Monday, March 25, 2013


Dear Family,

This week we did a lot better than last week!  We worked trying to reach all of our goals.  We did a division with the Zone Leaders and I was with Elder Jensen who is around 6´7 and played defense for BYU.  He is about to go home in June,  so he shared a lot of good tips with me and I learned a ton from him.  One thing is how important setting goals are and what significance they have.  Every morning we set goals about how many lessons we want to teach and how many new investigators we want.  Those goals are set according to the spirit and what impressions we have for that day, meaning that they are set according to the will of God.  Which means that if we don't meet the goals, we fall short and missed an opportunity to meet someone that God had in mind for us. Which is why its so important to be in tune with the spirit. As I worked with Elder Jensen, when an appointment fell through he would say, "Well I guess there is somebody else around here that needs to hear our message" and so we would find them.  Nothing happens for no reason!  God knows what citas (appointments) will fall and where we need to be every day.  Its our job to figure that out!  It was amazing how many quality investigators we found by having this mindset as we worked! 

Elder Lewis is pretty funny guy and we are getting better and better at teaching and working together.  Learning the language does have funny moments. Yesterday Elder Lewis told a girl in Guarani that he hates all children, when what he meant was he hates mosquito! HAHAHA! She looked at him really funny. I hope to send some more pics soon, but I forgot my camera. 

I also am now the jovenes (youth) teacher every Sunday, so I have had a lot more pressure to better my Spanish.  Its coming along okay.    I taught last week about missionary work and trusting in the Lord, even when we don't see the fruits of our labor.  We read about Abinadi and talked about how from his point of view he probably thought his mission was to preach and warn the hardhearted people of King Noah. What he might not have imagined is how his words touched the heart of Alma who then converted people at the Waters of Mormon, and then had a son Alma the younger who influenced the sons of Mosiah, and them came around Helaman and Lehi and Nephi who all converted an enormous amount of people.  Its an awesome thing that the chain of righteousness and powerful leaders of Gods church all came out of the fountain of a testimony being born in the face of opposition and death. 

I love you guys and I hope you are all doing well!


Elder Neifert

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Companion - Elder Lewis

Dear Family,

This week was a crazy one.  I got a new companion, Elder Lewis, from Rigby, Idaho. He will be going home on April 25, so I will be his companion until then. I have learned a lot from him already and it`s a huge blessing to be the companion of someone who has been here for almost 2 years. So Elder Hatch said goodbye to everyone on Tuesday.  On Wednesday I got Elder Lewis and we took a taxi all the way back to Arroyos (3 hrs).  We got in the house and he put down his luggage and found the phone of his old companion in his pocket. So we hopped on a collectivo going to Asuncion and gave the phone to the office and then we asked directions from a guy to get to Caucupe and he gave us bad directions... so we ended up in the South Mission in Nemby (pronounced nymbuh). Maybe Brother Goerring's been there - its like 45 min outside of Asuncion or so.  We went back to Asuncion and spent the night there and then very humbly and with our tails between our legs left the next morning and got home at around 3 in the afternoon because of traffic. We didn't have time to do much teaching this week because I took Elder Lewis around to all the members houses and showed him the area. We did have a few inactive member lessons and they came to church after about 6 months of inactivity - and that was two different families!!!
 (Mom asked Elder Neifert what he generally does on his Preparation days)
What I do on p - days:
( since we are pretty much isolated and live on a truck stop, here are things I do)
1. I am carving a billy club
2. I write letters to you guys
3. We buy food
4. Elder Hatch was teaching me the piano
5. Sometimes we go to Caucupe and play soccer, but the trip takes about half the p-day
6. I sometimes wash my shirts or garments if needed (the washing lady doesn't get out stains very well).
7. We burn the trash in the backyard.
Its different every p-day, but those are usually the things I do.
It was kind of a slow week, but it will get better because we wont be on buses for 2 days. 

(He mentions sending more pictures, but forgot to attach them. Will update the blog when they are sent.) One is an avocado heart that this member gave me, another is Elder Phippen and I (we came to Paraguay together and he is going out to Conception), the others are Elder Hatch and I with our traditional native old guy shirts.
I want to send you guys a package, but the dollar has been down the last month or two and I'm waiting to exchange my money when the rate levels out or else I will lose a lot.
It sounds like a ton of changes are going on at home! I hope you guys are all doing well!
Elder Neifert

Monday, March 11, 2013

End of Transfer

That is funny you guys forgot about daylight savings! I bet everybody was wondering what happened to you guys. I don't know if it is going to get colder or not.. it was like 100 yesterday. I think we'll start seeing it in April.
The change ends this Wednesday and Elder Hatch has been here since November, so I think he's a goner and I will get another new comp. We'll see what happens, but this will be my 5th companion already.
This week I did a division with Elder Hokanson, who is 2 months in and is still learning Spanish. So I led all of the lessons and he would share his testimony when I gave him the sign, or he would hop in when he knew what was going on. It reminded me a lot of how it was when I couldn't speak as well and felt completely out of the loop. My Spanish isn't perfect at all, but I know I've been blessed a ton so that people can for the most part understand me. 
We had one lesson where the investigator got pooped on by a bird. 
We also did a lot of talking about the virgin for some reason. It seemed like every single contact we did would go off about how we don't believe in the virgin and how they could never join a church that didn't. So we would go through the same old explanation about how we do believe in the virgin and that she was the mother of Christ and was a virgin, but we don't pray to her or worship her alongside God or Christ. Then we would share a scripture in the Bible about it. The funny thing is that a lot of times when we explain things using the Bible and we think it's clear, they do not and simply say, "I do not believe that."  A big lesson that I sometimes forget about is that we as missionaries do not convert anyone. It is the spirit and the influence of God that converts them and if they do not feel that spirit testifying of what is true nothing will come out of what we are saying.
Also Elder Hokanson and I ate some pig skin this week that they had fried or something.   It was pretty crunchy. Elder Hokanson said he almost hurled.
I hope everybody is doing well! I WANT TO HEAR FROM REBEKAH! I haven't heard from her in a long time and I want your email address Rebekah so I can write you and send stuff.
I found some Pan Felipe for Fil 
The Dominguez family

The Arroyos branch

Monday, March 4, 2013

Edi and Ipifanio

Dear Family,

This week Elder Hatch and I were a little sick, but we still got a little work done.  We are better now.  

We ate lunch at President's house, (I assume this means Branch President, not Mission President) which is really far. We ate some noodles with meat and some burnt flan (I think that got us sick).  They also had a baby cow that was 8 days old.  
 We got the hermana to wack the mom with a stick so we could touch it - hahaha.  
I think the next time we go were going to milk their cow. 
On the way to presidents we passed by some mamón farms.
  Mamón are a really nasty fruit here that a lot of people give us.  They are called mamón from the word mamar, "to nurse" - so it is all around a weird fruit to eat. 

We found a really neat family this week as well!  Her name is Edi and his is Ipifanio.  They called us to come over when we were walking in front of their house.  They had been really humbled because he lost his job and they felt that they were missing something in their family.  So we taught them and I felt impressed to talk about cleaning the inside before we can clean up the outside of our lives.  She really latched on to that and has agreed to be baptized, so we will see what happens.  The spirit told me what to say in that lesson. We were going to start with Lesson 1 and I felt impressed to change it.  And because of that my testimony that God knows us personally has grown a ton.  He knew what Edi and Ipifanio needed better than Elder Hatch or I. He loved them enough to give them trials needed for them to see what they were missing in their lives.

I'm really excited about them.  From what I hear nobody has baptized in Arroyos y Esteros for over a year.   

The people here all work in sugar cane fields and in the factory so they are super hard working and really fun to teach.  Here are some pictures of the sugar cane fields.

Also the ones of the sunset with that big building is in Caucupe. and that is the ginormous Basilica.

I hope you are all doing well!

Love, Elder Neifert
Here are some additional photos Elder Neifert sent: