Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 20 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola a todos, saludos de la Argentina!

This was a great week, and we had a lot of great things happen. We had some great lessons with Mxxx and Dxxx, and they both went to church today! I wasn't there, but Elder Llanos told me that they absolutely loved church today! It was our first Sunday back in our own building after six months of renovations, and everybody was pretty excited. Elder Llanos also told me that Presidente and Hermana Perez attended our ward today, and that they met Mxxx and Dxxx, and were able to bear their testimonies to them. I bet it was awesome. :) I wasn't in our ward today, because I was in Nogoyá!! We left yesterday at about 6:30 (me, Elder Robles, who also served in Nogoyá about a year ago, and my new companion Elder Carrion, the new bibiliotecario), went and picked up the Francos, the senior couple in charge of capilla abierta, and we drove to Nogoyá. We stayed in my old apartment with the elders who are there right now, and then this morning we went to church in Nogoyá and gave the capilla abierta training during Sunday School. It was so great to see all the members! I was so excited, and it made me so happy to see all of them, especially the Arruas. They're like my second parents in the mission, after Presidente and Hermana Perez. It was awesome. We came back today, did some things in the office, and then I went to stake choir practice. I'm playing piano for the stake choir, and we have stake conference next week. I'm a little nervous, because there will be two area seventies accompanying Elder Teixeira, who is a member of the first quorum of the Seventy and the president of the South America South Area. Hopefully I don't mess up jaja. But the choir sounds great. It will be awesome. We also got an awesome reference from Elder Levrino this week (the area seventy who lives in our ward). It's a little girl who's about 9 years old, and her mom is inactive, and has been for a long time, but her daughter (Gxxx) wants to get baptized, and is looking for a church to join! She's pretty quiet, and doesn't talk a lot, but is very mature. She actually reminds me a lot of Natalie Burger. Sometimes it seems like they're twins. She also has an older sister, Lxxx, who's 16, who was listening to the missionaries, and had a baptismal date, but never ended up getting baptized, so we're hoping to teach her as well. Overall, things are going great, and the mission is great, and I'm loving life! Just a little tired from lots of work and travel.

I've been thinking more and more about love and charity lately, of the importance of divine love. Love is the substance of everything. It makes so much sense. I heard a story about Elder Rasband, that when he was a mission president, they had noticed a problem with obedience in their mission, so they started to teach about obedience, but noticed a minimal difference. On a suggestion from his wife, they decided to change their focus to talking about Jesus Christ, and things started to change much more rapidly. It reminds me of a quote from Preach My Gospel where it says "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior" Love is what motivates to change. When we feel the love of God, we want to change because we love Him and want to do His will. And we can help others to make that change by reaching out to them and helping them to feel of His love, helping them to recognize it. As in the tree of life, when we truly seek for the truth, we come to the tree and partake of the fruit, the true love of God, and when we feel that, it envelops us, and we cannot help but want to share it with everyone. Charity is everything.

I love you all! I hope that you have a wonderful week, full of charity of love for everyone. :)

Elder Meyers

PS Thanks to all the Meyers! I finally got the package with the notes, and I loved them all! You guys are great!
Thanks for the candy!  Since it was close to Halloween, whenever missionaries came into my office, I told them they had to say trick or treat and gave them candy.  The yanqui (yankee) missionaries especially appreciated it jaja :)

Notes from Meyers cousins!

We had emergency transfers and we had to get a quick lunch, so where better than the McDonald's drive thru? (that was actually the first time I went)

Me with Elder Blackmon and a mini missionary

Me, Elder Carrion, and Elder Robles when we got to Nogoya

Us with Elder Garaza and Elder Chandler who are in Nogoya right now in my old apartment!

Sleepover! Woot jaja

Me with the fold out of General Authorities that I put up in my apartment in Nogoya (pretty sure I took a selfie with it in March to get ready for conference, a couple of months and pounds ago....jaja oh well)

Selfie in my old study room!

In the truck with Elder Carrion (didn't quite get in the picture), Elder Robles, and los Franco

Me, Elder Carrion, Elder Robles, and Elder Franco in front of the capilla in Nogoya

Me in front of Nogoya!

Selfie with all the Nogoya missionaries and Presidente Romero! (Branch President in Nogoya)

Me and Hermano Arrua in Nogoya!

Me with Arrua's in Nogoya!

Me with Hermana and Hermano Arrua!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 19 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hello everybody! (tricked you all out there with that English, right?) jaja

I ran out of time today, so for anybody who wrote me, I'm sorry! I love you and will get to you when I can!

We had a fantastic week, seeing lots of miracles. First of all, we were super excited when Mxxx came to church! There have been several weeks when they haven't been able to come, because they had family gatherings on Sunday, and they had another gathering yesterday, and I began to lose hope, knowing that they normally didn't come. But I said to myself, "Don't lose faith, with God all things are possible!" So I changed my attitude, and put my faith in God, and tried to listen to the Spirit. As church started, Mxxx and Dxxx told us that there were still a ton of people and that they weren't sure if they would make it. (by the way, we have sacrament last) We sent him text messages, encouraging him that they could do it, and that God would be happy. Between priesthood and Sunday school, we sent more messages, encouraging them to come. After Sunday school, I went into the chapel. We hadn't heard from Mxxx, so I decided to go start playing prelude music. It seemed like they wouldn't come. Then right before the meeting started, someone taps me on my shoulder, and lo and behold, Mxxx had come!! He told me that he had just really felt that he needed to come, and that Dxxx had to stay in the house with the family that was there, but that he was there to represent them. I was so happy, I couldn't believe it! Just a tip to any of you out there who might become investigators at some point, if you want to make the missionaries happy, go to church. :D It was awesome.

On another note, I have been driving a ton! It seems I officially drive a stick now, as I drove the truck to Hernandarias once, and another time to Paraná, and several times in downtown (which is way harder than the freeway jaja). Vamos oficinas!

I know this church is true! This gospel is so wonderful, it fills me with awe and joy. We are so blessed, and our Heavenly Father has a love so real for each of us. I know it.

Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Went to the airport with Elder Dillon to receive Presidente and Hermana Perez after they returned from the Mission President Seminar

Capilla Abierta in San Agustin (Parana)

Capilla Abierta in San Agustin

Capilla Abierta

Me in my office with Elder Berg (ZL in Parana)

Elder Henriquez, the new historiador!  Elder Tello left today for a new area.  Also, Elder Carrion gets here today, he will be Elder Llanos' replacement and my new companion.  Pretty soon, I will be the oldest office elder (in terms of time in the office).  That is super weird!

Me and Elder Giacoboni.  He was ZL in Parana and finished his mission today.  He was our zone leader here in Santa Fe for a transfer.  An awesome missionary from Uruguay, he was a zone leader for 19 months!  That's crazy!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Week 18 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Buenos días!

A pretty great week. Always busy, always working, always something to do. We were able to visit quite a few people this week. We visited two of our investigators, Cxxx and Mxxx, who are relatives of a member named Gxxx (Cxxx is her son). Cxxx is a Jehovah's Witness, and Mxxx doesn't belong to a particular church. We had taught them the Restoration a couple of weeks back, but we weren't able to get back and visit them for a while because of transfers. We finally made it back this week, reviewed the Restoration, and talked about the Book of Mormon and how it helps us to receive an answer. They received it really well! Cxxx was very interested, and he told us even before we committed them to read,"This is interesting. I'm going to read this book, don't you worry." We hope that they can come to receive an answer that what we are sharing is true. We also had a great lesson with Mxxx and Dxxx on families this week. They are so wonderful! It's a little hard for us, because they know and understand so much, but they still don't feel ready to get baptized. Elder Llanos and I aren't exactly sure what to do, because we have taught them pretty much everything, and they know that what we are teaching them is true, but they are still a little nervous about taking the step. We are praying that they will somehow come to know that what they have heard is true. I also went on divisions with Elder Maynard this week in Costanera. It was quite different, because the Costanera is probably the wealthiest place in Santa Fe. The houses are huge, lots of super nice cars, and people with lots of money and little time to listen. We went to a lesson with some university students, and it was definitely a different atmosphere, with lots of very intellectual questions, questions about atheism, different religions, and things like that. It made me realize that the gospel is the same for everybody, rich or poor, black or white, male or female. It works the same. We are His children, and He has the same plan for each one of us. It is beautifully simple. We taught the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and testified to them of the importance of looking for answers and praying in faith. They seemed to really want some kind of physical or logical proof that what we were telling them was true. It made me think of the scripture,

"When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not... But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God." (2 Nephi9:28)

It really does all come down to faith. We have to have faith, and believe in the things we can't see, and "trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good." (D&C 11:12)

This week, I've felt and thought about time and time again the great importance of charity. The greatest commandment of all is to love the Lord your God, and the second is to love thy neighbor as thyself. President Monson has instructed us: "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." Oftentimes we focus too much on the problems that people have, or the things that they may be doing wrong, and forget that the greatest commandment we have is to love them. We may be righteous, we may be talented, we may be smart, we may be obedient, we might be right, but none of that matters if we do not love them. None of it. As Paul taught us,

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels... And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains...And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."

As wonderful as all of these things are, as great as sacrifice and obedience is, if it is not done out of love, it is worthless. It does us no good. That is why love is the greatest commandment of all, and that is why charity is the greatest of all things.

I love my Savior. I am forever grateful for what He has given me, and I know that without Him, I could go nowhere. I would be lost and broken. But with Him, I am found and healed each and every day. He lives and loves us, setting the perfect example for us. I know it.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Meyers

Me, Elder Maynard, Elder Blackmon, and Elder Llanos.  Happy Birthday President Perez.

More pictures Cumpleanos de Presidente

Elder Llanos with his scriptures

Elders serving in the office.  Elder Tello, Me, Elder Llanos, and Elder Dillon

jajaja we found out that the new iphone came out, so Elder Llanos and I put little apple stickers on the back of our phones a couple pdays back.  We tell missionaries we have the new iphone in the office now. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Week 17 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

And here we go, another transfer getting going!

I am exhausted. This was probably one of the most tiring weeks to date in my mission. We had a great time with all of the new missionaries this week. Six new missionaries arrived, 4 from the US, and two from Mexico. All of them are great missionaries! I was impressed by their spirit and excitement to serve. On Thursday, we had Mission Council with all of the leaders from the mission. That was a crazy day. We usually get to the council, give some announcements from the office, and then during the meeting, Elder Llanos and I take all of the suitcases that the zone leaders brought and take them back to the office and fill them with proselyting materials (Book of Mormon, pamphlets, pass along cards, etc.) to take back to their zones. I will tell you, loading up a pickup truck with boxes of copies of the Book of Mormon is a pretty good work out. :) We headed back to the meeting and helped get everything organized, and then Elder Llanos and I left directly from the meeting to go on a road trip! We had to do some paperwork in the electric corporation in Concordia that we had to do in person. We left at about 7 in the evening Thursday, and then arrived at a hotel at about 11 that night. We woke up early in the morning, got ready, did a little bit of scripture study, ate breakfast, and then headed straight to the corporation. We were there for about 2 hours, doing paperwork, getting information, and paying electricity bills. We finally finished everything up, and went and left some things for missionaries in Concordia, and then left Concordia, and headed straight for a little town called Hernandarias, way back on the other side of Entre Rios in the La Paz zone. It's currently part of the Santa Elena branch, but it looks like we might be opening up a new branch of the church in Hernandarias, because there are about 10 members there who travel 60 km every Sunday to go to church in Santa Elena. So Elder Llanos and I went to look for a building to rent for Sunday meetings, as well as a pension for missionaries, as we hope to open a new area in Hernandarias the next transfer. It is the most beautiful little town I have ever seen in my time in Argentina! When we arrived, we couldn't believe how clean, organized, and peaceful it was. It's right on the Paraná River, with a spectacular view, and there are trees and well kept grass everywhere. It was awesome. We finally finished up looking for buildings in Hernandarias at about 7:30 that evening, and then made the trip back to Santa Fe, getting back at about 9:30. It was definitely a long journey, and we were super tired, but it was pretty cool to get to know some other parts of the mission.

Now, GENERAL CONFERENCE! It is absolutely a privilege to hear and learn from the men chosen by God to lead us in His church. They are inspired, I am 100% convinced. They speak the words of Christ, and they are the words that He wants us to hear. I have never felt so inspired and taught by the Spirit as I have in this past conference. I know that prayer is real. I loved the messages that talked about the power of prayer. As we speak, talk, and counsel with our Heavenly Father, and then listen to His responses, we learn, grown, and progress. We never have to wonder what to do, where to go, or what to say. We never have to feel alone, and that is true in every sense of the promise. I have never felt more loved and befriended in my life, than when I pray with real intent and listen to what my Heavenly Father has to say to me. I also loved the focus on missionary work (maybe because I'm a missionary, but that's ok). The basic doctrines of the gospel are crucial to our testimonies, and we are so blessed to have them in our lives. These basic doctrines, faith, prayer, the plan of salvation, the Book of Mormon, etc. are not only meant to bless us. They are meant for everyone! And it is our job to let everyone know about it! We cannot sit idly by, because there are people waiting, and we do not know who they are. Only God does. As we pray to Him, and ask Him for His direction, He will lead us to those who are waiting.

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Elder Meyers

Feliz Cumpleanos Presidente Perez!

Surprise!  Feliz Cumple Presidente!

Presidente Perez

Prepping for General Conference

Lunch with the missionaries

Elder Marquez snagged a selfie with my camera. :)

All of the gringos ready for conference!

Our investigator came to priesthood session, and loved it!

Our nice little tv and speakers conference set up :)

Pre-conference selfie with Elder Blackmon

Decorating for Presidente Perez' birthday

Giving my little finances presentation

New missionaries!

Got to see Elder Clayton at consejo!  

Me, Elder Guevara (ZL in Concordia from El Salvador), Elder Rocha (my ZL in Nogoya), Elder Chartrand (was my ZL here in SF), and Elder Mitchell (ZL in La Paz, he got here with me!)

Got to see Elder Gomez at consejo!  Elder Gomez is a zone leader now in La Paz

Pictures from our trip to Concordia

Driving to Concordia

View from our room at night

Breakfast in the morning

In our hotel room

Me and Elder Llanos

Trees as we were driving (I spy something tall, brown, and sticky...jaja)  They were actually pretty cool tress just outside of Concordia. :)

On our way to Hernandarias, we passed through this little town that said it was the national rice capital, so of course we had to take a picture at their rice museum!  Especially since Elder Llanos is from Peru, and he love rice.

Getting close!
Passing some cows on the road

Hernandarias!  It's amazing.

Departing missionaries

Departing missionary

Celebrating President Perez' birthday!

Arriving missionaries!