mision: Elder Lobos, Elder Chauque, me, Elder Lord, Elder Ramos, Elder Guevara, Elder Blackmon, Elder Parker, and in the back Elder Chartrand, Elder Gifford, and Elder Mackelprang (he and his companion had a quick interview with Presidente, so he was hanging out with us)

Elder Blackmon, and me, Elder Maynard, Elder Pearson, and Elder Dillon kind of jaja





Saturday, August 20, 2016

Week 10 Santa Fe Rural C/Oficina

Hola y hola!

This week was a pretty standard week, not much to tell. We worked in the office, worked in the field, and lived the missionary life. We didn't have a whole lot of success teaching this week, with a lot of appointments falling through, and having to drop other investigators because they weren't progressing. It's always hard to drop people, because you sincerely want them to progress, but you have to give people their agency, and remember that sometimes, you are just planting the seed, and hopefully later on they will come in contact with other missionaries, and choose differently the next time. But we stay optimistic, and are looking for new investigators. We are finding new people to teach, and hope to find more.

Elder Clayton will be leaving the office next week to be a zone leader in Paraná Sur. He'll be taking the place of Elder Gonzalez. I told him to take care of Nogoyá for me. :) The office is slowly changing, as people leave, and also as we strive each day to make the office an office more representative of the Savior Jesus Christ. Elder Llanos will be the district leader now that Elder Clayton is gone.

I finally feel like I am pretty much caught up on everything in my office work. Up until now, I had kind of been living under pressure, because I was behind in a lot of things, and it was a little hard to know exactly what to do. But I have definitely seen the Lord's blessings in my life, and every time I put Him first, he helped me, making my mind clearer and helping me be more effective with my time. I also understand more why the prophets always teach us to not be in debt. When we fall behind, there is a shadow, a constant pressure that is ever present every day until you get rid of it. It is much better to live prudently, organized, and within our means and abilities, to "Organize yourselves and prepare every needful thing", and to "not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to...you".

Sorry for the short letter this week, but this coming week will be more eventful, since it's transfers. I love you all!

Elder Meyers

We went to Makro this week to get ready for transfers.  It's basically the Argentine version of Costco.  We buy these big bags of cereal, packages of milk boxes, and juices, among other things.  We stocked the truck full.  It was fun. :)

Me, Elder Clayton, Elder Llanos, and Elder Dillon

Elder Giacoboni (one of the zone leaders, he was our zone leader here in Santa Fe, but he's in Parana now) drew this.  He's a really good artist, it's of me preaching the gospel. :)

Me and Elder Clayton.  We made root beer floats today for pday!  It wasn't quite the same, but you can only expect as much when a bunch of 19-and 20-year-olds try to make root beer jajaja  It was still good.

Elder Tello, me. Elder Clayton, and Elder Blackmon

Elder Robles taking the picture of us making root beer floats

Homemade root beer float

We were all outside playing basketball, and Elder Dillon decided to use the port-a-potty, and while he was inside, Elder Blackmon and Elder Robles turned it around so that the door was against the wall, and we all took a picture jajajajaja it was actually pretty funny :)  Elder Blackmon was pretending like Elder Dillon was a lion in a cage or something and was giving us all commentary on how he was going to let the lion out of the cage jaja

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Week 9 Santa Fe Rural C/Oficina

Hola, como estamos todos?

Spanish is pretty cool, I'm not going to lie. I really enjoy speaking Spanish.

Another week in the office! Another week of missionary work! Another week in the mission! Life is fantastic. :)

This week, Elder Llanos and I were able to go out and teach a lot. We found a couple of new investigators through some references we received from some members in the ward, and we passed by some other old investigators that we had dropped for a while. We had a great lesson with the references, and we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially how faith in our Savior leads us to act, and to make and keep covenants with him, such as baptism. They all said that if they came to know that our message is true, they would be baptized, so we are working with them. It was cool, because D***, the mom in the family, as we were talking about baptism, starting to tell us how she always thought it was weird that in the Catholic church (she's Catholic), they do baptisms for babies, because she always thought babies were innocent and couldn't really sin. It was perfect opportunity for us to testify of the restored gospel, and to teach a little more about baptism, and the example that Jesus Christ gave us. We also talked a little about accountability as well. Teaching the gospel is really just the best.

This week on Tuesday, we sent Elder Thompson home to his family! Me, Elder Blackmon, Elder Tello, and Elder Llanos went with him to the airport, along with Presidente Perez. We sat and chatted for a little bit and Presidente bought us all hot chocolate. We brought a bunch of balloons and gave them to Elder Thompson, it was pretty great. As we said our final goodbyes, Elder Thompson got a little emotional, he definitely was going to miss the mission. I got a little teary-eyed as well. He was the first missionary to go home that I really knew pretty well. But that's the mission.

Apart from that, just working in the office like a madman. Still have a ton of things to get registered and organized, but line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. :) I'll get there eventually. Elder Llanos and I also had to go in our truck to do some emergency transfers, so we had a nice little late night trip together, that was fun.

Also, this week Elder Llanos and I started a little trade that has been pretty fun; I am teaching Elder Llanos how to play piano, and he is helping me learn Visual Basic, which is like a programming language in Excel. He's teaching me programming, and it's pretty cool. It's a great little trade, and it's pretty cool how fast Elder Llanos is learning. He's a pretty smart guy, and he picks thing up quick. He's a great companion

This gospel is great. The element of progression in the gospel is so important to understand. We often have moments of strong inspiration, and we feel great desires to make changes, but those surges have to push an incremental but steady pattern of spiritual progression. As Elder Holland explained in his last conference talk,

"Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength. Call out like Alma, “O Jesus, … have mercy on me.”7 He will help you get back up. He will help you repent, repair, fix whatever you have to fix, and keep going. Soon enough you will have the success you seek."

Let us always strive each day to grow a little more. A tree, in order grow grand and tall, must expose itself to sunlight each and everyday, and we, as children of the Great and Eternal God, in order to become like Him, must expose ourselves to the light of the gospel each and every day. If we do this, not only will we be truly great, we will be truly and eternally happy. And we can do it, because our Savior is right beside us, helping us and guiding us every step of the way, if we will only look to Him and listen.

Have a fantastic week! I love you all!

Elder Meyers

We went to the mission home for an errand Thursday night, and Presidente gave us Chilean chocolate.  It was really good. :)

Last week for pday we went bowling.  It was pretty fun, but I didn't do so well at the beginning.  I'll have to practice up a little bit so I can win the next time. :)

We all gave balloons to Elder Thompson in the airport while we were waiting for him to board. :)

Elder Thompson heading home

Me with Elder Thompson before he boarded 

Elder Thompson getting on the plane!

I got to drive Presidente Perez' car, and I even drove on the freeway.  First time officially driving in Argentina (still working on driving the stick, though, Presidente's car is automatic)

Normal day in the office...:)

Lunchtime!

I wore a purple tie for fast Sunday, but I forgot to take a picture, so I wore another purple tie today, here is the picture just for you guys. :)



Saturday, August 6, 2016

Week 8 Santa Fe Rural C/Oficina

Going strong in the office! My first week without Elder Thompson, and nothing has exploded yet, so I think we're doing good. :)

Things are going well down here in Argentina. This week, I got a lot more things organized, and I feel a lot better. Still lots to do, but that's ok. I just have to learn to pace myself. Sometimes, I want to do what I did before the mission, and just pull an all-nighter, working like crazy until I finish everything, but one of the principles of the gospel is moderation in all things, and sometimes you just need to take it easy a little, and get out and work in the field, or study your scriptures, or talk with someone who needs a little boost. Mostly, it's about listening to the Spirit, and letting Him guide you in what is the most important thing to do in that moment.

It was a pretty normal week, working the finances, getting organized, learning how to be more efficient, preaching the gospel, and having a good time. As far as my office job goes, I actually enjoy it quite a bit. It's really satisfying to work hard and accomplish things, to get all the numbers to balance, and to successfully archive reports, things like that. It's weird, because in and of itself, it doesn't sound that enjoyable, but it mostly comes from the joy of a job well done more than anything. Knowing that I am helping the Lord's work move forward, and doing my best to fulfill my assignment, makes me content. We had some cool things with investigators this week. This last Monday we a did a noche de hogar (FHE) with some members, and we brought a big family, all brothers and sisters. The oldest is 22 and is named Jhonatan, and the littlest was Bruno, who is 6. I think there were 8. It was kind of crazy, but it was super fun. It was me, Elder Llanos, Elder Tello, Elder Gonzalez (it was his last night, and he was going home the next day, so he accompanied us), and the hermanas from our ward, Hna Castillo (Chile) and Hna Tomalá (Ecuador). We did an activity we called Draw Your Testimony, and we all drew a picture of our testimony, and then explained it to everyone. The older investigators really liked it, and they felt the Spirit a lot. We visited them a couple more times this week, and really hope we can help them come to church tomorrow. We usually have one or two investigators in church, but we can't seem to get a single investigator to come consistently, so our goal is to help someone get to church consistently, so they can start to progress a little more in their testimony, and really feel and see the changes that the gospel can help them make in their life.

I am getting a much stronger testimony of the principle of work. Work is how we grow, and when we work, we are happy. It's a principle of the gospel, because we have to work for our salvation. God has given us so much, but we have to put in our part. We have to strive every day to do the right thing, and never grow weary. When we find joy in work, we live happy. This gospel is wonderful and true, and I love it with all of my heart. It is so much of who I am and who I want to be.

I love you all! I wish you could see my face when I read your letters, and honestly can't stop smiling. Thank you!

Elder Meyers

We ordered district T-shirts for Nogoya before I left, and I finally got mine!

My "draw my testimony" drawing

Selfie at my desk

Pictures from our noche de hogar! (FHE)

Noche de hogar (FHE)

Picture with my office today, I'm really happy because my desk is a lot cleaner and more organized now

Elder Thompson his last night in the office (he was ready to be done jaja)

Pictures of my and Elder Clayton getting ice cream today, we just really wanted some :)

Me and Elder Clayton