Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Izcuchaca 11-26-12


Paige: The boy ended up getting some antibiotics and I have seen him a few more times, it appears that the lesions are receding and he isnt experiencing any symptoms besides that sooo i think they are working. It is hard to see these people and how much help they need both physically and spiritually. The other day we went over to a members house to give a pregnant woman a blessing. She is about 3 months along i think, and everythink was going well until abotu a week ago. She has been having back pain and was taking some pills but the baby seemed agitated when she took them so she stopped. I told her she needed to go to a hospital as soon as possible. We left her a blessing. Sometimes we can only pray for people.

Dad: Ah those photos were the best thank you so much for sending them! I about died when i saw Andy´s costume. My old football practice jersey and a lacrosse helmet. Classic! So happy for Jenna and goalie. So happy for eden and that the play went well. Ben looks like a boss.
Just incase you havent sent the package yet....

Sweat pants.
all your love ;)

Well this week was pretty cool! But it would be dishonest of me to say that it was easy. I am starting to realize though that if things seem easy, we probably need to start working a little harder.
This week i have been trying to work very hard on talking with everyone. We often have to travel to cusco or to little pueblos on buses so these are perfect oportunities to talk to people who might be ready to recieve the gospel. Even if they arent, it is such a cool oportunitiy to give someone the chance to hear about the restored gospel. Taking the first step to begin talking with someone is the hardest part. Once you begin to speak it really isnt that difficult, the promise that the spirit will put the words in your mouth or " that portion that will be meted unto every man" Is 100 percent true.

I had a wonderful opportunity to refocus myself this week, or rather, to put into perspective the real purpose of missionary work. We have a purpose as missionaries, and that is to bring others unto Christ by faith, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. In my first two changes here in the mission we had some trouble understanding that and how to apply it to our teaching. I always had a very strong desire to help others, and now i realized that the best was to do it is to help them realize the importance of baptizm, that the doctrine of christ is what really allows us to make important changes in our lives and to experience the joy that our heavenly father wants us to enjoy. Sooooo..... I am challenging a lot of people! A lot of people to get baptized and to experience this joy in their lives.

We had changes this week.... and something really interesting happened. I have a change! But we can hardly count int as a change because i was moved from izcuchaca I to izcuchaca II. Elder Ferman and I just finished our training and we are now companions! So.... co-companeros we are in izcuchaca II. I am so excited for the oportunity to work with him. He is a great missionary and really all around a wonderful person... we plan to have a lot of success in this upcoming change!

lots of love

Elder Neff

p.s. I have to say all the news i have been recieving about my amigas getting ready to serve missions has been really inspiring. (Especially you little sis ;) The lord is merciful and has so many blessing for all of you willing to make that sacrifice! I am proud to call you my friends and hope you know you have made the best decision of your life.
p.p.s. Hope thanksgiving was SWEET! Unfortunatily dad... we didnt get any cuy.But! We did have sweet potatoes (camote) and it was fried, try it sometime it is delicious


Monday, November 19, 2012

Izuchaca 11/19/12

Dad: Dad thanks for the compliment about my written spanish! I am really working hard on all aspects of it so i hope it is getting better. Ya we heard the news about the eleccion here too. What a shame, but like you said the only thing that really matters is the way the gospel is moving forward... in the end it wont matter which nationality we represent only that we are strict obeyers of the word of God. It is pretty cool to be an American, but it is even cooler to be a part of Zion!
I felt bad that i couldnt enjoy the package grandma sent. Holy cow beef jerky and trail mix sounds incredible right now! Im super happy that the boys enjoyed it.
If you got my letters this week that means it takes about 3 weeks to send. Not sure how it will be in other sectors but i am positive that cusco is the best area so lets hope it isnt too much worse.
Elder Bednar´s talk was incredible. I am so happy that you are enjoying your calling Dad. I can imagine that it hasnt been easy. For me it has been really tough to leave my comfort zone and try to talk to everyone that i meet here in peru... but i know that the Lord blesses us when we valiantly try to keep his commandments, and I am so happy to have the oportunity to serve him.
I didnt get the chance to see paul and dana! I was super bummed, but the missionary handbook advices against those types of visits so maybe it was for the best. They dropped off a package huh? That sounds sweet! Looks like i will be going to the mission office today to pick it up then.
The eye is fine... it appears that the fleas are endless. No worries though they are loyal friends and i think we have come to enjoy some sort of a symbiotic relationship... They drink my blood and I get some battle wounds.... Lo maximo.
For Christmas? Idk i mentioned to dad that i wanted exercise bands, some workouts and my lacrosse stick. Other than that i am 100 percent content. Surprise me! But dont spend to much and dont go overboard. Whatever you give me i will be sharing with my comp so lets make it good to share. :)
Paige: That is sweet that john is in new york searching for internships, i hope all goes well. Have so much fun in Island park! I cant believe we were there together almost five months ago... feels like yesterday.
I have a question about a disease. If a little boy has a fever and lesions are spreading all over his body what is it, bacteria I would guess? Give me some advice! Lots of love.
Well this week has been quite the week to reflect on our labors and what we have been able to accomplish in Izcuchaca. Falta one week until my trainer most likely will have a change and i will chill for one more change here in Izcuchaca. Really the time has absolutely flown by and i have had the best time learning the ways of missionary life and getting myself aquainted with peru (Insert flea bit here that i told to mom hehehe).
This week was difficult. For a number of reasons. We had three baptisms planned. The parents of a family, and one sister who lives with her 3 little boys. All three of them are wonderful people. But for a number of reasons the baptisms fell through. I couldnt believe my feelings this week. As we walked away dejected from these people who had come to know the only true gospel of Jesus Christ only to reject it for one reason or another.
I think that i was a little too dissappointed in my heart, thinking about what more i could have done for these people to help them make this important covenant with their savior. After a lot of thinking and praying i realized something. We will never be "perfect" In this life. I will never bring the message of the restoration to the people that i teach 100 % perfectly. What does the Lord ask of us? To become the most effective advocates of the truth that we can possibly be, and he promises to help us lograr that commitment he asks of us. My new goal is going to try with al my might to become and effective teacher of the restored gospel, and to do all that is within my power to become that.
This week i also had the opportunity to give two blessing of health. One to an investigators little boy who is suffering from a fever and lesions all over his body (so sad) and also an old lady who owns a store de abarrotes ( a convenience store more or less) I was blessed on both ocasions to give the second part of the lesson. I am grateful that my spanish has bettered enough that i could give the blessings and listen to the spirit without being to worried of what i was going to say in spanish.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week

elder Neff

Monday, November 12, 2012

Izuchaca 11-12-12

Hey Family!

Well... I have some pretty sad news. It seems that my companionship with Elder Doxey was meant to be short lived. last tuesday (or algo así) He had an emergency transfer to the sacred valley which is another zone in the mission. He was transfered to a town called Calca (creo) and I hope he`s doing great although I wont get the chance to find out until the change mtg which happens in about two weeks. Oh! and dont worry he wasnt transfered for any kind of iniquity, the mission just doesnt like to keep trios running for any longer than they have to.

We had a great time together though... I never thought that i would have the opportunity to preach the gospel in a foreign country with one of my very good buds. WE worked hard in Izcuchaca for two good weeks, unfortunately, he wont be here to witness the three batisms we are going to have next week! But we are going to count them as his converts anyhow. Maybe when i put up pictures of the baptismal service his parents can email them to him or something like that.

My thoughts on missionary work have changed a lot this week, and through the experiences we had with a few investigators I was able to think a little bit about my own personal conversion and how i came to know that this gospel is true.

The gospel is not easy. It isnt easy to accept, it isnt easy to live, and it isnt easy to share with your friends or neighbors, or even to live it in the midst of others who think that the book of mormon was written by the devil himself! I think this is how a lot of the people in Peru feel. I mentioned that we were going two have three baptisms next week. Well, they were originally planned for this week. What happened??? There was some opposition, and our investigators just couldnt hack it.

The first person we were going to baptize was the Sister Celestina. She is a single mother with 3 kids. We love to go out and help her herd her sheep, and then have a little lesson in her chakra. She has been an investigator for almost 3 months now. We almost left her, well actually we did... one night we passed by her house and told her that we would love to continue being her friend but that we could not continue having regular visits. She told us that she was going to attend church, and we almost shrugged this committment off thinking that we had committed her to come to church many times, and she had never come..... Well she came! And ever since we have been working toward baptism.

I thought a lot about what made the difference in her life, what was the key to her conversion, and in effect, what is the key to anyones conversion who wants to come to know the gospel of jesus christ? We had zone study this morning and something that was beat into our heads was the power of the book of mormon. Before, I´m not sure that i had put enough emphasis into the power of this book, and what significance it can have here in the work of the lord.

The book of mormon is the keystone of our religion. It clarifies all docrinal discrepancies that could be formed by hundreds of religions who all study the same book (bible) but interpret it differently. Most importantly, the promise that we find in moroni of the book of mormon is real. If we read this book, and meditate in our hearts what it says, and then ask heavenly father in the name of jesus christ if the book is true, we will recieve an answer.

Hma. Celestina recieved her answer of the truthfulness of the book of mormon. I though I was going to have time to explain the other families experience and more, but i dont have time! Sorry 30 minutes flys by pretty quickly.

Well Im bummed that i didnt get ONE SINGLE EMAIL THIS WEEK! But i hope that all of you are doing just wonderful and that all is well at home.
oh and p.s.
Im sorry that Obama is president again... looks like i am going to live in Peru for another 4 years ;)

Con mucho amor

Elder Neff.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Izuchaca 11-5-12

Hola! Que tal? I hope that everyone who reads this is doing just great. Here in Izcuchaca we have had the most EXCITING week of this change. I´m excited to tell you about it.

The week started off a little odd. A week ago today, the zone leaders told me and elder Doxey that we would have to travel back to Lima to recieve Targetas de extrangeras. ( I think that is how you spell it!) Or in other words some identification that we were foriegnors here in peru with permanent visas. So we flew off too Lima on tuesday earlay in the morning. And guess who was waiting for me in the airport MY OLD COMPANION ELDER NOLAN! I couldnt have been more happy to see him. He is serving in puerto at this moment and i havent seen him for nearly two changes.

We started by asking the usual questions about each others sectors, how´s the food how are the people, clima etc. etc. Eventually the conversation moved to our trainers and I was happy to tell him just how awesome a trianer elder doxey and i had. While i was telling him just how great my trainer was i could see his face a little crestfallen. He started to tell me who was training him and what type of training experience he had had and i was shocked! He began to tell me how it was impossible to do companionsip study together, and that he practically had to study alone for 4 hours in the morning. That he and his companion usually didnt leave to work until and hour after lunch, and that for the majority of the time they were stuck in members houses for agreat part of the day, and many times just watching football. This coming from a missionary (Elder Nolan) Who is was and excellent Elder in the MTC despite his struggles with the language. I dont think i have ever met someone more interested in serving the lord, and in dedicating all of his time and talents to the work.

I had the chance of rooming with him in the hotel in lima and we sat down for a bit to chat. He told me of his desires to work hard but of his struggle to do so because of his inabilities with the language and a companion who was unwilling to be obedient or work hard. I was able to sit down with him and express my love for him and my confidence that he was going to be a great missionary, and that he was one now. I remember telling him that the lord only asks us to make the best of our circumstances and that as he gives us certain difficulties, it is because he knows our potential and of what we can become... After our little chat he said something so kind that went something like this, " Elder Neff, thank you so much for talking to me, It always helps me so much because you just give me hope."

Hope has been the theme of this week. Izcuchaca has been struggling the last few weeks and we couldnt figure out why. Members weren´t asisting to sacrament mtg. Families were expressing their concerns about their troubles at home and how the gospel was supposed to be helping them to live better lives but it just wasnt working that way for them.

I remember one story of one family in particular. The family Payma Davila. It is a family of two parents and 5 girls! (honestly it makes me think of the wards a little bit minus walk dog) They are the cutest and honestly i love to visit them and share messages of the gospel. One night we were having a family home evening with them and some feelings (that i could tell had been brewing for a long time exploded!) The parents began to argue and i could tell that they had strong desires to share their problems with the missionaries.

In the moment when they were angry and their was some shouting i realized what a great responsibility it was to be a missionary. Here i was sitting in front of two grown adults and their were confiding their very personal problems with me and the other missionaries, confident that we had the answers to their questions. I am so grateful to our father in heaven for his blessings, and the call to be set apart as a missionary. I knew exactly what to say to this family and so did the other missionaries to help them resolve their very personal problems.

I know that this gospel blesses families. It is the only through living the gospel that we can live happily and enjoy strong family relations here on this earth. Our heavenly father is preparing us and our families for happiness now and on into the eternities. I am so grateful for my mission, it has strengthened my testimony of the divinity of the family. I am grateful for the blessing i have at this moment to know on what principles to build my own family! I know that we are blessed as we follow the council of our heavenly father.

I sent some letters last week! I hope they get to all of you soon.

Les Quiero muchisimo :)

Elder Neff

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Izachaca 10-29-12

Wow this has been such a cool week! And i think that i have some of the most exciting news yet to come from my time here in the mission. More on that in a sec.

So we came home from the change mtg, and yes nothing had changed. Elder Solis and i were continuing work as usual. Wed. morning though, we got a call from the zone leaders that nearly stopped my heart. All i could get from the conversation that solis was having with them, seemed to indicate that he was going to have a change!!! And i was seriously about to cry. Every moment i have had with elder solis as a trainer has been a treasure.He is for sure one of the best missionaries in the mission and i would be so sad to have our time as companions cut short. What happened for real however, was such a pleasant surprise! He told me that Elder Galves (ZL) told him that he would be training TWO missionaries... there was one missionary who had arrived to the mission a little late because of visa problems. In this moment i was thinking who could that be? A missionary that was from the states waiting for a visa. I dropped the big question. Was this missionary serving in chicago?And elder Galves said yes! I started jumping up and down screaming ITS ELDER DOXEY! WE ARE GONNA BE COMPANIONS!!!!!! and sure enough i am looking at elder doxey right now! He i and elder solis have become a trio.... When we got our mission calls we always used to joke about how cool it would be if we got to be companions. Well here we are sure enough as companions... being trained together! I couldnt be happier.

Elder Doxey has brought a completely new excitment to our companionship. He has so much energy and that is the best because at times elder solis and i get a little pooped out. It sounds to me like he had an awesome time in Chicago, but i am so happy to have him here with me.

Well i am almost out of time but i would like to share something that elder solis told me during companionship inventory. He told me that this week he had noticed that i had taken the initiative in most of our contacts and interaction with people on the street ie: setting appointments, starting lessons, etc. etc. He told me that this was a strong indication that i had used the time of my training well and that he thinks i will be ready to train after the end of this change (the new in field missionary training program has this goal in mind, to have the new missionary ready to train another after their first 12 weeks) This was such a huge compliment to me and i hope that i can live up to the expectation.

Love you all! Have a wonderful week

Elder Neff.

pics. not much explanation. We are all goofs, i took some pictures of some chacras. (those are potatos)i and elder solis is gooooooood looookin´