Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Leaving Concepciòn

Dear Famalama,

Well I took my last long collectivo (bus) ride from Concepciòn, and I did not sleep that well because I was soaking wet.

The night we had to be at the terminal it poured a ton and I helped the sisters with their luggage, and I got soaked.

It was super sad to say goodbye to the Valdez family.  I showed up at their house Monday to do a Family Home Evening and the Dad taught about diversity and seeing others how God sees them.  At the end I told them I was going to leave the next day, and they started to cry..... I didn't think that I could ever love someone as much as my own family (you guys) but this family showed me what charity and love really are.  I bawled like a baby and so did my companion,  I bore my testimony about the Temple and the importance of family prayer and scripture study in making it there.  I was really sad.  I am still going to stay in contact with that family for the rest of my life. 

My companion is Elder Haworth from a small town near Las Vegas.  He is super funny.  The first thing he tells me is that he has an allergic reaction to metal and it makes his skin break out, while he shows me where his glasses touch his skin.  He worked for the government and knows everything to know about trucks and trains.  And anime. 

We are still just exploring (because we are white washing) around Cañada Gaday and it is pretty jungly.  Come to find out... we have 0 active members in our area!  Wooo... so the only way to go is up.  There is no way we can hurt the branch.  Our area is ginormous as well. We could walk around for about 4 hours in one direction and not get to the end of the boundaries. 

I hope all is well at home and I will send pics next time!

Love, Elder Neifert

Elder Christofferson and Transfers

Well old father Neifert who has become another historical site in Concepción is moving away!

I have been in sweet Concepcion for over 7 months now and I have been called to walk another path.  I am still going to be a Zone Leader but in Cañada Gady, Luque.  Which is right next door to Yukury!  It will be cool to go back and visit old converts and stomp the old stomping grounds.  I am also training again,  so I will let you guys know how my new companion is next week.  

Elder Hatfield is staying and he is going to be an awesome missionary.  We'll be making some pumpkin cookies his mom sent as a goodbye father and son moment, and then I will take my last 7 and a half hour bus ride to Asuncion!  

Elder Christofferson was amazing!  He told jokes for about half the time he talked.  We also got to shake his hand, and guess what??  He said our last name wrong......And so I corrected him!  He said, "elder neefert."  and I said, " no, its Neifert." and he said, "It's good to meet you, Elder Neifert" and I said, "Igualmente." 

I came really close to not saying anything and letting it slide.  But I would have regreted not defending the Neifert clan, and so I did it.  I am sure old Neiferts from all ages cheered.  

He talked a lot about justice and mercy using Alma 42: 22-25.  It was sweet, because I had been studying that the week before!  There was no question that he is a true prophet of God, from the spirit and power that was felt as he talked.  He also talked about the need for a consistent study of the scriptures, which would bless our mission experience and investigators more than we thought possible.

Elder Hatfield bought a buzzer to cut hair.  So we buzzed our heads together.  

What I did not take into account was that the normal number 5 that I used at home... is not the same in the Paraguayan metric system.  So right now my head is being sunburned by the sun.  You can probably tell in the pics.  It was pretty funny because I started with a lot of excitement and then i put the buzzer up the side of my head and it turned to humility.  so we highfived it out and elder hatfield being the nice guy he is made the same mistake.

Also here are a few pics that i got from a few people and families i taught! i got sarounded by ladies in a few and being a missionary I had no place to put my hands.  

I love You guys, GO cougars, may they give their flesh to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, so that all may know wickedness never was happiness.  

Elder Neifert

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Fourth Missionary

Hola Familia Neifert,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! I hope you had some good pie!  

It is really weird when I think about home, its super cold and the leaves are almost gone and then here its getting hotter and hotter.   

This week I read a really awesome talk called "The Fourth Missionary"  and it really changed the way I taught and looked at my purpose as a missionary.  I don't know if you guys can find it but that would be an awesome talk to read for anyone going on a mission.  I think the main thing I took from it is that the only way that we can reap the fruits of being a missionary is if your heart is in it completely.  You can't learn anything if you don't give your heart into the work because otherwise everything you do will be biting a bullet because you would rather be somewhere else.  If we give our heart over to God, he gives us new desires, a new purpose, a new driving force that over time changes us into a completely new person whose will becomes alined with the fathers.

So I tried focusing on giving all I had to the Lord and his work and placing my will to the side and taking up His will.
Elder Cristofferson is coming tommorow!!!!!!!!!!  I am super excited to see what he will talk about!  I will for sure write about it next week!
Our investigators are slowly progressing... mainly because some cannot read, but we are getting some cd´s of the Book of Mormon, that I think will help a ton.
We found some great people to teach and I am excited to see what kind of questions or doubts they have for the next lesson! 
The zone conference went well,  Elder McSwain and I found some Paraguayan kids to do a demonstration of how to teach the apostasy and dispensations.  They both had about 11 years (11 years old), so being in front of about 36 elders and the mission president, they were scared and shocked to the core.  It was super tough to teach them, but it turned out well I think. 
The branch here in Concepcion is growing, and we will be planing out a Christmas activity to bring the spirit especially for all of the menos activos (less actives)

After that ward blitz in Nuevo Asuncion, we had a lot of people who wanted to hear more and so we spent a ton of time out there this week.  Nuevo Asuncion is in the middle of nowhere and a lot of the people don't speak Catellano (Espanol) only Guarani.  There isn't anything there but really poorly made houses and farm animals + waste canals.  We met a ton of people who wanted to know more about our church and a couple who just wanted to be baptized on the spot without knowing why or what role baptism even plays in salvation.  We did a lot of explaining and inviting and invited about 30 people to church!  Its amazing how many people had been prepared for us and wanted to hear and learn more about the gospel.  We also have a ton of in-actives out there and we spent a lot of time trying to get them to church.  

We also found a couple of people who are super prepared to receive the gospel and we had some incredible lessons with both of them.  One guys name is Hugo and he is really curious about the Bible and the Book of Mormon and had some really deep questions about God and His plan for us.  We talked for a while and he expressed how the only people that he would trust to really guide him to know Gods will is a prophet of God!   I almost jumped the gun I was so excited I was going to just yell out "THERE IS A PROPHET AND HE IS CALLED OF GOD TO DO THAT!!!",  but I held it in and started talking about prophets of old and who a prophet is and does shared scriptures like Amos 3:7 and others from the Book of Mormon. We shared about the first vision and he said he would read and pray to ask God if it was true.  

We also found a whole family who all really want to know more and we taught them on Saturday about what the restored gospel of Jesus Christ means for us and left her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet.  She read the whole thing and came to church the next day with her son Alejandro.  She came with a ton of questions and we answered some and then taught her more about how she can receive answers for herself through the scriptures and prayer. She can receive a testimony of whats true through the guidance of the Holy Ghost.  We went to sacrament meeting expecting some sweet talks and surprise surprise.  It was the primary program that day.  It was nuts and kids were running around and crying all over the place.  She said she had a good experience though.  Hopefully we can have a great lesson this week and she'll come to church.

We were helping a member move some bricks around in here back yard when a big storm hit and her house was completely under the water.  So I dug a canal in her back yard with an old guy who came to help.

There was a cool tortoise that a lady found in the street, so we took pics with it.

we contacted a house while they were cutting the dogs hair, and ELder hatfield took some pics,  it was a funny lesson.

That family is a family I have been working with for about 5 or 6 months and finally came to church!

I love you guys!!!! 

Elder Neifert

Monday, November 4, 2013

Horqueta and Riding Busses

Dear Neifert Team,

This week has been great!  We had an awesome menos activo (less active) family come to church!  I have been teaching them for about 5 months and they finally came!  I took some pics and I will send them next time!   Also our investigator Francisca came to church!  I think she will be baptized in a few weeks!

I did a division in Horqueta with Elder Salazar from Ecuador, and it poured down rain all day! But we had some awesome lessons with a few of his investigators.  

I completely forgot about Halloween....But I hope you guys had a great one!

I took the bus to Asuncion last night, and in the middle of the night a lady got on the bus with her little 2 year old daughter, with about 4 hours left in the trip.  She didn't have a seat, so I gave her mine.  It was super hot on the bus and I just went in and out of dreaming while standing up.  I came super close to blowing chunks, but with a lot of prayer and deep breathing, I made it to the end!  Elder McSwain thought it was super funny.

Elder Cristofferson is coming in a few weeks!  The whole mission is starting to prepare and it will be awesome!

I hope everyone is doing well!  and that you put that buffalo chip to good use!

Love, Elder Neifert