Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 23 Concordia Nebel B

 Hola a todos!

Another great week in the work of the Lord. A week that at first seemed like it was going to be a nice, straightforward week was turned upside down, and a lot of improvised divisions to cover ground, but still an uplifting and inspiring week. So, on Tuesday, we found out that one of the elders in our district had to travel to Santa Fe urgent the next day to do some legal paperwork because his visa was about to expire, and the secretary had forgotten to tell him that he had to come (give him a break, he's new :) ). The problem was that they had appointments, and the other elders in their branch had appointments as well, and so did we. So we ended up doing some three way divisions, and Elder Streuling went with the elder who had to travel, Elder Toner, and I went with Elder Chaname from the other branch, and his companion went with Elder Toner's companion. Elder Chaname and I for the rest of the day, and all day Wednesday, went back and forth between the two branches on buses all day to try and cover all of the appointments between the two areas. It was kind of crazy, and we took a lot of buses, but in the end we were able to get everything done that we needed to do. On Thursday we had zone conference, which is always an uplifting and inspiring experience. I definitely know that our leaders in the church are called by revelation, and that they are guided by that same process of revelation. Presidente Perez, our mission president, has counseled and guided us through that inspiration, and every time we follow that counsel, we have seen miracles and blessings in our areas, districts, zones, and in the mission as a whole.

Last night, we had another great experience. We had a district-wide fireside, using all of the materials from the Prince of Peace Easter campaign that the Church did this year. It was a spiritually powerful experience, especially for me. What we did was watch every one of the 8 videos of Principles of Peace, and then between each video there was either a short message by one of the branch presidents or a musical number about that particular principle. At the end the district president bore his testimony of Jesus Christ, and we finished with the Prince of Peace video, which has to be one of my all time favorite videos about Jesus Christ, if not my favorite. Every time I watch it, I feel the Spirit so powerfully, and this time was no different. But having learned throughout the fireside about the different principles, the Spirit was thick and palpable in the room, and everyone could feel it. It was an amazing experience. It was probably the most spiritual activity in which I have participated during my whole mission. There were also investigators there from different branches, and they all had a very positive experience, so we were happy about that.

I just want to say that I know that Jesus Christ lives, that He is our Savior, that through Him and His gospel we find true peace. As we have faith in Him, and repent of our sins, and come to Him with full purpose of heart, we find true peace. May we all look to our Savior as the Prince of Peace and the one and only true Guide and Example for our lives.

Elder Meyers

This is Fabrizio!  We saw him during divisions in Federal.  I did his baptismal interview, and he is an extraordinary young man.

This is an hermano from Universidad, he ended up with one of my ties through a long chain of missionaries trading ties! Crazy :)

Me and the Yeri family from our branch!  They're awesome.

Me with Presidente Sarasua and his wife!  He is the district president.

Me and Maira and Sara and Elder Streuling after the fireside!

With the banners for the fireside

With Victor, our recent convert! :)

With Presidente Nicolicchia, the former district president and current president of the La Bianca branch.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 22 Concordia Nebel

Hola familia y amigos!

This week went by so fast... I feel like I was just barely writing yesterday. It was a little more low key than last week, but still going full steam. We were blessed to find a couple of new investigators this week, and to have some other great faith-building experiences. Just talking with people on a daily basis is a faith building experience. Many times, people don't appear to be very receptive to the gospel, but as you begin to talk to them, and get to know them, you realize that they are children of God, people with hopes, dreams, desires, fears, and everything every normal person has. As we take that step of faith and talk with people, it becomes natural to share the message of the restored gospel with them, and even if they don't accept the message, we feel the quiet confirmation of the Holy Spirit that we are doing the will of our Father in Heaven.

One experience that Elder Streuling and I had this week that seemed to be a rather ordinary experience, as we later analyzed it, came to be a very instructive experience about faith and diligence. The other day, we left the church at about 9:20 after a meeting to head back to our apartment. We were making extra efforts that day to be exactly obedient, and diligent in all things, so obviously we wanted to get back to our apartment on time (9:30), and we knew we would have to take the bus in order to get back in time. As we walked toward the bus stop, we ran into two of the elders from another branch who were on their way back to their apartment. We said hi, asked them how their day was, but, having present in our minds that we wanted to get back on time, we quickly said bye and continued toward the bus stop. When we were about half a block away from the stop, we saw the bus pass by right in front of us (the bus route runs perpendicular to the street we were on). That particular bus passes by about every 15-20 minutes, so the thought crossed my mind, aw man, we missed the bus! Oh well, I guess we will just get home late today. But I looked at Elder Streuling, and he said, what do we do? For context, that same bus does a little detour, and then passes by another stop about 6 blocks away, and then continues toward our apartment. Elder Streuling said, should we run? And in my mind, I thought, we probably won't make it, we're carrying a lot of things, and it's fine we'll just get home late. But I remembered our decision to be diligent, so we decided to run. We ran six blocks, with about 5 bags between the two of us (we had just finished divisions), and about halfway there, we passed by a house where there were a bunch of people outside on the front porch. They all started laughing (I'm sure we were a ridiculous sight), and some of them started to make fun of us a little bit. I felt a little embarrassed, and a part of me wanted to stop running, but we kept going. As we got to one block away from the stop, we had to wait to cross the street at the stoplight because there were a bunch of cars passing, and we saw down the street the bus crossing over to the stop. Again, we were tempted to give up, but we edged our way out into the street, and as soon as all the cars had passed, we sprinted as fast as we could, and arrived sprinting to the bus stop, and barely signaled it right as it was passing, and we made it to the bus. We took the bus, got off, and right when we opened the door to our apartment, I looked at my watch, and it was 9:30 on the dot. As we talked about it, we realized that that experience was a great analogy for life. Sometimes our goals may not seem that important to people who do not understand the importance, and Satan also tempts us to diminish the importance of gospel goals. We may feel inadequate or unable to reach those goals, or others may make fun of us for trying to reach those goals. Many times, when trying to reach those goals, we will encounter various obstacles, and we will feel at times that it is not worth the effort and that we should just give up. But if we exercise our faith, press forward, and trust in the Lord, then He will help us to accomplish things that seem unlikely or even impossible.

I hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Last pday we went to a buffet with the other elders in our district...We felt pretty inflated afterwards. :)

Divisions with the elders from Federal

Candid Elder Streuling jaja

Divisions with Elder House

Bye Elder Murillo!  (we had mini transfers this week because a large group of missionaries finished in the middle of the transfer)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 21 Concordia Nebel

Hola a todos!

This week, I strengthened my testimony of diligence, hard work, and faith. I was exhausted pretty much every day of this last week, but I have been trying to be more diligent and faithful EVERY day, so, no matter how tired I was, I did my best to keep working. One experience we had was this last Wednesday. We had planned divisions with another companionship, but I had woken up that morning with a very sore back and a pretty strong headache with mild dizziness. But we knew that the Lord could do all things, so we prayed that I could feel better so that I could work well. Then, right after lunch (we were planning to start divisions at about 5pm), it started to rain, and it was heavy rain. We sat inside our apartment, me not feeling good, and pouring rain outside, and we talked about whether we should cancel the divisions or not. But we decided that we should put our trust in the Lord, and trust that He would work everything out. We said another prayer before heading out in the rain to meet up with the other elders, and then bundled up in rain gear. We met up with the elders in their area, and then I came back with one of them, Elder Chandler to work in our area. I still didn't feel great, but at least I felt a little better, and I could walk around without any problems. We started working, and did our best to be diligent in every moment. We were able to find two new investigators, our branch president gave us an excellent referral, and our most progressing investigator told us that he had had a personal spiritual experience, something that we had been hoping he would have for weeks now! I am confident that each one of those things was a miracle, and that each one was a result of the faith and diligence we had. And as the cherry on top, shortly after we started working, it stopped raining and there was an incredible sunset. God loves us, and He works miracles in our lives.

I hope that we all can exercise faith EVERY day. I know that when we do, God will work miracles in our lives.

I love you all!

Elder Meyers

So, we found Berry Skittles the other day on sale for 5 pesos a bag...(5 pesos right now is about 30 cents) so obviously we bought three bags each.  We were tempted to buy more, but didn't want a sugar high jaja :)

Divisions with Elder Contreras from Chile!
Divisions with Elder Perez from Chile tambien (not related to Presidente Perez jaja)!

While Elder Streuling and I were in Santa Fe, we decided to go running Tuesday morning for exercises.  We went running through lots of the places where I had gone running while I was in the office.  It was fun. :)

Lunch in Santa Fe!  (with Elder Carlassara in the picture)

Our new mission-wide baptism calendar!

Mission leadership council!

Saying goodbye to the missionaries finishing their missions at mission leadership council:  Elder Clement

Elder Frey (my companion)

Elder Mitchell

Elder McCartt

Elder Pennington

On the way back to Parana with Elder Mitchell and Elder Brown

Our district!  (From left:  Elder Perez, me, Elder Toner, Elder Gallart, Elder Chaname, Elder Streuling.  Hermana Ceron and Hermana Iquic)

We have a sign on our door to remind us every day to have faith that says, "Como ejercere mi fe HOY?"

Divisions with Elder Gallart!  He only has three weeks in the mission. :)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 20 Nebel Concordia

Hola gente! :)

Well, I have no time, so this week I'm just going to let Google translate do the work and send you most of my letter to my mission president this week. I love you all!

Dear President,

So many things that I want to say. It was a week of blessings and learning, of spiritual experiences, of faith, diligence, and weaknesses and repentance. In other words, it was another week in the Lord's work, and there is no other place I would like to be. We had a baptism this past weekend of a 13-year-old boy named Victor. It was a miracle, and I am very grateful for the mercy of the Lord in allowing us to find him. We found him knocking on doors in search of a less active member, and a month to the day after we found him, he was baptized. He was very prepared, and the youth have done a fantastic job in including him in their activities and in the youth group. Now Victor has a shirt and tie that he can wear to church, and he is excited to receive the priesthood and help with the sacrament. Also, the young men are working so that he, along with some other young men that we are teaching, can attend PFJ (like EFY) in January. Victor is very excited. He's such a great kid, it was a blessing to meet him. I love the mission. Victor's baptismal service was excellent, we had a recent convert of about 10 months perform the baptism, and for him it was a very special experience, being the first time he had baptized someone. After the baptism, we were delighted to see that the members, without asking, began to fellowship the people who were not members who were attending. The kids from the Primary started playing with the other kids, the youth started playing soccer with the youth, and the sisters of the Relief Society sat down to drink mate there in the chapel with the women that were in attendance. It was such a blessing to see the members helping so much with the missionary work without being asked. Also, we were able to use the service as an opportunity to find, and we found a new investigator there at the baptism who also went to church on Sunday! It was a very successful baptismal service.

I discovered many things about the missionary work in this past month, and the truth is, I feel that I am a better missionary than I was in September. I learned a lot about faith, diligence, and the doctrine of Christ, and I hope to continue applying those things during November, December, and the rest of my life. I have come to feel a deep desire to "declare repentance." This week I was reflecting on the scripture found in Helaman 5: 9-11, which says: "yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world. ...therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls. " What a joyful duty! The duty and calling to declare the good news of the conditions of repentance to the whole world, because there is no other way by which they can be saved. My testimony of the uniqueness of the way, and the exceedingly great importance of following it, has greatly increased, and I feel to repeat the Apostle Paul's words: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for [I know that] it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. " This week I was listening to a song too, called Better than a Hallelujah, which talks about many times the tears of repentance, sincere and anguished prayers in times of need and despair, and changed hearts are more pleasing to God than a praise, and for me it was only added to my testimony of the beauty of repentance. What a great blessing is the Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In divisions, to train the missionaries, I have been using a scripture that I found in my Preach My Gospel study that I loved. It is found in John 15: 1-16, and it speaks of Jesus Christ being the true vine, and that we are the branches. If we disconnect from the vine, we will lose all nutrition and power that only comes from the vine. So, being branches, our purpose is to bear fruit, and in v. 2, Jesus Christ tells us that those who bear fruit will be cleansed (or purified), so that they bear MORE fruit. Then he tells us that He chose us, and He put us here so that we may bear fruit, and so that the fruit may remain. I loved that analogy so much, and there is so much to learn, that I decided that I would share it in every division I make. It also helps to teach the new focus of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve to baptize MORE converts. To be able to do that, we will have to be clean, and connect 100% to the power of the real vine, and thus we will be able to bear more fruit.

Elder Meyers

Baptism of Victor!

Me, Victor, and Elder Streuling

Baptism of Victor!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Week 19 Concordia Nebel

Hola gente!

So, I totally forgot about something from last week! The Saturday before transfers (the 14th of October), we did a Mini-MTC for the youth in Concordia! We ended up not getting it announced in time due to a district presidency change and a little bit of confusion about schedules, but in the end we had about 16 youth that participated throughout the day, and it was a great experience! The night before, we cleaned up the district center and organized the "MTC". The next day we started up with breakfast at 7am, and as the youth arrived we gave them a nametag, a calling packet with materials for the day, and a kit with missionary materials (a Book of Mormon, pamplets, pass a long cards, etc.). We started off with a devotional, a message from a couple from La Bianca that were the "MTC President and Wife", and then we gave a little orientation on how the day would be. They all then had a class on effective scripture study with Hno. Reyna, our branch mission leader, who served in Buenos Aires, and then we assigned everyone their companions and districts! They then went to rotation classes with three returned sister missionaries from the district, Hna. Burgui (returned two months ago from Brazil), Hna. Arriola (the daughter in law of our Relief Society President, returned 3 years ago from Argentina Posadas) and Hna. Alvarenga (returned 3 years ago from Argentina Mendoza). The classes were about the Restoration, the role of the Spirit, and the importance of the Book of Mormon. We then had lunch, prepared by some members, and then a time for them to do companionship study. After their study, Elder Streuling and I gave a workshop on the doctrine of Christ and how to focus on the missionary purpose while teaching, and then they had their district meetings with their district. We then had a workshop on finding, and we taught some basics of contacting people in the street, and then had a companionship demonstrate, and then had all the youth practice contacting the missionaries. They were nervous, but they loved it. Once we finished that, we gave an area to each companionship of youth, along with a list of former investigators, less-actives, and other people that they could visit in their area, and then they headed out for two hours to visit people and talk with them in the streets. As they all came back they were so excited! They loved it, and felt the Spirit strongly. We finished up the day with a testimony meeting, and each of the youth shared their experience that they had had as they had gone out to work in their "areas". It was nothing short of amazing. Each had felt the Spirit so strongly, and young men who were kind of on the border said that they knew for sure now that they wanted to serve a mission. Two of the young women related that they had been walking, and saw a woman get off a bus ahead of them. As they got closer, at first they didn't want to talk to her, but then they looked at each other and said, let's do it. As they got to where the woman was, they realized that she was crying. They began to share with her a message about the love of God, and the woman started to cry even more. She told them that she had just gone through some terrible things with her family, and that she didn't know what to do, and that to her these two young women were angels sent to her from God, because they arrived in just the right moment to help, just when she was feeling terrible and lost and lonely. As the young women told us about this experience, they both began to cry as well, and the Spirit was very present. At the end of the meeting, we finished with a video message that Presidente and Hna. Perez had recorded for us to show, since they couldn't be there in person. Overall, it was an awesome activity, and Elder Streuling and I loved the opportunity we had to teach other youth about missionary work, and that we were able to help plan an activity that would help them feel the Spirit in such a special way.

Well, I'm almost out of time, but a quick update, our investigator Vxxx passed his baptismal interview!! He is super excited to be baptized this Saturday, and we are excited for him, too. He is an awesome kid, and it's so fun to work with him. He doesn't always understand everything, but he tries his best to learn and be better. Every time we have a lesson, he always asks us if he can do the prayer, and he practices his prayers so that he can get better every time. We also gave him his first white shirt (donated by Elder Chaname, who is pretty small-sized jaja), and Hno. Reyna gave him his first tie. Vxxx is super excited to wear his brand new shirt to his baptism. When we taught him about tithing and fast offerings, he got so excited he told us that he was going to pay tithing every week, and that he was going to fast from Monday to Thursday! Jaja we told him that it wasn't necessary, and that he would probably be pretty hungry if he didn't eat for three days, but that's just a little idea of his enthusiasm. He's a great kid. And Gabriel, our YM president, who is a convert of just 10 months and is 19, has been helping us out a ton with our lessons, and he has personally taken charge of Vxxx, to take him to activities, to accompany him to church, etc. Gabriel is awesome.

I love this work, and I love the Lord! Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

This is our investigator Vxxx with his new shirt and tie!

This is a little 4 year old kid who was the best missionary of the day!  He stood outside of the church (during our capilla abierta) and literally every single person that passed by, he ran up to them, handed them an invitation, and pointed to the church and told them to come.  He must have handed out at least 150 invitations in just 2 1/2 hours.  I had to take a picture with him. :)

Capilla Abeirta in Universidad!  This is lunch.

Outside after the capilla abierta
Universidad had a huge baptism after the capilla abierta of a family of 8, 5 of which were baptized (the others are little) all together!  How cool is that?  I played the piano for the baptism.

Our weekly correlation meeting with our branch mission leader in his Mexican restaurant. :)

Two new elders came to Concordia this week, one of them a brand new missionary, Elder Gallart!  We shared some ice cram with them their first night to help them feel welcome.

Our church building

This morning we played basketball at the church, and we invited Vxxx, our investigator.  He had a blast. :)

Mini MTC!  MTC Concordia :)

Materials room
Entrance desk

The youth, instructors, and MTC President and wife


After a class

The Restoration class

The youth returning from contacting!
The youth returning from contacting!

Me and Elder Streuling afterwards