Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 7 Concordia Nebel B

Hola a todos!

A crazy week, but a great one. Olga got baptized! It was a wonderful experience. Her son is the branch president of the other branch that meets in our building, and it was so easy to see the joy on his face during the baptismal service that his mother was going to enter the waters of baptism and become of member of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, entering the gateway to the path that leads to eternal life and eternal families. It was a day to remember, and we are so happy for her. We did almost nothing to prepare her, she was already prepared. We only had the privilege of teaching her the missionary lessons and helping her organize her baptism. It was a great blessing. And this next week, she is headed to the temple in Buenos Aires to do baptisms! We are so excited for her. :)

Besides that, we spent a lot of time traveling this last week to Santa Fe for a leadership conference. It was an uplifiting and very spiritual experience, as it always is, but they were long trips back and forth. :) But I am more firmly convinced every time that Presidente Perez is set apart and inspired. He is following the will of God, and it shows and can be felt in the Spirit that permeates when he teaches. I love him.

We've been talking a lot about the Spirit lately in our mission, and it is coming to be one of my very favorite topics. The other day, Elder Frey and I watched the biography of President Monson, On the Lord's Errand, which I've watched several times during my mission, and every time I watch it, I am so impressed and inspired by President Monson's complete commitment to follow the impressions of the Spirit. If you haven't seen it, or if you have, I would encourage you to watch it. I'm pretty sure it's less than an hour, but it is so worth the watch. I have learned so many things from President Monson's example. He is another one of my heroes. :)

I hope you all have a great week, and I love you all!

Elder Meyers

Presidente Perez

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Week 6 Concordia Nebel B

Hola a todos!

Another great week! Unfortunately we weren't able to work as much as we wanted, because Elder Frey began to have bronchitis symptoms, and the doctor told us he couldn't leave the apartment for four days, so that complicated things a little, but in spite of that, we were still able to get things done making phone calls, and me doing divisions to go to important appointments. Oxxx continues to progress. She accepts everything so easily, and is ready to give up coffee and tea and pay tithing without hesitation. Her daughter is progressing, too! As we were teaching the two of them about a week ago, as we were finishing the lesson, I just had the strongest impression that we needed to go the next time with Hna Arriola, a sister from our ward and the RS president. So we set a time and invited her to go with us. That following appointment was so powerful. As we got there, we found out that Hna. Arriola and Oxxx (the daughter) had known each other for many, many years, and that Hna Arriola had always been a huge example of faith for her. As we went through the lesson, Hna. Arriola basically taught everything specifically to the needs of Oxxx that she knew about and that there was no way we could have known about. We saw her change so much during the lesson as Hna. Arriola talked to her, and it was like her countenance completely lit up and she opened much more to the gospel. She is now reading the Book of Mormon, and will attend the baptism of her mother on Saturday, as well as church on Sunday! What an incredible change. Truly miracles can happen when we follow the promptings of the Spirit.

I have little time left, but we also had zone conference this past week, which was excellent! We learned a lot about consecration, and how we become consecrated when we align our will with God's will. But the way to learn God's will for us is through the Spirit, so we have to live our lives so that we can have the Spirit. Four things that Preach My Gospel teaches us that we need to do to have the Spirit are pray with faith, repent, keep the commandments, and work. Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like faith, repentance, baptism, and endure to the end. I love the doctrine of Christ. :)

Have a great week everyone, and seek for the Spirit!

Elder Meyers
Zone Conference in Concordia

Zone conference with Elder Soto and Elder Contreras

Zone conference with Elder Frey, Leo (a young man from Nebel) and Hno. Reyna, our ward mission leader and cook for the zone conference lunch :)

Making torta frita (with dulce de good)

Torta frita

Cleaning our apartment on one of Elder Frey's sick days! :)

In honor of Pioneer day, yesterday morning before we got ready we put on Tabernacle Choir songs about pioneers and did our best to dress up as pioneers jaja

And then missionary style :)

My notes from zone conference on the consecration process involving the Spirit (sorry, it's in Spanish)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 5 Concordia Nebel B

Hola familia y amigos!

We had a great week! The biggest news is that we received an AWESOME referral from the branch president, Presidente Nuñez, of the Concordia branch, the other branch that meets in our church building. It was his mom! Last Sunday he introduced us to her at church (he had already taken her two times to church with him, and she loved it). We set up an appointment with her, and went to our first appointment with our branch mission leader. It was an amazing lesson! She is so ready for the gospel. About a month ago her husband died after a little more than 50 years of marriage. It's been a little hard for her, and she absolutely loved learning about the plan of salvation. We taught her the first three lessons this week and she loved it all. Her husband didn't believe in God, and told her that it was just something that people made up in their heads. She said that she has always believed in God, but that besides his lack of belief in God, he was an amazing person, unselfish, always serving. She hadn't ever been baptized before because of her husband, but now she is ready. We set a baptismal date for her for the 29th of July, and she is super excited! She is telling everyone that she is going to be baptized the 29th. :) We are so happy for her and for her family. We also started teaching her daughter, Pte. Nuñez' only sister. She has a lot of great questions about the plan of salvation, and we hope that we can help her resolve her questions.

Axxx continues to progress, slowly but surely. He is still looking for an answer. He loves everything we are teaching him, but still hasn't felt like he has received an answer. However, as he talks with us, he talk more and more every time as if God really exists. In the beginning it was all theoretical, but slowly it seems he is accepting it. We are praying that he will be touched by the Spirit and recognize his Heavenly Father speaking to him.

Besides that, we spent the week teaching, finding, and doing service. We moved some more people back to their homes (from the flooding). There's a recent convert here named Hno. Cáceres, he and his wife were baptized a little less than a year ago, they're about 60 years old, and he was a truck driver his whole life, and still has a huge truck with a big bed that we used to move everything. He joked with us that when we get to Utah we can start our own moving business because we're such experts now on moving furniture, fridges, and washing machines (why are they so heavy??).

Just to tell a little bit about the Cáceres couple, they are my heroes. I have never seen such strong converts to the gospel in all my life. They do not seem at all to have been baptized less than a year ago. Like another hermano from the branch said, they lived their whole lives ready to be baptized. They never miss a Sunday, they serve others all the time, the go out and visit less actives and recent converts, they take people to church, they help plan activities, and more. And it's easy to see why when you look at their family. Their children and grandchildren (that we've met) all respect and love them so much. It's easy to tell that they raised their children in as close to a gospel-centered home as you can get without the gospel. In a few months they are headed to the temple to be sealed!! I am so excited for them. They are my heroes.

This week I gave a talk about the importance of member missionary work. I would invite everyone to go back and read Elder Oaks talk from last October about sharing the Restored Gospel. It is full of wonderful advice and counsel. I focused especially on the importance of the doctrine of Christ, or, in other words, Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. It says in Preach My Gospel, "The gospel of Jesus Christ defines both your message and your purpose; that is, it provides both the 'what' and the 'why' of missionary work." If we truly understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, we understand what it is that we need to share with the world, as well as why we even do missionary work. We all know that "there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ...whereby man can be saved." (2 Nephi 25:20) So, if only through faith and repentance on the Lord Jesus Christ we can accomplish the very purpose we came to this earth to accomplish, we should do all in our power to help our brothers and sisters to return to the home they left with such great faith and hope. It is our greatest responsibility, our greatest privilege, and our greatest joy. May we each do all that we can to help our fellow man to come to know his Savior, Jesus Christ, Lord of All and Redeemer of the world.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Me and Elder Frey with Elder Bragg (of  the Seventy) and his wife!

After divisions with Elder Chaname!  Awesome missionary, born in Peru and lives in Buenos Aires.

Me and Elder Chaname

Our branch mission leader, Hno Reyna is a returned missionary from Mexico and has a Mexican restaurant called La Catrina.  His food is really good.  These are some pictures of his restaurant (we eat lunch with him there every Tuesday).  I love that in his counter with a bunch of Mexican cultural pictures, he snuck in a picture of President and Sister Hinckley in front of the Mexico City Temple.  Always preaching the gospel. :)

So, I got a pretty nice stye in my eye this last week...But we just told everyone that Elder Frey got mad at me and hit me in the face jaja

Our moving adventures!  We helped our elders quorum president take everything out of the church and move it back to his house.

After the first move Hno Caceres took us in his truck to help some non member friends of his.  This is us in the back of his truck.

Me and Elder Frey making a hasbrown patty :)

Elder Frey during our weekly planning going over some former investigator records

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 4 Concordia Nebel B

Hola a todos!

So, this past week, the hermanas who were here in Nebel with us had an emergency transfer to another part of the mission. We might be getting more hermanas in the future, but for now we were left with all of Nebel. Our area is now twice as big, and we have twice as much work! But it is the best. So many people to teach, so many people to find, so many members to participate! We're having a great time.

This last week we had a mission conference with Elder Mark A. Bragg of the Seventy. He is the second counselor in the South America South Area Presidency and a General Authority. What an amazing man! He was so full of the Spirit, so kind, loving, but firm. When he talked, we could just immediately feel his love for each of us as missionaries. He talked to us a lot about the importance of being obedient, and the power that comes from keeping God's commandments. He also talked to us about how to better work with members and help them understand that this is THEIR work, not ours. He told us how in Handbook 2 of the Church, it talks about Member Missionary Work. Not just missionary work, but MEMBER missionary work, and what role the missionaries play in that work. Something that he talked about as well was the importance of family history and temple work in missionary work. He told us that us missionaries on this side of the veil have the great opportunity to teach children of God and help them be baptized and receive essential ordinances. However, the missionaries who are working on the other side of the veil don't have the opportunity to baptize those they teach. They can, however, help us to find descendants of the people they teach, so that they in turn can search out their ancestors that have already been taught, and perform baptisms on their behalf. Every convert that joins the church is not just one soul, not just generations of descendants, but generations of ancestors as well! How great is the importance of missionary work! Overall, it was an inspiring conference, and I received a lot of personal revelation.

Our investigator Axxx is progressing well! We had an awesome lesson this last week with a member present, and we taught the Restoration in depth. He had so many great questions, and just wanted to know everything! He has health challenges, and having to take care of his wife, who has more challenges than him, he wasn't able to come to church, but he has great desires to learn. It has made me think about my own desires to learn. As he listened to us teach about these eternal principles and truths, he was truly feasting upon our words. I began to ask myself, Am I feasting upon the words of Christ like Axxx? Do I hunger and thirst after righteousness? I think we can all learn from his example and more earnestly seek to learn the doctrine of Christ and learn how to better put it into practice in our lives.

I hope that we can all comprehend the importance of learning the gospel, putting it into practice, and then sharing it with others. Missionary work is the work of God. It is is the work of salvation, and it is the work of every member in the church. It is not something new. This is a work that began long before this life, as we taught the doctrines to our brothers and sisters. The plan of salvation IS missionary work. May we share the gospel in every opportunity we have, and honor the covenants that we have made!

Elder Meyers

Happy 4th of July!  Elder Pinkston and Elder Carrion came to Concordia for some office business on Tuesday (the 4th), and we were all in red, white, and blue (even Elder Carrion!) so obviously we had to take a picture.  Elder Carrion was my companion, and Elder Frey trained Elder Pinkston, so we have good connections. :)

Our 4th of July fare:  hamburgers and french fries, ice cream, and root beer (made with some A&W packets that Elder Frey had).  It was good.

Me and Elder Frey on the 4th of July

Selfie in our hotel room in Parana the night before the mission conference

Lunchtime after the mission conference with Elder Bragg

Lunch with Elder Frey, Elder Garaza, and Elder Oldham

Lunch with Elder Gomez and Elder Carlassara

With Elder Ortega before he cuts the cake

The cakes

Me, Elder Jensen, Elder Morrill

Me and Elder Smith! (he's in La Paz now)

Me and Elder Jaramillo

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 3 Concordia Nebel B

Saludos familia y amigos!

Another week in Concordia! We're finally starting to get settled in, but the pace still hasn't slowed down one bit. This last week, the assistants, Elder Gomez and Elder Oldham, came and did divisions with us. They got here Wednesday night (and we celebrated my birthday together), Thursday we worked together in our area, and then Friday I went with Elder Gomez and Elder Oldham went with Elder Frey, and we did divisions with other missionaries in Concordia. Me and Elder Gomez went to Universidad where we were with Elder Fajardo and Elder Garibay. It was an MTC district reunion!! We were just missing Elder Jaramillo and we would have all been there. Elder Gomez and Elder Oldham headed home Saturday morning, so they were with us for a good part of the week. We got a lot done, and made some great plans to be better missionaries.

We are still playing the finding game. Our one solid investigator decided to drop us this week. :( She was progressing really well, but her uncle, who is an evangelical pastor, found out she was talking with Mormon missionaries and started filling her head with a bunch of things about Mormons, and she decided she didn't want to talk anymore. We were sad, but hopefully she can accept the gospel further along. We found some great new investigators this last week, and as we slowly build our investigator pool, we have lots of faith that there can be lots of baptisms in Nebel in the coming months. The members are getting involved, and it is just exciting to be a part of everything, of this great work the Lord has called us to.

As I was studying this week, I was reading in Alma 28 and 29. As I put two verses together, I was able to reflect and learn a lot more about the importance of consecration in the work of the Lord. In 28:14, and then 29:6, it says:

And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.

Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?

The great question is that: if we have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, why should we desire to do anything more or less than to perform the work to which we have been called, the work of salvation of the souls of men? We came to the earth for one purpose, and one purpose only: to gain salvation and exaltation by living the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to help our brothers and sisters to gain that very same privilege. In that light, any other "purpose" in life is empty and void of real reward. May we all reflect on this question and think about what we can do this coming week and month to more greatly consecrate ourselves to the work of the Lord.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Me and Elder Frey fixing a bed the night we got here in Concordia

Presidente y Hna Perez gave me a box of chocolates as a thank you for my time in the office.  It was so nice of them. :)

Me and Elder Frey with the chocolates

The box of chocolates

Me and one of the chocolates (they were SO GOOD)

Elder Frey and I did a service for a member our first full day in Concordia, we painted her gate and her dog house

Me, Hna Pena and Elder Frey with the gate

Me, Hna Pena and Elder Frey with the doghouse

Flooding in Concordia

Flooding in Concordia

Breakfast selfie

More flooding

Divisions with the elders in Federal, Elder Romo and Elder De la Rosa

Me new desk (not quite as big as my last desk but sill nice jaja)

Divisions with asistentes:  Me, Elder Gomez, Elder Oldham, Elder Frey

Feliz cumple to me and Elder Gomez (his birthday was Saturday)

Ice cream cake to celebrate

Divisions day 1 with Elder Oldham

Divisions day 2 with Elder Gomez

There was a ton of fog the day that we went out with Elder Gomez, it was already starting to lift, but when we first got up, you could barely see the other side of the street.

On the colectivo in divisions with Elder Garibay

Divisions with the elders in Universidad.  Me, Elder Fajardo, Elder Garibay, and Elder Gomez!  We were only missing Elder Jaramillo to make our MTC district complete. :)

Selfie with Elder Gomez after a long day

Me, Elder Frey and Elder Oldham with burritos!  We ordered them from our branch mission leader who has a Mexican restaurant (He is from Mexico City)

The burrito

Me so happy with a real Mexican burrito

The classic Argentina missionary lunch:  fideos con salsa y queso rallado, pan, y tang de naranja (noodles with red sauce and parmesan cheese, bread, and Tang juice orange flavor)

Fast Sunday purple tie!

Our district (missing the two elders from Concordia B)

Elders and Tomas Arriola, the little brother of Diego Arriola from Rural (his family is from Concordia), Tomas left on his mission today to Piura Peru

More pictures from when I was in Santa Fe:

Me and Juan Levrino

Me and Juan and Hna Levrino

Me and Bishop Baigorria (an amazing bishop)

Me and Elder Levrino

Presidente and his new granddaughter that was visiting!

Last week of office pictures:  Me and Hno Gonzalo Paz, the South America South Area mission accountant.

Funny faces :)

Me, Hno Gonzalo, and Elder Morrill

Me and Juan

Last check cashed as financial secretary

Heading to the bank

Last time driving the truck

In our mission leadership conference, we took a picture with all the elders who were there who were in my group (there's alot).  Hna White was also in our group (and conveniently was wearing white that day), so they put her in a chair, and then Hna Perez gave her a bouquet of flowers to hold jaja not sure why, but it was a fun picture.  We all looked at it afterwards and started laughing because it looked like some kind of bridal picture jaja oh well.

Me and Elder Guevara! (he finished his mission this last week)  I'm wearing his Pokemon hat, because he would go around and "capture" missionaries with his Pokeball hat and then take pictures with them.  He was an awesome missionary.  

Me and the Hermanas from our district

Last picture with the office elders