Saturday, April 29, 2017

Week 46 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola a todos!

I am officially training! The new financial secretary arrived on Monday. His name is Elder Morrill, he is from West Valley Utah, has about 13 months in the mission, and was in Concordia before he came here. I laughed a little bit when I found out that he would becoming this week, because I had already known a while ago that this week was going to be bad for me because of the amount of work I was going to have, and to have him arrive this week was just going to be fun. I told Presidente, I guess we're just going to skip the whole adjustment phase and put him right in the middle of the flames. :) But he's been a champ, absorbing information and doing his best to understand everything that is going on. I know that he'll be a great financial secretary.

We convinced Mxxx to come to church in a white shirt, and we told him that if he did, we would give him a tie, and he did it! It was so cool to see him in church in a shirt and tie for the first time. I know he is going to get baptized. I don't know when, but it is going to happen. :)

We also went and made Peruvian food in an investigator's house this week, and Elder Carrion (my companion from Peru) was the chef. They gave him a sweet Messi apron to cook. (see picture below)

As I was studying this week, I came across a part of Preach My Gospel that really caught my attention. I was studying the 2nd lesson, the Plan of Salvation, I was reading the section about the final judgment, where it says the following:

Eternal life is a gift of God given only to those who obey His gospel. It is the highest state that we can achieve. It comes to those who are freed from sin and suffering through the Atonement of Christ. It is exaltation, which means living with God forever in eternal families. It is to know God and Jesus Christ and to experience the life they enjoy.

There, it gives us two conditions to reach eternal life. One, we repent of all our sins, and two, we know God and Jesus Christ. Eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ. I began to think about all the things we teach to investigators, and they all come down to those two basic points. We help them to repent of their sins and come to know better their Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong testimony that the only way that we can truly change is when we come to know our Savior Jesus Christ. We can teach, we can preach, we can explain, we can invite, but if people do not gain a knowledge of their Savior, if they do not come to know Him, they will never make lasting changes. However, when they gain a true testimony of their Savior, they, we, can make changes that will last forever. This all brought me back again to President Nelson's talk from general conference, as he invited us all to better come to know Jesus Christ by reading and studying His life, His teachings, and His doctrine. I would second that invitation again, as it is only through Him that we can become who we are meant to be, and who we truly want to become.

This is His gospel. He is the head. He guides and leads, and through Him we can gain eternal life. I know it, because I have felt it. Have a great week, and look for ways to come to know your Savior!

Elder Meyers

Mxxx in his white shirt and tie at church

Elder Morrill in his new chair :)

Father and son (trainer and trainee)

Elder Carrion with the sweet Messi apron

Elder Carrion the chef

Training the new financial secretary Elder Morrill

Finance training

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Week 45 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola a todos!

This week went by rather quickly. Lots of things to do, but I honestly don't remember most of it. Mostly, I've been getting ready to receive a new companion, as I will begin training a new financial secretary the coming week. We will be together for seven weeks, and then I will be heading out to another area. After having been in the office for more than 10 months now, it's sometimes hard to believe that I actually will leave someday. :)

Mxx and Dxxx continue to progress slowly. The other day, we watched Elder Costa's talk that was directed to investigators (fun fact: Elder Costa was born in Concordia, which is in our mission!). They felt the Spirit strongly, and as we prayed at the end, Mxxx said one of them most sincere prayers I've ever heard him offer, asking Heavenly Father to teach them how to repent and help them understand repentance better. It was a wonderful moment, one of those moments as a missionary where you get the chance to see the marvelous progress that can come as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ, even if only a small part.

We've also been looking for new investigators, and we received some excellent referrals from members! We've had trouble finding them at home, though... We call them, set appointments, and then go, and they're not there. They're great people, it just seems like they forget about our appointments... Hopefully we can catch them as we pass by. In the office in general, we are being blessed with prepared investigators, and it's always great to see the blessings that the Lord gives us as we strive to consecrate our time and do the most important things.

Starting last week, in my studies, I decided to start President Nelson's challenge to study the life of Christ and His teachings, first studying Luke 22-24, the part about Jesus Christ's Atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection, in conjunction with Easter. As I read, I began to feel so much closer to my Savior, and Easter took on a different meaning for me. As I have continued my study, including a study of The Living Christ, I have felt a difference in my life. I can testify that the Savior lives. He is a real Being, present in our lives in a very real way. He is not only a historical figure, a great teacher, prophet, and leader, but the Messiah, the Savior, the Living Christ, Lord of Heaven and Earth. I am so incredibly humbled and grateful for the opportunity that I have to represent Him and serve as His emissary. As I come to know Him, I feel greater power and love as a missionary. My companion, Elder Carrion, told me this week as we talked a little bit about being representatives of Jesus Christ that He had heard someone say once, "Missionaries represent Jesus Christ. Who better can help others come to know Christ than His representatives? But how can a missionary help someone else come to know Jesus Christ if they themselves do not know Him? How can you help someone come to know somebody you do not know?" These questions gave me a chance to reflect and ponder on my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and as all members of the church have been baptized and have taken His name upon us, we can all ask ourselves these same questions. Are we helping others to come to know their Savior Jesus Christ? Do we ourselves really know Him? I can testify that if we take President Nelson's challenge, we will come to know Him in a way that we may not have ever known Him before.

I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is our Redeemer, the Great Mediator, our Lord and Savior, and He lives. He loves us. He knows us. He wants us to follow Him. May we each day come to know our Savior a little bit more.

Elder Meyers

(Pictures are from a couple of weeks ago)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 44 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola familia y amigos!

It was a great week! I don’t have a ton of time, but I thought I would just tell you a little about the activity we had last Saturday. We did a multi stake public musical event for Easter, using the Prince of Peace initiative. We had soloists, small groups, and a choir made up of missionaries and members. We spent about a month planning and rehearsing the activity, putting together numbers, etc. The hermana in charge was Hna. Monica Dominguez, an hermana from the Santa Fe Norte stake. She is incredible. She has several severe, chronic health problems, and lately she has had a lot of problems with a constricted trachea that has caused her breathing to be very labored and difficult, and to tire easily and quickly. I’m going to tell you a little bit of her story, because she is probably one of the most faithful people I have ever met. She has done musical firesides for years. When she was younger, she had no idea how to play, write, or teach music. But someone gave her a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD, and she would go into her room, and for hours at a time, just listen to it over and over again, until she started singing along to the hymns. Later, she started to notice that there were other parts, and over time taught herself to pick out the alto, tenor, and bass parts as well. She grew to love music, and began singing as well. She decided she wanted to study music, but where she was living, they often needed young women to serve as short time companions for missionaries, which she did more than 20 times, always preferring to put the Lord’s call before her own desires. After that, she served a full-time mission, and by that time no longer had the availability to study music. Fast forward to now. Hna. Dominguez has multiple health problems, including a respiratory problem that has been treated many times, including three failed operations. The area calls Elder Levrino, asking him if they can do some kind of public event as a part of the Prince of Peace campaign. He, in turn, calls Presidente Cantero, the stake president in Santa Fe Norte, and asks him if he has anyone in his stake that could organize an event like that. He tells him there is one sister, but he’s not sure if she will be able to because of her health problems. Presidente Cantero calls Hna. Dominguez and tells her a little bit about the activity and asks her what she thinks about it. She knew that the following week, she was going to be hospitalized so that she could have a fourth operation on her respiratory system, but she didn’t say a word of that to her stake president. She said, (paraphrasing) “Presidente, of course I’ll do it! Why are you even asking me? This is coming from our leaders, and it comes from the Lord. When they direct, we obey. We decided when we were baptized that we would be obedient. We decided before we even came to this world that we would always be obedient. So why are you doubting? We don’t need to make that decision again and again every time something comes, because we have already made the decision! If the Lord wants us to do this, then He will obviously prepare a way.” She immediately began organizing the event, and called the mission to ask if missionaries could participate, and that was how I became involved. She attended the first rehearsal, and in that rehearsal, made it very clear to all of us that the purpose of this activity was not just to share music, or to have fun, or to perform. The one and only purpose was to invite people to hear the message of the restored gospel so that they could be baptized and make covenants with their Heavenly Father. She invited us all to internalize the messages contained in the hymns we would sing so that we could have the Spirit with us and help other feel the Spirit as well during our performance. Two days later, she was hospitalized so she could undergo further treatments and operations, this being three weeks before the event. Her release date from the hospital was unclear, and as time went on, she asked me if I could direct the choir, since she didn’t know when she would come out. This last Tuesday, Elder Orgill and I went to the hospital to visit her (she’s in a hospital right around the corner from the mission office) and to give her a blessing. But when we got there, she was the one who lifted our spirits and comforted us. We arrived, and she was out of her bed in a chair, with her phone, calling people to coordinate location, equipment, etc. We walked in, and she was just as happy as could be. Always looking at the positive side, she told us about all the miracles that she had already seen in the preparation of the event. She gave me some ideas she had to take back to the choir, and some other things to do to prepare. She praised us for being great missionaries, and told us how wonderful missionaries are and the great power that they have. She then introduced us to the other patient in her room, and began to tell us all about her life, her family, and what she needed. She had been sharing the hymns with her, and reading her scriptures, and had told her about priesthood blessings, and had told her she could have one if she wanted. Her roommate told us that she would love a blessing, so we explained a little bit about consecrated oil and the faith that is required for a blessing to work, and about how Jesus blessed the sick, and then gave both of them priesthood blessings. After that, Hna. Dominguez asked us for Prince of Peace pass along cards, so that she could give them to all the doctors and nurses that she had met. Right in the middle of that, the food nurse came by with various snacks and things that they could have. Hna Dominguez passed, but immediately pointed out that she knew that two doors down, the were two women whose family was going to visit them and bring them food, but hadn’t and that it would be wonderful if they could have food as well. I just sat there, completely amazed by this sister who couldn’t even barely stand for more than a couple of minutes without intense pain and difficulty, and heavy, labored breathing, literally 100% focused on everyone but herself, completely trusting in the Lord in all things. I was overcome. Before leaving, she asked us if we would pray for good weather for the activity, and when we promised her we would, she said she was completely at ease, because she knew that when missionaries prayed for things, it always worked out. As we left, she thanked us profoundly for having visited her and told us that we were saints. I told Elder Orgill as we walked out, I don’t think I have ever met someone as faithful and selfless as her. I was overcome with gratitude for her example and faith. On Saturday, the day of the activity, she was able to convince a nurse to accompany her to the activity. She was all dressed in her Sunday best, and although she was most likely incredibly tired and pained, she showed no signs of it as she cheerfully directed the setup and organization from a chair next to the piano. She stayed there during the whole activity, guiding and helping the choir, mouthing the words and silently encouraging them as they sang. When the activity concluded, she was full of praise and gratitude for everyone who had participated, and shortly thereafter left with the nurse to return to the hospital, so that she could prepare herself for today, Monday, when she would be transferred to a larger hospital south of Buenos Aires that has better equipment for her specific health problems.

I am so grateful that I met Hna. Dominguez. She strengthened my faith, and helped me to see so many ways that I can be better committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and forget my own needs and wants in the service of others. I have a stronger testimony that if we serve others and love them fully, we will be happy, happier than if we had spent that time on a personal hobby or pursuing personal gain. It is the way of Jesus Christ.

I am out of time, but I hope that you all can find some way this week to follow the example of Hermana Dominguez and serve others this week. If you do it, I know you will be blessed.

Elder Meyers

The choir of missionaries and members, along with (from left) Presidente Cantero (stake president Santa Fe Norte), Elder Levrino, Presidente and Hermana Perez, me, and Hna Dominquez

Me and Hna Dominguez

Directing the choir

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week 43 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola a todos!

This last week was pretty crazy. We had our mission audit this past week! The church’s policy for international missions is to audit every three years, so this was the first audit that has been done for the Santa Fe mission! The area auditor advised me the day beforehand (Wednesday) that the next day, Thursday, we would need to be in the office at 9am so that we could perform a financial audit of the mission. I have to admit, I got a little stressed. As part of an audit, we go through all of the financial processes in the mission, how we do payments, how we file receipts, how we manage budgets, how we maintain security, etc. Thursday, the area auditor came, along with the area controller, who is basically the head of finance and security for the area. The controller, Hno. Palmieri, had a meeting with Presidente, and the auditor, Hno. Martinez, met with me. We started at 9, and without breaking finished at about 2pm, with Presidente and Hno. Palmieri joining us for the last part. The two of them then headed over to Facilities Management for the afternoon, and then Hno. Martinez came back in the evening to finish reviewing a couple other processes. Luckily, after all was said and done, they were happy with the way we are running the mission and the organization we have, and gave us a couple of pointers to help us improve in a couple of areas. It was a very positive experience, and I learned a lot. As I was thinking a little bit afterwards, I felt grateful that I was prepared. After they informed me that they were coming the next day, I spent a lot of time making sure everything was in order, that the office was clean and organized, etc. But I realized as I went that all the preparation necessary for an audit is much more than can be done in one day. It’s months and even years of work. If I hadn’t been prepared beforehand there is no way that I could have done everything that I needed to do in just one day. It wasn’t possible. And then I started applying that to the plan of salvation, especially as we think about the parables of the talents and the 10 virgins. As we go through our lives, we can either prepare ourselves, or not. The gospel teaches us that every moment is part of our preparation time to meet our Heavenly Father again.

“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Alma 34:32

As President Nelson quoted President George Albert Smith in his talk from last October, “we are not here to while away the hours of this life and then pass to a sphere of exaltation; but we are here to qualify ourselves day by day for the positions that our Father expects us to fill hereafter.”

One day, a day that we don’t know, Jesus Christ will come, and we will be held accountable in that moment for all that we have done and how we have kept our stewardships. All of our lives’ manila folders and filing cabinets will be opened and examined, and how we have lived our lives will determine the rest of eternity. It’s so important that we not waste a moment, but that we always align our priorities and do the things that are most important, the things with greatest value. That way, when the day comes, we will be ready. Our testimonies will be strong, and our faith will burn bright.

Saturday we had a capilla abierta here in Rural again. We had a great experience going out and doing visits in the morning. Elder Carrion and I went out with Hno. Arriola, and we went and visited an hermana, Hna. Monzón. We invited her to the capilla abierta, and then asked her if there was anyone that she knew that we could invite. She said she had some friends and cousins that lived nearby that we could invite. We asked, her, do you want to come with us and invite them? And she said, sure! So we went with here to at least 5 houses, inviting her friends and family. It was so great to see the members getting more involved, and to see the power that comes when members participate in missionary work. I am fairly certain that if we had knocked on those doors contacting, they would have said no, but since we went with a member who already knew them, who invited them to the activity and then introduced them to the missionaries, we had a great way to find new people that we might not have been able to find otherwise. It was an uplifting, rewarding experience.

Something that I have come to learn in the mission is that hard work in a good cause brings so much satisfaction. And the greatest cause of all is the work of salvation, the work of the Lord. As I give myself and my will to Him, as I literally lose myself in His work and will, I am so satisfied and happy. As Ezra Taft Benson teaches, and as quoted in Preach My Gospel:

“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”

I love the mission, and am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity that I have to serve the Lord 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no better way that we can spend our time than serving the Lord. I would invite you all to find some way this week that you can increase the time you spend serving God. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, I promise that you will be blessed, and you will notice it.

May we each continue ever serving our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ!


Elder Meyers

Me and Hno Omar Martinez, the area auditor

Elder Carrion, Hmo Martinez, and me

These are the Prince of Peace pass along cards.  Elder Carrion and I started this last week, and our goal is to hand out a whole box this week before Easter. :)

Us going out with Hno Arriola to do visits on Saturday! 

Me with our Easter Principe de Paz banners

Elder Parker and Elder Ortega (los asistentes) dress in white for capilla abierta

Me and Elder Orgill with our purple ties for Fast Sunday!

Thanks for the little package mom!  And everyone who wrote on the cards. :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Week 42 Santa Fe Rural C Oficina

Hola todos!

What a weekend. I absolutely love General Conference. What a wonderful opportunity we have every six months to hear directly the messages and counsel our Father in Heaven desires to give to us, His children. He truly loves us, and wants us to return to Him. As we have listened to these wonderful messages, I would invite each of us to think about the things that we have felt, the impressions that we have received. Write them down. Don’t lose them. Follow the first prompting. Set goals that you would like to achieve, based on the impressions that you have received from the Holy Spirit, and then make plans that you will follow to achieve those goals. I promise that as you do this, the Lord will guide you through His Spirit, and you will feel the presence of the heavens in your life increase.

This last week, we had some great lessons. We had an especially great lesson where we went with two active members of the Elder’s quorum, Hno Arriola and Hno. Martinez, our ward mission leader, to visit one of our investigators, Exxx, who is 19 years old. We talked about the importance of coming unto Jesus Christ, and shared the new Easter video, Prince of Peace. (an excellent video, look it up and share it with the world!) It was so wonderful to see the members really getting involved, going to the homes of the investigators, getting to know them, and offering their help and assistance. Truly, member missionary work is the best way to do the Lord’s work. We as missionaries have offered to do so many things, but we can’t do them like the members can. We teach, and baptize, but that is really it. We get people started, but the members are the real champions who help them continue faithful and strong in the gospel.

One thing that I have been thinking about recently, and especially in conjunction with the messages from general conference, is the importance of charity in all that we do. As we truly love others, we do everything we can to help them grow. As President Uchtdorf taught, we shouldn’t motivate people by fear, but by love. In 2 Timothy 1:7, it states: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love”. I have felt in the mission that as my love for others has grown, my desires have changed, I have found more happiness, joy, and peace in my life. The love of Christ will change our very natures.

I know that this is the gospel of Christ, and that living prophets and apostles direct us in today’s world. May we ever learn more from His chosen servants and apply their words in our lives so that we can become more like Him.

Elder Meyers

PS Prince of Peace video:

General Conference weekend

General Conference weekend

Getting ready for the first conference session! All the English speaking missionaries, (Me, Elder Parker, Elder Orgill, Elder Pinkston, Elder Dillon) and Elder Henriquez, who has learned a lot of English, and decided to watch a couple of sessions in English. We watched it in English upstairs in the Institute room.
Conference lunchtime with Elder Carrion and Elder Henriquez
Me, Elder Orgill, Elder Maynard (laughing), Elder Sandler, Elder Duval
Presidente and Hermana Perez bought a cake for us and served it to all the missionaries who were there for conference in between afternoon and Priesthood session. They’re the best.

Priesthood session!

So, a curse turned into a blessing. There was a storm, and the satellite signal went out, so we ended up having to do internet, but the only way to do it was to take a computer from the office and set up a projector. We were worried about having a bad internet signal, but we it ended up being clear all the way through, and it was better quality than the tv that hooked up to the satellite. So that was pretty cool. Nothing better than big screen General Conference. :)
Me with Presidente and Hermana Perez

Post conference with Elder Gomez