Monday, September 30, 2013

Valdez Family Baptism!!!

Dear Neifert Family,
The rest of the Valdez Family got baptized! Ricardo, having just received the Aaronic Priesthood, baptized his wife and daughters! And there was no doubt that they got under! We talked and practiced before, but his wife, who doesn't know how to swim and forgot to plug her nose, fought him. Ricardo, knowing beforehand she must be completely submersed, fought harder and I saw a look that I have only seen once - in the eyes of a determined rooster. Afterward I gave the misioneras (ward missionaries?) the job of a video presentation while the Valdez family changed. We watched a video where a crocodile eats a water buffalo. There were about 3 investigators at the baptism... and I just prayed they would not be freaked out.  It was an awesome baptism and a good learning experience for Elder Hatfield and me. I am super relieved though that it is done!

I also gave a talk in church the day after and I bawled like a baby, talking about families and their role in persevering to the end. I talked about that one time we went on a bike ride with the Sonnes and I sped off and got lost instead of ending up at the car. Then dad sped after me and helped me find the way back. I don't know if you remember that, but I remembered it right before my talk. I then related it to how we must consult the map (scriptures, prayer, and church attendance) to end up at the right place. Most importantly - to rescue and forgive those who stray. At that point, I lost it thinking about you guys. So I said "DANG IT" and got down.
Another funny moment that happened this week was as we were preparing Fatima and Andrea for baptism. They are both extremely shy and the only thing they would open up about was Justin Bieber. So we related baptism to the ticket to a Justin Bieber concert. How they still have to make their way to the concert even if they have a ticket. Ricardo, being the super smart lawyer who makes connections like crazy, looked up after being in deep thought and said, "No, its not Justin Bieber...... Its JESUS BIEBER!"  He is a super funny guy, and I hope one day you guys can meet him. I think he wants to come to the states and is learning English, so we will see.
I hope all is well back home! I don't think I need anything specifically... I am good on pants, shoes and shirts! I have only opened 2 long sleeves.  I think I have 3 short sleeves that I haven't opened either.

Elder Neifert

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ricardo got baptized!

Ricardo got baptized!

We had a super busy week and it flew by super quick!  

We found 3 new families to teach that all seem pretty willing to keep commitments, but it rained on Sunday. AGAIN. So they decided to stay nice and dry in there peaceful holes of safety and warmth.  CURSE you Paraguayan superstitions!

But Ricardo and his family came, because they have real testimonies. Ricardo was confirmed and got the priesthood.  It was an awesome experience to see Ricardo and his family finally see and be part of the ordinances we have been talking about for so long.  Ricardo has quit smoking and so has his wife!  She and their 2 daughters will be baptized this Saturday, hopefully by Ricardo! 

Elder Hatfield's Spanish is getting better and he is starting to enjoy the mission more and more as he stops thinking about home. 

I read a few talks this week about learning by faith and asking in faith. It was a big help in figuring out how to progress and obtain more blessings.  The classic example of this was Joseph Smith's prayer as he asked God which church he should join, not which is true, nor which is the best, but which one should he act upon and join himself with.  It reminded me about when we were trying to help Ricardo quit smoking, we didn't just pray that he would quit, but what should we do to help him quit.

Something else about Paraguay that I have found funny is that there are a lot of people who are cross eyed.  I don't know why, but in the past week I have met about 8 people where I had no 'eye-dea' which eye to look at.  

Hopefully Elder Hatfield and I will be able to get some more families to church this next Sunday!  

I heard Ryan got his call to North Carolina!  That is awesome!!!!!!!!  When does he leave? 
(I don't know what these pictures are about, but will check next week)

Elder Neifert

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

La Vida Loca

Living the vida loca, (living the crazy life)

Sounds like the crazy life ova at the Neifert crib.  (The Neifert's had a few late night visitors who wanted to hang out with Elder Neifert's younger brother, Aaron.  They woke everyone up, but Aaron,  by ringing the door bell... multiple times.)

I forgot how good of a sleeper Aaron is!  Hahaha -  that is a funny story.  We live right next to a party palace and so I know just how you feel about the infernal fiends of the underworld who disturb the peace of the logical and wise.  I have earplugs in my ears just about every weekend.  
It's all good, you know Elder Neifert and Hatfield be chillin' as well.
This week was a good one.  We found some great people to teach!  We should have had about 10 investigators at church, but it rained. As all Paraguayans know - if you get wet in the rain you can bet a horrible disease is on the way.  So we just had Ricardo, the valiant, who braved his way through the light sprinkles of water and made it to church.  Which is still much better than nobody! 

Ricardo and his wife are fighting super hard against their tobacco addiction and we are hoping they will be baptized soon, but we are going to have to be patient.  We got this great plan for them to quit and we bought all of the supplies: grapefruit, vitamin c, and mouthwash.  We will see how it works!

We are working hard and trying our best to get people to church,  hopefully next week more will come!

We contacted into a family who owns a burrito business. We are hoping they can hook us up as they progress and keep commitments!

I love you all and I will try a lot harder to send more pics!

Elder Neifert

Monday, September 9, 2013

Service, Super Juice, and Guarani

I will have to brain storm some ideas for a name this week.  Right now all I got is toe hammer.  (Elder Neifert's parents got a new car and asked for name ideas)

You should send me a picture, please!  That will be sweet for many things, I think.  

This week Elder Hatfield and I worked pretty hard.  We found some cool people.  Guillermo and Diana weren't home and we tried calling, so I assume they heard something about the church that was bad, or they just didn't nurture the seed that they were given.  We will try one more time.

Ricardo and his whole family came to church yesterday!  And tonight we will be going over for a FHE activity.  It is going to be awesome.  He right now hasn't smoked for three days and I call him every morning to remind him not to smoke.  If he makes it, he will be baptized this Saturday!  

I got pooped on by a bird this week.  

It is tough to believe that I have been out for a year.  I dont know how I feel about it.  It is really fun to be in lessons with Elder Hatfield.  Even though he is just learning spanish, his testimony is a super powerful force when we teach.  I am super happy to have him as a companion.  

We did a lot of service this week as well.  We helped a guy move.  He lived on the top of a store in an apartment.  We threw everthing he had off of his balcony including his fridge, his closets and his bed.  It was pretty funny.  He hired 3 horse cart guys so we loaded the horse carts with his stuff and that was that.  It took like an hour.

I have found out how much I do know and even more how much I dont know being with my new companion.  It is definitley a great opportunity to learn and see my strengths and weaknesses.  
My Guarani is getting a little better.  I think I can now understand 15% hahahaha,  it is super tough. They have 10 vowels and  5 are using the nasal cavity.  Its coming though.  People love you, even if you can only speak a few things.

Elder Hatfield and I also made superjuice.  It is a juice made of tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, oranges, limes, carrots, onions, and whatever else can be blended in the house.  It was good. 

That is about it from this week!  I am stoked about the new "toe hammer" (car),  may she treat you well!


Elder Neifert

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Elder Hatfield

There are a lot of things that happened this week.  I got a new companion straight from Saint George, Utah.  It has been super funny to see his reaction to Paraguay and the Guarani.

 Elder Neifert with the Mission President, his new companion, and the Elder who trained him:

So with my new companion, it looks like I will be in Concepcion for a while... probably 2 changes more (3 months), MOST EXCELLENT!

His name is Elder Hatfield, and is 18 and right out of high school, which is cool.  He caught me up with whats going on in the world, and I am happy I am out here than back there.  

The whole week we have been just running into all the right people!  Just about every contact is someone who wants to listen!  We had a super awesome lesson with a couple named Guillermo and Diana.  They had a lot of questions about the church and eternal marriage!  We found out that Guillermo´s mom died recently and they had an adopted baby girl.  They both felt like they were in need of some answers and so when we got to their house, they had a lot of questions!  We taught about the Restoration, and the power and authority that God restored so that families can be together forever.  They had a lot of questions about that and they asked me specifically "If [they] were sealed together in the temple, could [they] be sealed to their adopted daughter?"   When they asked me that one, I got hit with a humongous wave of understanding and love for the Lord's plan for families.  I testified that they could be sealed with their daughter and that they would be her parents and she would be there daughter even after death.  I almost lost it.  

They said they would read the Restoration folleto (pamphlet) and the intro to The Book of Mormon and then pray about it.  I am extremely excited to see them again on Wednesday.  

The only problem I see with them in the future is that the wife works every Sunday as a decorator.  I think she will change though.

Yesterday, at church, Ricardo - the golden investigator - bore his testimony in sacrament mtg!  His testimony was extremely strong and he felt the spirit super strong as he testified of his Heavenly Father and Christ.  He finished it off with his testimony of how God the Father will never fail us in our times of need and that as he has learned about the nature of God, he has learned how to become a better father to his children. He hopefully will be baptized this following saturday - after he kicks his smoking addiction.

I am amazed at how much the Lord has blessed Elder Hatfield and I in the past week!  

I love you guys and I am extremely grateful that we are sealed together as a family.  There is no other type of reassuring force in the world as powerful as the sealing power found in the true church of Christ.  No matter where all of our family members are, as long as we are faithful to our covenants, nothing can separate us.

Elder Neifert