Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 24 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola a todos!

Another week in the office! We are getting used to the new office, as we are kind of in the "new generation" as an office. It's been good. We had a great zone meeting this week, where the zone leaders gave us some good challenges, especially with finding new investigators. We've been working a lot this week to find new investigators and to help our current investigators progress. Mxxx and Dxxx continue to progress little by little, but they still don't feel like they quite have the faith to get married. We had an amazing lesson full of the Spirit with them last night. Whenever we teach them, the Spirit is always so strong, and I know that they can feel it as well. They told us about all of the changes that they have seen in their lives, the harmony that they feel in their family because of the Book of Mormon. They are so close!! We've also received a few referrals, and we've been blessed to find a couple new investigators! Things are going great in our area.

It's getting a lot hotter now, summer is definitely on the way. And it's not just hot, it's humid and heavy too. Woot! :) Jaja I don't think I'll ever get used to the humidity. It kills me.

We had another capilla abierta in Cinco Esquinas in Paraná. It was pretty cool, because even though the weather didn't cooperate at all (there was a huge storm with tons of wind and rain and a little bit of hail) and it was raining literally the ENTIRE time, we still had about 5 people come, and every one of them accepted a baptismal date. The missionaries would go out looking for people, even though it was raining, and come back absolutely drenched without having found anybody, but at the end it still felt like it was a success. It was pretty cool.

This week, I have been studying a lot about faith. I absolutely love the section on Faith in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel. It says:

"Faith leads to action, including repentance, obedience, and dedicated service. When you have faith in Jesus Christ, you trust the Lord enough to follow His commandments—even when you do not completely understand the reasons for them. You accomplish what the Lord wants you to accomplish...

Faith is a principle of power. God works by power, but His power is usually exercised in response to faith (see Moroni 10:7). He works according to the faith of His children. Doubt and fear are opposed to faith.
Your faith will increase through diligent study, prayer, dedicated service, and obedience to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and the commandments.
Your faith in Jesus Christ grows as you become better acquainted with Him and His teachings. As you explore the scriptures and search them, you learn of His ways, His love for all people, and His commandments.

Faith is essential to our progress in this life and in the gospel. It is how we grow. As we excercise our faith, we can accomplish great things, and we come to align our will more with the will of our Heavenly Father, and we understand better how He works among the children of faith. Have faith! :)

Have a great week!
Elder Meyers

Picture with all of the missionaries in the Rural Ward (me, Elder Carrion, Elder Gifford, Hna Johnson, Hna Gallegos,  Elder Henriquez, Elder Dillon, Elder Robles)

Me with my Christmas tree. :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 23 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

What a WEEK! I always think I can't possibly get busier or more tired, but the Lord seems to be trying to prove me wrong. :) This was a crazy week, with 14 new missionaries and a LOT of last minute changes and urgent happenings. But it was lots of fun. Monday we had a big lunch in the mission home with all of the missionaries who finished their mission, and that was a lot of fun. This was the first time that we had a big group of missionaries going home that I knew really well. Each of the missionaries that went home was someone I knew well, so it was fun to spend time with them on their last day. Tuesday we went to the airport and dropped them all off, took pictures, and then watched the airplane take off. Crazy moment to realize none of them will ever be in the mission again. I still remember my first transfer when I did splits with Elder Blackmon. Time goes by WAY too fast. When we got back from the airport, we got the office all ready, and then all the new missionaries arrived! An awesome group, as always, full of spirituality and excitement for the work. We had missionaries from all places in South America and North America, and even one from Spain! Pretty cool. Wednesday we had our orientation meeting for all the new missionaries and their trainers, and had a lot of fun with that, as always. Thursday was leadership council. A lot of new zone leaders, including two who are from my group of missionaries! As I said before, time flies. Also, the two new assistants, Elder Gifford and Elder Llanos, and two new sister training leaders, Hna Jones and Hna Pacheco. Lots of change. Friday, we got everything ready for capilla abierta, and that evening we headed out for Nogoyá! We stayed the night, and Saturday had capilla abierta! So much fun. In the morning, when we do visits, I had the chance to go with Elder Gifford to my old area and visit a bunch of people. It was so much fun! I was loving every moment, being able to work in my old area again. Everything was so familiar. I got a little sunburnt, though... I guess it's because I'm inside for a lot of the day, and when we are outside, it's usually evening, so four hours straight in the morning-midday on a clear day can do that to you. :) We saw lots and lots of miracles, and it turned out as a huge success. We had more people come to the capilla abierta in Nogoyá than in some wards in Santa Fe! So cool. This is definitely God's work, and His hand is in it. We only have to have the faith to do it. I remember going into the capilla abierta, I started to feel a little bit of doubt, knowing how difficult the area can seem, and wondering if it would work, but then I stopped my self and said "Where's your faith? Have some faith in God! Don't you believe that He can do all things?" And so right then and there, I decided to stop doubting, and just do what I needed to do to the best of my ability and leave the rest to Him. And it turned out great! One thing I have noticed from capilla abierta is the focus on the individual. It always seems like with these activities that they are meant to find very specific people, very specific children of God. They have never resulted in huge droves of people coming in at a time, all ready to be baptized, but usually one or two at a time. And I have thought, it is so amazing to me that God would do all of this, organize this whole activity, bring in 20+ missionaries plus all the members of the ward, not to mention all the money spent in food, transportation, preparations, etc., all the time coordinating, just to bring one or two people. THAT is the worth of souls. He will do all of that and so much more, just to be able to bring one of His children back to Him. Truly the worth of souls is great in the eyes of God.

I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ, and that we have the fulness of the gospel, and that when we live that gospel in every aspect of our lives, we truly change and become more like our Savior. The gospel changes lives. I have seen it so many times during my mission, especially in my own life. When we become converted to the gospel, we have no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually.(Mosiah 5:2) May we live the gospel EVERY day, not just Sundays, and strive in every moment to remember the Savior, as we have covenanted to do.

I love you all!

Elder Meyers

Greeting new missionaries as they arrive

Greeting new missionaries

Elder Carrion (my compannion), Elder Henriquez, me, and Elder Gifford (new AP)

Elder Blackmon finished his mission

Elder Pearson finished his mission

Elder Chartrand (from Canada) and me

Hna Tomala (from Ecuador)

Hma Craig (from US)

Hma Guevara (Guatemala)

Another sleepover in Nogoya with Elder Gifford and Elder Robles!

Selfie with Elder Clayton in Nogoya!

Lunch with missionaries in Nogoya

Capilla Abierta in Nogoya

Capilla Abierta in Nogoya

Capilla Abierta in Nogoya

Me and President Romero in Nogoya (Branch President)

Elder Blackmon and me at the airport before he went home

All of the missionaries going home with the AP's and office Elders

Lunch in the mission home with the new missionaries

Training for the new missionaries

Me with Hno Arrua and Hno Rego, a member from Nogoya but who normally lives in Terminal!  I met him in Terminal, and he came down for the capilla abierta

Me and Selina and Abril, the two young women and sisters from Nogoya.  They both got baptized while I was there (by Elder Gomez and Elder Mckell)

Selfie with Elder Clayton (he's the zone leader for Nogoya right now)

Me and Hma Arrua

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 22 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Queridos amigos y familia! Como están todos?

It's the week of transfers, and this transfer, we are having a lot of changes, including a lot of new missionaries. It's just crazy, but it's been a great week. A couple of highlights:

Last Sunday, we had an AMAZING stake conference with Elder Teixeira, a general authority and president of the South America South Area (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay). He is from Portugal, but raised his family in Germany, and speaks six different languages. One thing I loved that he talked about was obedience. He told an experience of when he was the president of the Europe Area, and he was with President Monson on a 10-day tour of the area. He said that President Monson absolutely loves the movie Sound of Music, so during one of the days that they were passing through Salzburg (the city in Austria where the movie was filmed), they went to the small cathedral where the wedding of Maria is filmed. They sat, and were pondering for a while, and then, all of a sudden, President Monson put his hand on Elder Teixeira's knee and said with a lot of firmness and intensity,"Elder Teixeira, wherever you go, whenever you visit the saints in any part of the world, always exhort them to keep the commandments." And then President Monson got quiet again, and then said, "Ok, shall we go?" It just kind of came out of nowhere, but Elder Teixeira said it changed him, and he testified to us of the great importance of keeping the commandments, and the happiness and joy that can ONLY come from living the commandments of our Heavenly Father. I loved the conference. And we had a stake choir, and I got to play the piano, so that was fun, too. :)

On Thursday we had an insane rainstorm. It only lasted about 10 minutes the very worst part of it, but it was literally like buckets of water falling from the sky. We couldn't even open the door of the office because there was so much water coming down. In about 3 minutes all of the streets flooded completely, with water up to the rims of the car tires. Our basketball court had at least 2 inches of water covering it within 5 minutes. It was insane. And what was crazier, Elder Carrion and Elder Henriquez went to Hernandarias to close a contract for the new apartment for the elders that are going there, and over there, the storm was even worse. For about 10 minutes, it hailed hailstones almost the size of golfballs. They pulled into a service station, but all of the tail lights and mirrors on the truck were shattered, and the entire body of the truck was dented in hundreds of places. It looked like somebody had taken a machine gun to it or something. It was unbelievable. Crazy weather stories.

On Saturday, we had a capilla abierta in San Martin (that's in the Santa Fe North Stake). I had a pretty embarrassing moment. So, to explain a little, to begin the tour, the sister missionaries start by welcoming everone, and then, like in the Visitor's Center at Temple Square, they invite everyone to listen to a recording of the words of Christ as they look at the Christus statue (Of course we just have a big stand, but it still works great). So my job this time was to hide behind the pulpit and press the play button for the recording when they finished talking. Everything was going great, just fine (we've done this a bunch of times already). And then, I don't know how, but I was super exhausted that day, and during one tour, I pushed play, and then during the recording, I somehow fell asleep, and fell over so that I was laid out on the ground. I just konked out! And the sisters finished the tour, and then another group came in, and the Sister Training leaders from Santa Fe (Hna Garcia and Hna Guevara) started the next tour, not realizing that I was completely out (because I was behind the pulpit). So they start the tour, and say "Now we're going to listen to the recording" And nothing happens. The say it again, and nothing happens. So Sister Garcia looks back and sees me laid out on the floor, and says in a whisper, "Hey! Elder Meyers!" Nothing. Again. Nothing. Then Hna Garcia went up on the stand, while Hna Guevara told the tour group that we were just having technical difficulties, and Hna Garcia came up to me and whispered my name "Elder Meyers, Elder Meyers!" Then she started shaking my wrist, and then my arm, and then my shoulders, and finally I woke up! I was so out of it! I was completely confused about what was happening, and Hna Garcia turned on the recording and then went down. About a minute later I realized what was happening, and I was so embarrassed! I have no idea why how I was so out of it. Afterwards, Hna Garcia told me she was just like "Is he dead?" jajaja Oh man.... the mission. It's great.

Anyways, I love you all! I hope you have a great week, and always remember to keep the commandments!

Elder Meyers

All the ice cream for transfer week

Look at all that Grido ice cream!

Elder Maynard, me, and Grido

Asado for the farewell lunch yesterday in the mission home (3 Elders and 4 Hermanas finished their missions:  Elder Blackmon, Elder Pearson, Elder Chartrand, Hna Guevara, Hna Craig, Hna Tomala, and Hna Castillo

Farewell lunch

Farewell lunch

A picture of me with all of the assistants:  Elder Maynard, Elder Blackmon, Elder Pearson and Elder Robles (Elder Blackmon and Elder Pearson's last week)

Pictures from the crazy rainstorm!

Soaked Elder Blackmon

Crazy rainstorm

Selfie from the capilla abierta in San Martin during lunch

Elder Tello and me

Pictures of Elder Carrion and Elder Henriquez with the crazy hailstorm

Elder Carrion with the hail stones

Look at all the hail

The tail lights in the mission truck were shattered in the storm

Look at all the dents from the storm

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Week 21 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola amigos y familia!

This has been a trying week. They come every once in a while. But my favorite thing about these kinds of weeks is that they really cause you to go back to the basics, to re focus on your foundation, and to rely on your Savior. And what could be better than that? I know that our strength comes from God, and that He is the reason we can do what we do. I am ever more grateful to Him for his pacience, long suffering, kindness, and above all, love, for me. I know that He loves us, no matter what we do, where we go. That is the thing. We cannot go beyond God's love. As Elder Holland has said,

"However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."

I want to add my testimony to his, that the Atonement is there for ALL of us, in EVERY circumstance, no matter what we've done. Trust in your Savior, in His teachings, and in His love, and you will be free and happy.

Other than all of that, normal week of working in the office. And lots of great lessons! We are slowly but surely finding more investigators, and Mxxx and Dxxx are progressing. We hope they can have a special experience this weekend with stake conference.

I love you all!

Elder Meyers