Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 15 Concordia Nebel B



Hola a todos!

Another great week! We did lots of teaching and lots of finding this week. We've been trying to get better at talking with everyone, and we have been doing our best to talk with anyone and everyone about the gospel. We've been filling up our planners with appointments everyday, and even though a lot of times the appointments fall through, we can often talk to other people that answer the door or that are nearby, and it isn't uncommon to find someone even better prepared than the first pass. It can be hard work, it can be long (especially on hot days when nobody lets you in), but the satisfaction that comes from spreading the gospel doesn't compare. Even when people reject us or avoid us or hide from us inside their houses even when we know that they are there and they know that we know that they are there (that happens more than you might think jaja), the joy and fulfillment of doing God's work is 100% worth the price. We've also been teaching our investigators that we have right now. This week we had lessons with Txxx and Fxxx, who are two friends of Franco. Txxx is 14, and is the grandson of one of the recent converts in our branch. He recently told us that he had been praying and that he felt that he had received an answer to his prayers and that the church was true! This last week we met with his parents (who are not members) to explain what we are about as a church so that they could understand what it was that their son wanted to join. We had the meeting in the Arriola home with Hno. and Hna. Arriola, Franco, and Gabriel, the YM president in the branch. The parents had lots of questions, but everyone in turn had a chance to testify of the truth and goodness of the church and to put their doubts at rest. I have hope that in the future Txxx's parents will open up even more and be baptized as well. It was a great meeting. Fxxx also told us that he wants to be baptized! We will have to meet with his parents to see if they will give him permission or not, but if all goes well, he will be baptized on October 21st! I am so excited for Fxxx. He is still somewhat shy with us, but he is a great young man, and I know that he will do great things in the church.

We had district conference yesterday, and they changed the district presidency. It is always an interesting and uplifting experience to see the mantle passed from one member to another as they accept new callings and assignments to labor in the Lord's vineyard. What a great privilege it is to labor in the great harvest of our God! In the testimonies of those who were released, each one talked about similar things, talking about the great sacrifices that they had had to make, but the great blessings that had come in return as a result of those very sacrifices, and how the reward was much greater than the price, and that the Lord is the best paying employer of all. I know that that is true. I have seen so many blessing that have come from the sacrifices I have made during my mission, and what a great joy it is when those blessings come.

This last week I was studying a little bit in the war chapters of Alma, and as I was reading about the preparations of Capitan Moroni, a particular verse caught my attention and impressed me deeply. In Alma 49, Mormon relates that "the armies of the Lamanites were seen approaching towards the land of Ammonihah... and because [they] had destroyed it once because of the iniquity of the people, they supposed that it would again become an easy prey for them... yea, and they had also prepared themselves with shields, and with breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea, very thick garments to cover their nakedness. And being thus prepared they supposed that they should easily overpower and subject their brethren to the yoke of bondage, or slay and massacre them according to their pleasure.

Then comes the part that caused me to ponder: But behold, to their uttermost astonishment, they were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi.

As I thought about the application of this scripture to our daily lives, I realized that this has everything to do with our daily spiritual preparation against the temptations of the devil. He knows our weaknesses, because he has probably exploited them before, and he is going to keep coming back to those weaknesses stronger each time because he knows he can get us. So what do we do? We prepare ourselves, but not just in any way. We fortify our weaknesses, and trust in the promise that the Lord will turn our weaknesses into strengths (Ether 12:27). Moroni understood this, and as it says in the chapter before, he "had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God. Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting [fortifications]... And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites". Remember, this is before they even knew that the armies were coming. They knew the danger, and they knew it would come, but they did not wait until it was there to prepare. Thus, when the armies did arrive, they were prepared for them in a manner which had never been known, and "the Lamanites were disappointed in their places of retreat and they could not come upon them. Therefore they retreated into the wilderness". And then, after this great victory, what did Moroni do? He kept fortifying! They had been prepared in an outstanding way for their enemies, but even after the victory, they continued to prepare and to fortify. The same goes for our spiritual preparation. We must prepare ourselves before the temptation comes, because if it comes and we are not spiritually prepared, it will overcome us and we will lose the battle. And when we do prepare ourselves sufficiently to win the battle against temptation, what do we do? We keep preparing. We continue to fortify. May we each fortify ourselves continually that we might never succumb to the temptations of the enemy of our souls, that we might come out victorious and unscathed as the Nephites did under the direction of Moroni.

Have a great week, and invite somebody to General Conference this week!

Elder Meyers


Me and my companion, Elder Streuling




Divisions

Franco Arriola and some of his friends!  (From left): Franco, Valentin, Giovanni, Facundo, Thiago, and Tomas

Me and Elder Perez from Chile (not related to Presidente jaja) after divisions

Pictures of our apartment

Entry/living room space with a couch we made out of an old bed frame and the two extra mattresses we have for divisions. :)

Our kitchen

Back patio (including some potatoes that Elder Frey planted jaja)

Stairs

Our Jesus Christ picture that we framed last transfer with the money we had left over.  I always wanted a framed picture of Christ in my apartment. :)

Storage/wardrobe/materials room

Our bedroom with our desks for studies

Our desks




Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 14 Concordia Nebel

Hola a todos!

This week was a GREAT week! For the first time in quite a while now, we were able to dedicate the whole week just to missionary work: finding, teaching, and baptizing. And we received so many blessings this week! We found seven new investigators, and 4 of them accepted baptismal dates! What great blessings. Nebel is progressing well. Also, Maira, who the hermanas are now teaching, is going to get married the 4th of October and is going to get baptized on the 7th of October!! I am so excited for her!! She is awesome. We ran into her the other day, and she told us how excited she was to get married, and then said, but really, I'm way more excited to get baptized than I am to get married. :) She has been wanting to get baptized ever since Elder Frey and I started to teach her, and now it is going to happen! Joys of missionary work. :) Franco Arriola (16 year old member) continues to help us in incredible ways. This kid is going to be a mission president some day, seriously. We had 6 lessons with him this last week, and he scheduled all six of them for us! And during the lessons, he taught half of the doctrines himself, and he was the one who invited them to read, pray, and go to church, and he even set baptismal dates! We didn't have to do much as missionaries. We only had to show up, teach, and testify. That is missionary work at its best. We didn't even have time to be in the streets some days because we had so many lessons already set up for us, and all we had to do was go and teach. If every member did missionary work like Franco, like it says in the Book of Mormon, the very powers of hell would be shaken. I hope that one day I can be a member missionary like Franco.

I had a couple of experiences this last week that have made me think a lot about the Spirit. I came to realize that during my mission, I have come to recognize and follow the Spirit with much greater frequency, and that has definitely been one of the most fulfilling and joyful blessings of my mission. I have received a greater testimony that the Spirit is always there. We only have to listen. Sometimes, the things we are prompted to do don't make any sense, but if we follow them, the blessings and miracles that come are real. We find ourselves saying things that we never could have known that we needed to say, finding people we might never have found, and helping people in ways that they need to be helped that we had no idea even needed help. I hope we can all find the Spirit a little more in our lives, and listen to its soft but powerful promptings. I know that when we do, we become true instruments in the hands of God to bring about His great work.

Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Eating lunch at Hermana Vasquez' house

Lunch in a conference in Santa Fe!  Presidente surprised us all by taking us to a restaurant for the first time. :)

Me next to my companion, Elder Streuling.

Divisions in Federal!

Divisions with the asistentes Elder Oldham and Elder Carlassara

Divisions with Universidad!

Worldwide Service activity, we painted all of the waste bins on the riverside avenue in Concordia.  It was lots of fun, and all the members in Concordia participated.


There is a huge, beautiful park about 10 blocks from our apartment called San Carlos.  It is breathtaking.  Me and Elder Streuling often go running there in the mornings.  The pictures don't do it justice, but it is a great way to start the day.







Morning run in the park

Me and my companion, Elder Streuling.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 13 Concordia Nebel

Hola!

I have pretty much no time today, but it was a great week, me and my new companion, Elder Streuling, have been getting settled in, as well as helping the two new hermanas in our area get to know the members, the area, and their investigators (there were hermanas here before, but they left and we haven't had them basically since I got here). Elder Streuling is awesome, he is from Austin, Texas, he was a big football player before the mission (safety), his dad went to Orem High, and we finish the mission together, so it is possible that we will finish together here in Nebel. I would not complain at all. :)

I just want to testify that repentance works, and that when we manifest a change of heart to our Father in Heaven through our sincere repentance, including our actions, thoughts, and desires, he accepts the offering we give, and through the grace of Christ, we are forgiven. What a miracle, and what a blessing that we can be forgiven of our sins. May we all repent a little more often and a little more sincerely, allowing the power of Jesus Christ to infuse our lives.

Elder Meyers


Me and my new companion Elder Streuling

Eating lunch at Hermana Vasquez' house

Ariel Vasquez, me and Elder Frey

After church (before Elder Frey was transferred)

Me and Elder Frey getting a ride (before he was transferred)


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Week 12 Concordia Nebel

Hola a todos!

Well, this last week was definitely better than the week before. We still have a couple of odds and ends to tie up, but overall we should be all settled and done by the end of this week. In other news, we were surprised to find out that Elder Frey was being transferred! He went to La Paz, and Elder Streuling from Austin, Texas is my new companion. Elder Frey was pretty sad to go, he didn't want to leave Concordia, and I was pretty sad, too, because we got a long really well, and we only had two transfers together, but that's ok. Elder Streuling is cool, and we are excited to work together!

This last week we had a really cool experience. So Franco Arriola, one of the youth in our branch (16 yrs old), is awesome, and is probably the most dedicated young man I have ever met to member missionary work. He is always sharing the gospel with someone, and often follows up with us and asks what he can do to help. So this last Sunday, he and his family were giving us a ride to the church where we were going to have a lesson with an investigator, and as we rounded a corner, we saw two teenage boys outside a house. Franco told us that one of them, Fxxx, was a friend of his from elementary school, but that he hadn't talked to him in years because they had gone to different schools afterwards. He told us that he was a great kid, and that we could go visit him, and to let him know if we were going to go. So on Wednesday Elder Frey and I went and knocked on his door and contacted Fxxx. We introduced ourselves, and then got to know him a little. We set up an appointment for Friday, and told Franco that we had an appointment. Franco told us that he wanted to go with us, so he went with us. He also started messaging Fxxx before the visit to get back in contact with him. We went, and had an awesome lesson with Fxxx about the Restoration, throughout which Franco was constantly bearing testimony and backing up what we were teaching. It was a powerful lesson, and Fxxx, who had only met us two days before, and hadn't talked to Franco in years until about two days before, eagerly agreed to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and think about when he could be baptized! It was incredible. Yet another testimony for me of the power of member missionary work. I only think, if every member were to help baptize just one person in an entire year and then help that person remain active in the church, our branch would be a stake in a matter of about 5 years. How incredible is that? The church in 5 years would grow in membership from 16 million to 512 million in just 5 years. Member missionary work is surely the way the Lord intends to hasten His work.

Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Eating a delicious pineapple


Me and Elder Frey after church

Our district after church

Transfers in the terminal

Bye Elder Frey!