Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Week 37 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina


So, this was an absolutely crazy weekend, and I have had no time to write, so this is going to be a really short email.

We had a capilla abierta last Saturday in Concordia that went really well! For me, it was testimony builder of faith. It was a small branch where we did the activity, and there weren't a ton of members. As we went through the day, some of the missionaries started to get a little disheartened, wondering if we would have success or not. On top of that, there were multiple companionships that had to leave at midday because they had baptisms, including the zone leaders. As the official tours started at 4, there was nobody. We got to 5, and still nobody had come. It was easy to see that some people were starting to doubt. So I talked to Elder Dillon, and we decided we had to do something. We've never had a capilla abierta that wasn't successful, and I know that the Lord doesn't have us do these activities just to have nothing come of it. Normally, the two office elders who go stay in the capilla as kind of the tech/management people, making sure that the tours are running smoothly, the audio is working, the referrals are being recorded, etc. But we knew we had to do something, so we both grabbed a missionary and said, we're going out. We headed out to the streets and just started inviting people, whoever would take an invitation. I LOVE being in the streets! It's so much fun. We finally got somebody who agreed to come in with us for 1 minute, just to look. It was about that, and then he left, but that kind of broke the ice, and as all the missionaries started going out and exercising their faith, miracles began to happen, and people began to come. We even had a couple of entire families pass through! We ended up with 3 or 4 people with a baptismal date and at least 60 or 70 referrals. That is faith in action! When we have faith, and act on it, trusting that the Lord will bless us for our efforts, miracles can and will happen. The excuses that we had to not do anything were innumerable, as well as the reasons to doubt. But as we lay all of those aside, and trust in Him, we are blessed. Faith is real. Faith works. Exercise faith, and you will see blessings.

I love this gospel! It is beautifully simple and powerful.

Elder Meyers

Welcome lunch when Elder Campos came back to the mission!

Leaving for Concordia Friday night

Greeting the missionaries at capilla abierta

Capilla abierta in Concordia


La capilla (Concordia)

Talking with zone leaders in Concordia

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Week 36 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Can I just say that I love being a missionary? I feel like I say it literally every week, but the thing is that it never changes. I love it. It's awesome every week. Sometimes it's easier to recognize it than others, but nonetheless it is always awesome.

We have some great progress going. As a district, we are really starting to work together well, coordinating well with the ward mission leader, working with the word council, planning activities, sharing references, planning lessons, etc., and it really feels like we have a team effort instead of each companionship working on its own. I love it. We can accomplish so much more this way, and everyone seems to be enjoying the increased success that we are having. This week we have started to find lots of new investigators, as well as to set a lot of baptismal dates. The gospel works. It just works.

We have some new investigators that we are working with and that are progressing great. Exxx is the boyfriend of Gxxx’s sister-in-law (if that makes sense). So what happens is that there is a family. The Axxx family. The father is a member, and he has lots of children. Gxxx, who just got baptized, was cohabiting with one of his sons, but since have split up and she lives with them. Exxx is the boyfriend of another one of the Axxx girls. Basically, Hno Axxx is a rock-solid member, who is incredibly diligent with scripture study and prayer. When we started teaching Exxx, he already had a habit of reading the scriptures everyday and praying, and had already started trying to quit smoking because of the influence of his girlfriend, Mxxx, and Hno Axxx, her dad. It’s awesome. Basically, they’re working on getting an appointment made to get legally married, and then he wants to be baptized! We’re helping him to set goals right now to stop smoking, and he’s progressing a lot. Also, he went with the Axxx family yesterday to visit the Buenos Aires temple. HOW COOL IS THAT? What investigator just randomly spends a month raising money so that they can pay the trip for a 7 hour bus ride to go visit the temple? He is super prepared.

We are also teaching another Gxxx, who is the sister of Dxxx. We keep teaching Mxxx and Dxxx, but they’ve got to get married still. They feed the missionaries, give us references, come to church, but still aren’t ready to get married. Not sure what we can do there. But anyways. Gxxx is really interested in the church, and so we’re teaching her now as well. We’re working on setting a baptismal date for her.

The mission is great. Besides that, not much outside the normal. I love the gospel. I say it so much, but it remains true. The beautiful simplicity and yet profoundness of the doctrine and principles of the gospel leave me in awe. I know that our Savior’s love is powerful, that it is an enabling love, a love that gives us power to change, a real power that moves and motivates us and makes us better. That is the love of Christ. That is charity. And when we have charity, which is a gift from God, we are able to help others to make those same kinds of changes through the power of Christ and His Atonement. Pray for charity every day. It is among the greatest of all spiritual gifts.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Me with the mission sign outside the mission office
Some pictures from Elder Maynard's camera from last week

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Week 35 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina (who is really counting anyways?)

Another transfer gone, and here we go starting up again!

We had a big group of 13 arrive this transfer, a great group as always. I love receiving the new missionaries, they always have such an amazing spirit and excitement to do the work of the Lord. It's contagious. As we watch them receive their new companions and get excited for their first area, it reminds me of how wonderful missionary work is, and helps me feel the wonder of being a missionary every single day. What a blessing!

We also sent off 6 missionaries this week. It's starting to get a little hard, because they are starting to be missionaries that I know well. You see them heading home, knowing some of them you probably won't see again. It can be hard, but it is part of the mission. And it is always awesome to spend time with them their last day and hear their testimonies and see the ways that their mission has changed them.

This week, since Elder Gifford is going home in about two weeks, the new assistant arrived, and he is none other than Elder Gomez, my district leader from Nogoyá! I'm so excited to be in his district again, I have learned so much from him and hope to continue to learn from him. He's a great missionary.

Other than that, we've just been busy busy busy organizing meetings, paying rents, reimbursing travel, and trying to keep everything together during transfers. It's always a crazy week, but full of memories. We're excited to get back to work the coming week, as we have lots of investigators and potential investigators to find and teach!

I love this gospel. I know it's true. I love my Savior, and am eternally grateful for a Heavenly Father who is perfectly merciful and forgiving. I have so many faults, so many imperfections, and make so many mistakes, and yet in the midst of all, He sees fit to bless me in so many ways. I will follow Him forever, because I love Him.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Meyers

All the missionaries in the ward!  The new sister training leaders were already there, Hermana Card (left, Utah) and Hermana White (right, Texas).  Coincidentally, Hna Pacheco trained Hna Card and Hna Garcia trained Hna White. Que copado! :)  The elders are Elder Parker, Elder Gifford, Elder Carrion, Elder Henriquez, me, Elder Dillon, and Elder Wiberg (he's in Rural E like I was when I first came to Santa Fe)

Me with Hna Garcia and Pacheco

Me with Hna Andino and Jones (it was kind of crazy, literally all four sister training leaders went home in the same transfer)

Elder Gomez!! (New AP)

Sending home Elder Gardner

With the missionaries who were going home 

With the missionaries who were going home

Ice cream at the mission home!

Playing piano at the mission home

Greeting the new missionaries!

New missionaries!

Getting the new missionaries situated

Dinner with the new missionaries in the mission home

Training the new missionaries

Me and Elder Carrion

Giving my financial presentation to the new missionaries

Giving my financial presentation to the new missionaries

New missionaries with their trainers

Birthday celebration for Elder Carrion and Elder Henriquez with members and investigators

Birthday celebration for Elder Henriquez and Elder Carrion

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week 34 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

God is good.

It has been an amazing weekend. Yesterday we had 3 baptisms! In reality, it was 4, but one of them was 8 years old, so he technically counted as a ward baptism. But that doesn’t really matter, because it all comes down to the fact that we were able to be a part of the eternal journey that each of these four started. Diego and Nahuel were baptized, as well as Gisela and Alejo. At the beginning of this week, we didn’t think Gisela would be able to be baptized this Saturday because of some situations, but during the week we became aware that the situations had been resolved, and the she wanted to be baptized this Saturday, so we went for it! I baptized Diego (the 8 year old), Elder Carrion baptized Nahuel and Alejo, and Santiago, a priest from the ward, baptized Gisela, and then today the bishop and the ward mission leader did the confirmations. The best moment for me was probably when, after changing into my white clothes, I came out of the bathroom, and Diego (who had already changed) came running up to me, all excited, and jumped on me saying “Mi bautizador! Me voy a bautizar!” He was so excited to be baptized! After performing the baptism, right when he came out of the water, he just looked out at everyone with a dropped jaw, he was so excited that he was baptized! Everyone laughed, it was awesome. I remember that seeing everyone dressed in white, and feeling that kind of peace and happiness made me feel like I was in the temple. It was beautiful.

And if that wasn’t enough, yesterday, before the baptism, we had a capilla abierta in Rural! We had bad luck in the morning, because it was literally pouring buckets of rain and all of the streets flooded, in some places up to the knees, as is prone to happen every once in a while. So we all got stuck inside. By about 11am everything had cleared up and we were able to go out and invite some people. We came back, had lunch, and got things set up. One of the coolest things was that we had so much member participation. There were stands for every organization, and members manning each one, as well as members to greet visitors and members to invite people. The YM president, ward mission leader, and another brother decided halfway through that we could have more people coming, so they decided to go outside and start grabbing people to bring in. It was pretty cool, I’ve never seen that happen before in a capilla abierta. The ward mission leader was fearless, if someone was way over on the other side of the street, he would yell “Ey!” and run over to them and invite them in. So cool. And we had a ton of success! We literally never had more than 2 or 3 minutes between tours, there was always another group of people coming in. And one of the coolest things was that there were two young women, about 15 years old, that the sister missionaries just brought in from the street, and they ended up staying for a good while, getting to know everything, and today they came to church for all three hours, dressed up nice and everything! Miracles. I love missionary work.

As I was thinking about the baptisms that happened, I realized that, while it was an amazing and wonderful experience, truly a blessing for which I will be forever grateful, it’s not what defines me as a missionary. How many baptisms we have is really irrelevant to what type of missionary we are, as every baptism is a gift and blessing from God. Our job as missionaries, and as members of the church, is to have the Spirit with us always, always repenting, always progressing, always serving and looking out for others. Preach My Gospel says “You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.” I know that this is true, because the most rewarding moments on my mission have been the moments when I have felt that I was at one with the Lord and His Spirit, working in His work with 100% dedication. That is what a successful missionary is, and that is how we find joy not only serving a mission, but throughout our entire lives! I love this gospel, it is everything to me.

Elder Meyers

PS I forgot to say, today I had a pretty cool experience. So, Tomás Levrino, one of the Levrino twins, is an incredible judo competitor, and I'm pretty sure he's competed and won competitions on a national level in Argentina. Anyways, the church decided to make a mormon message/I'm a Mormon-type video of him, so they sent two video guys to make a video on him. Tomas leaves on his mission to Chile in two months, so they wanted to do a part of the video of him as a missionary. So they gave him a nametag, and then they asked me if I could be his companion. Apparently I look like the typical, clean cut, North American missionary jajaja. But anyways, today we went and filmed us knocking on a door. It's probably about 10 seconds, but still. Pretty cool! Not your average missionary experience jaja. :)

Me, Gisela, Alejo, Elder Carrion

Me, Diego, Nahuel, Elder Carrion, Alejo, Gisela, Santiago

Coming out of the font with Diego

Nahuel and his cousin Santino (we're teaching him and his mom, we hope they get baptized too, Santino es CAPO!)

Last pday we took apart one of the windows to kill a giant spider that was hiding in it

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS ELDER CARRION!  We bought an asado to celebrate (and it was actually a pretty good deal, too! :)

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS ELDER HENRIQUEZ!  What better way to celebrate a birthday than to buy a Grido ice cream cake?

Capilla Abierta!!
Preparing for the capilla abierta Friday night with Hno Matias Martinez (lider misional) and Hno Cristian Gudino (presidente cuorum de elderes)

Capilla Abierta!!

Capilla Abierta

Capilla Abierta

Capilla Abierta

Capilla Abierta

The bishop, Hno Parpal (a brother we just helped to reactivate!) and Elder Levrino at the Relief Society stand jaja

Filming the "congregation" singing hymns

Us with the film guys

Elder Dillon came along as well to be my real companion jaja :)

So Elder Dillon found in some unknown place tortillas (which don't really exist here anywhere).  We missed lunch because we were filming, so we decided to have American lunch:  cheese quesadillas in a microwave with chocolate milk.  Basically because that was the only food in the office jajajaja