Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Week 24 Concordia Nebel B

Hola a todos!

What a week! Biggest news, FACUNDO GOT BAPTIZED!!! We were so excited! So, we have been teaching Facundo for 3 months now, and he was always so willing to keep commitments and put into practice what we taught him. However, his parents didn't want to give him permission to be baptized. His first fast sunday, we invited him to fast with us so he could be baptized (in October). He did it, but didn't receive permission that whole month. We invited him to fast with us again in November, so that he could be baptized the last week of November, the 25th. We worked with him all month, met with his mom, prayed for him, and practiced with him what he could say to his parents. As we entered this last week, he still didn't have permission, and we were planning his baptism for Saturday, after the combined capilla abierta that we were going to have with Nebel and Concordia. On Wednesday morning, we talked with him, and he told us that Thursday night he would talk with his dad again (previously his dad had told him that he would have to wait until he was 18 to be baptized). We practiced his testimony with him, and then decided that we would fast one more time on Thursday so that he could receive permission. Friday morning, we got up and sent a message to Franco, his friend, and asked him if he had heard anything, and he told us that his dad had given him permission!!! We jumped up and down we were so excited. We did his baptismal interview that same day, and he was baptized by Franco on Saturday and confirmed Sunday. We are so happy.

The capilla abierta was awesome as well. It was combined between the two branches that share our church, Nebel and Concordia. We had a TON of people come, and lots of member participation! Also, we had a baptism pop up out of nowhere, and for the first time, we baptized someone during the capilla abierta! Story: the hermanas in Federal had a young woman who had received all of the lessons, received permission from her mom to be baptized, and had had her baptismal interview, but she didn't want to be baptized yet. She came to the capilla abierta with the hermanas, and during the part where the two elders dressed in white teach about baptism at the baptismal font, they invited her to be baptized, and she said that she wanted to baptized right now! We talked about it, called Presidente Perez, and called her mom, and Presidente told us to go for it, so right then and there we organized a brief baptismal service in between tours, and then the people visiting the church saw a real baptism performed! It was pretty cool. Then, after the capilla abierta, we had a district-wide baptismal service, with 3 baptisms from the Universidad branch, 2 from the Concordia branch, and 2 from our branch (Nebel), all of them young men and young women. All of the members stayed, and the district presidency conducted, there was an attendance of almost 100 people, and it was an amazing experience. So spiritual, and I can't think of a better way to end a transfer. :)

In other news, we passed Thanksgiving with the Arriola family, and we made pumpkin pie with squash, and it actually turned out exactly like real pumpkin pie. It was the first pie I have ever made in my life. :) But it brought the spirit of Thanksgiving, and the Arriolas loved it.

Also, we had a surprise when we found out transfers. Elder Streuling was transferred to Rafaela for his last two weeks! So we are not finishing the mission together. So I am here now with Elder Urzua from Santiago, Chile! First Chilean companion. :)

No time left, but just a quick thought from my studies this week. I was studying PMG, chapter 3, lesson 1 (the Restoration). As I read about prophets, I came across this sentence: All people have the gift of agency, which includes the freedom to accept or reject the gospel as taught by the prophets and apostles. Those who choose to obey are blessed, but those who ignore, reject, or distort the gospel do not receive God’s promised blessings.

As I read that, it really stuck out to me that the gospel is so straightforward: blessings are decisions. We decide whether we want to be blessed or not. God has given us commandments so that we know how to be blessed, and then we have the choice to receive those blessings or not, based on our actions. So why would we ever choose not to be blessed?

I love the gospel, I love this work, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and this is His Church.

Have a great week! Light the world!

Elder Meyers

Lunch with Hno. Reyna this week!  I had a sweet Mexican sombrero :)

He bought Dulce de Leche and Oreo cheesecake because it was Elder Streuling's birthday...It was SO god.

After that, we had ice cream to celebrate Elder Streuling's birthday after district meeting :)

Maira, the younger sister of Fabrizio from Federal.  I also did her baptismal interview, and she is also awesome.

Pumpkie pie!!  (well, really, it was squash pie jaja)

Me, Elder Streuling, Franco, and Hna Arriola after lunch

With the new llumina el Mundo banner in the capilla abierta!

FACUNDO GOT BAPTIZED  (more pictures next week)

Me, Elder Streuling, and Ayelen, our gospel principles teacher and a huge help with member missionary work :)

Bye Elder Streuling!

And me with my new companion, Elder Urzua :)

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. :)