Friday, August 31, 2012

Dear Family,

Sorry about the short letters, I will try and beef them up.

I had an awesome week that went by really fast! I don't feel like I have been hear for 4 weeks already! Alex Haywood wrote and said he was coming on the 5th and I am really excited! I haven't met many people I already know. I met sister Goerring's sister I think. She is going to Italy! My district changed a lot this week - 2 of the Elders left for the Dominican Republic on Wednesday so now my district has 8 Elders.

We finally got teachers that will be around for the rest of the time I am in the MTC! So far I've had 14 teachers, because school is starting up so a lot of the teachers left. So we had substitutes up till this week. Hermana Runyon is one of my teachers and she served her mission in the northern part of Argentina. She said that just about every day she could look across the river and see Paraguay! Most of the Paguayans she met were maids who crossed the river to work in Argentina. She said it looked beautiful so I'm really excited to work down there. One of the substitutes (Hermano Black's) brother just got back from Paraguay and his advice was to try and teach the people as simply as possible and try to use a lot of object lessons because the education in Paraguay is sucky. Many people can't read.

I have gotten used to the food and meal times. I have the same meal times as Scott had. Breakfast at 7; lunch at 11:30; and dinner at 4:30. My roommates are loaded with candy, cinnamon roles, and chips. They are from Utah and their parents drop off stuff for our whole district every other day so I'm okay after dinner.

Something awesome about the MTC is that in the dorms they have holes behind these metal plates that I believe are there in case they want to install a socket, but they are used for hiding stuff in. Missionaries who leave for the field hide treasures in these holes or in the ceiling panels or air vents and they are called Narnia holes. I have found a vent full of 20 bags of chips, a sticky hand, a shield made out of a desk top, Nerf guns, 4000 stickers, etc.

I have heard of some weird stuff people hide too like and Easter eggs full of toenail clippings or a bag of lint. There are some awesome relics too - like in a ceiling panel I found a bunch of signatures of missionaries from the 90's.

Elder Pack and I are getting a lot better at teaching people in Spanish. We have two new investigators: Angel (which is a guy!) and Gabby. We taught both the first lesson and it went really well.

I hope everybody is doing good!

Elder Neifert

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Purpose... in Spanish

Hello family!

Thank you for the letters! I had a really good week...

Elder Neil L Andersen came to speak at the MTC on Tuesday! It was amazing!! When he walked into the room everybody stood up out of respect, and before I could even see him, I could feel what kind of power and love this man had for the gospel. He had some really great quotes and insights about missionary work! One quote that I really liked - he said to let the Lord shape your back to bear the burdens placed on your shoulders. He also centered a lot of what he said on "our purpose as missionaries". Which is something that a lot of the missionaries have memorized... and it is kind of weird, but I have memorized it in Spanish and I cannot say it word for word in English yet. The purpose is to "invitar a las personas a venir a cristo al ayudarlas a que reciban el evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en jesucristo y su expiacion, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, y la recepcion del don del espiritu santo y el perseverar hasta el fin." (translation: “Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.")

My companion and I have also been teaching two new investigators! One of them, when we first knocked on the door, talked to us through the crack in his door and spoke really fast Spanish so it was really tough to keep up. He asked a question about if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, which in Spanish has a word that sounds like testify in it... so I thought he asked if we were there to testify of Christ and so I said, "Yes!"... and then he slammed the door. We knocked again and cleared up that we weren't Jehovah's Witnesses, but it was kind of funny.

Something else that was really awesome about this week: I feel like my Spanish has gotten a ton better! I can teach a lesson without saying, "umm" or "uhhh" half the time! I still am pretty bad... but not horrible.

I also taught a guy from South Korea who spoke Spanish which was insane because he still had a South Korean accent and he was also partially blind. The lesson went great though and we taught him about the restoration of the gospel and the importance of families.

One of my teachers that I worked with in a workshop is Cap Sanders! He said to say hello.

Any way I love you guys and I hope you are all doing well!!! I sent some letters home that should be there in a couple of days, I think.


Elder Seth Neifert

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dear Family,
Friday is actually my P-day. It was just different the first week. In my district I think there are 5 of us going to Paraguay, 2 to the Dominican Republic, and 3 going to New Jersey. All speaking Spanish.

In answer to your question, "Are they all seriously workers or are some still growing up?", I think they all know how to work but there comes a point after 5 hours of study that everyone doesn't look grown up anymore. They are good missionaries and I believe we are all working to be the best missionaries possible. Yesterday after studying for a really long time we took a break and had a chair race around the building... and also a caterpillar lap where we all get in a chair with wheels and only the front person is allowed to use his feet to pull forward and the rest of us have to hold onto the chair in front of us and pull and push . It looks awesome.

At the MTC [Missionary Training Center] they have some amazing devotionals and videos of talks... I honestly don't think we could see them anywhere other than the MTC . Elder Evans of the 70 and his wife came for the devotional this week and it was definitely the highlight of the week. I also saw a really good talk by Elder Bednar. We got our fake investigator Jorge to commit to baptism! I don't know how we did it because when Elder Pack talked - I had no clue what he was saying and I am guessing it was the same for him about me, but I asked him and he said yes.

The food here looks great! it is just that you feel weird afterwards. The vegetables are really good; it's the main courses that are funky. is the best way to get letters to me because I get them next day! I can only email once a week so it will take a while for me to respond. The investigators are all either actors or teachers from the MTC. I will send some pictures next week because I forgot my camera today.

I love you guys!

Elder Neifert

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First E-mail Home

Hey Family!

I am having a great time at the MTC! My companion is Elder Pack from Orem, Utah. He is an awesome comp. In my "residence" (its not called a dorm or apt. or crib, out of respect I guess...) we have 6 elders and 4 small closets, so it is pretty tight. I have the top bunk over Elder Pack and I have to jump and climb pretty high to get up, but it is good exercise. I had a sort of hang up with my shots and they need me to have all of the dates for my tetanus shot and my MMR shot along with any other dates for shots that you can give me by next week. I thought I had all the paper work but I guess not... you can just email me the dates they said. The classes I have here are amazing! I can feel the spirit super strong. Especially when we teach investigators. We taught investigators as a big group at first in English, but yesterday we taught our first Spanish investigator in Spanish. It was okay, but it had a lot of quiet time in it as well because me and Elder Pack had to ask each other what words meant. We set up an appointment for today so we will see how it goes! The food is good in that I can eat as much as I want, but it is also a little weird and I cant figure out what it is. The days are long because they keep us so busy studying and going to devo's and classes but it is amazing how much Spanish I have already picked up! I feel like I have learned more Spanish in the last 2 days than all the last 2 years of Spanish I took in high school. I hope everyone is doing great and that you're having fun starting school. I love you guys!

Elder Neifert

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Letter from the MTC Presidency

Elder Neifert entered the MTC this afternoon. We got to talk with him before he left and he sounded excited and ready to serve!

He received the following the week before his arrival in the MTC:

Dear Elder Garrett Seth Neifert,

Congratulations on your call to serve! We are excited about your arrival at the Provo Missionary Training Center next week and are grateful for your decision to serve the Lord. We would like to share some important information about your stay at the MTC.

This will be your MTC mailing address:

Elder Garrett Seth Neifert
MTC Mailbox # 310
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Please share this address with those who may want to write or send packages to you while you are in the MTC. Please pay particular attention to the following items:

1. Your service begins the day you check into the MTC. Remind your family that complete separation from loved ones is part of the sacrifice that families and missionaries contribute to the work. For this reason, you should ask your family and friends not to attempt to see or visit with you while you are at the MTC, not even during your temple walks or at other places near the MTC.
2. All missionary mail must come through the US Mail or commercial delivery services. These services should not be used to send pizzas, fast foods, ice-cream, or any items that will spoil if they are not refrigerated within 24 hours. Missionaries are not called out of class to receive packages, nor do they have access to a refrigerator. For security reasons, we cannot accept any items delivered by hand.
3. Communication with family can be done through your missionary email account on your weekly Preparation Day. Communication to you from friends should be through letters mailed to the above address. We cannot accept telephone calls for missionaries.
4. Families and friends should not visit missionaries as they depart to their field of labor, whether at the MTC or at the airport.

Please do not reply to this email. If you need to communicate with the MTC, please call 801-422-2602.


Provo MTC Presidency