Monday, March 25, 2013

Sicuani 3/25/13

Wow, I haven´t left myself enough time to write yet again.... and I keep telling the Elders and Sisters of my zone that they cant have more than a half an hour to write... because those are just the rules. Mommy, if you want to tell people the situation that is specific to the mission peru cusco feel free! But it is very true, I wont be able to send them personal emails only one email i can send every week.... lo siento....

There are tooooooooo many things to say about this week that has passed.... I am just going to move from experience to experience. ENJOY!

I did my first set of work visits this week. They were da BOMB! Firstly i went to Pitumarca, a puelbo that is about 1 and a half hours from sicuani. It was one of the coolest experiences of my mission. I think I have a good time left as zone leader... but when my time comes I am going to say to president "I want to go down and SEND ME TO PITUMARCA!" It is an incredible wayki wonderland where everyone speaks quechua and we teach ALL of the lessons in quechua (with the help of the members) I honestly felt like I was back to the first days of my mission in the MTC... Sitting there listening with my mouth wide open... and understanding very little. But it was still a blast!

What can I say... I never leave myself enough time. THAT DOESN´T MEAN DONT WRITE ME! SORRY it is mostly because i have to pass key indicatores and write to president, I will try to be more prudent with my time.

Lastly we had amazing experiences with our investigators. More than anything i want to tell you about Joel, who is going to be baptized this saturday. I have never met someone who is more willing to accept the gospel. I will tell you more of his story next week, but just know that I have found an eternal friend... meaning i probably wont see him after i leave sicuani but fo sho en the reino celestial.

You know when missionries say that they want to serve forevor? I am starting to understand exactly what they mean. :)

no coat yet... coming soon supongo

never to cusco on p day, internet in sicuani

they send it on a bus

note for fam: i am going to start to take out some money... because i am going to machu pichu april 22... I know what a b day prez. Need a new retainer. Love you all is well BYE!

funny elders playing peruvian instruments.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sicuani 3.18.13

FAMILY! Pls dont be angry that the email came a little late.... today we had a very exciting p-day that was super relaxing and fun, but we changed the zone study to the afternoon and then, realizing that we had a TON of family home evenings planned ran to get to all of them and now I am just barely getting to write all of you. As a zone leader I get one hour to use the computer because i have to write president for email and send the key indicators of the zone to the assistants... I have been trying to use this time very conservatively, and have tried really hard to still be very obedient to the 30 minutes rule we have here in the mission to write to our families. ( WOW AMIGOS! Thank you all for the letters! How cool it is that we can communicate so easily. Elder Hollingshead, Elder Anderson y da BRO SQUAD, mike dial, Beth CONGRATS ON YOUR DECISION!!!!! YOU WILL BE DA BEST! and yes I am the best publicity coord. ever...) my mission is well, the best mission in the world! But, sadly, we also have strict rules concerning the internet. It makes me sad that missionaries are disobedient at times even in the small things, and that this can hurt those who try to be obedient. I can only send one email a week :´( BUT! luckily i can include as many recipients as i would like. Yes that will continue to include all of you.... I have thought up some sneaky ways of getting to talk to you all personally, like adding attachments and stuff... and maybe I will try it, but more than anything I am comitting to write some letters... expect it all of you in the coming months. p.s. I just listened to " waving flag/when i get older" (i forgot the name) But in SPANISH (of course i didnt listen to it because I wanted to... it was playing in the internet cafe, but it was still kinda cooooooooo) The work continues to progress wonderfully here in Sicuani. I love the progress that the investigators and members are making.... and maybe more than anything, that i have the wonderful chance to make progress with all of them! What do I mean by that? As missionaries, we invite persons to live the gospel by keeping comittments, we invite them to pray, read the book of mormon, keep the sabath day holy etc. etc. Extending comittments has taught me so much about my personal progress in the gospel and how the Lord, really does give us amazing blessings as we choose to be obedient even though the situation seems to tell us that the outcome would be something else. Did you read the Liahona about Pres. Lorenzo Snow? There is also a talk about discerning the importance between the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God, that both are very valuable when used in harmony and with.... well wisdom haha. I think the biggest lesson that I learned is that, at times, the wisdom of the world will be in direct opposite of the wisdom of the world, and there we have to make our decision to follow God. About 30 min ago i was teaching a family of investigators that are the best people (oh and p.s. yes we comitted them to baptism for the end of April... I was obvi going to put a specific date but they have to get married so we need to work a little with that.... now we have TWO couples we are going to marry and baptize :). They have trouble coming to church... well I was very pleased when the spirit pushed me to talk about faith, and the importance of putting the wisdom of God before the wisdom of the world. (Personal study is a true treasure if you dont study personally especially in your mission you are very foolish) I could apply exactly what I learned to them, and they understood! And they accepted the invitacion to asist faithfully to church. Not much more to say.... so many stories, but I cant talk about all of them in such a short time, some cool pics are coming your way! from Various p-days atras. I love you all.... chuño and chicharon de alpaca is the best combinacion of food in the whole world. I will hug a llama for all of you cuties. Que Dios les bendiga y que oren siempre a vencer a satanás.... y por favor envíenme más SRIRACHA porque ya está acabando.... En realidad es un gran bendición tenerlo porque es RICO!!!!!!! Y porque ayuda matar tantos bichos que tengo en mi cuerpo... aúnque por fin estemos teniendo una relación simbiotico... creo que me dan diarea... y estoy felice por que el señor me ama. Os Quiero... que estén bien en cada momento. Elder Neff

Monday, March 11, 2013

SICUANI 3.11.13

Haha Well I feel bad, I haven´t left myself nearly enough time to write today, I wrote president a long letter about the zone and other things that are concerning me so it took a little while. This week has honestly been one of the greatest weeks of all my mission. I learned some amazing lessons from the guidance of the holy ghost and my mission president. We had president interviews this week, zone conference, and then stake conference... to all of which president Calderon and his wife were present. I just love it when i get the chance to interact with president, i always learn something special when he gives us a capacitacion or when he gives a talk. Especially interesting for me this week was the interview that I had with president. My first interview with President lasted about 2 minutes while I was being trained. I remember that we basically talked about the the pension (because i felt sick a lot back then) Haha. And it ended quickly! I was surprised and disappointed, I am used to having long interviews with my leaders, I love the oPportunity I have to speak with them. Well, this time i was DETERMINED to have a great interview with President, and now I am one of his Zone Leaders so I was sure he had lots of advice to give me. I hit him with a bunch of questions and we had a great time talking. He gave me some amazing and specific advice. Later we had the zone conference and it was so great. We focused on the "key indicators" and how to apply them to the doctrine of Christ. If it has been awhile since you read the 31st chapter of second nephi, you should read it soon. I am amazed at how with a little bit of teaching we can realize that the doctrine of Christ is the underlying reason for missonary work, people need to recieve the ordinances of salvation more that anything, and that we need to give them the opportunity to give fruit! If you know the parable of the wheat and the tares, you know that a tare is almost identical to wheat... only that its grain doesn´t have any value o sea, it doesn´t give fruit. We need to give the investigators the opportunity to give fruit, to become a grain of wheat. I have been able to learn this lesson from experience here in the mission. We give the investigators the chance to hear the gospel and have a testimony of the spirit... sometimes they accept and sometimes they dont. There is where it is determined of they give fruit or not. I learned a lot about obedience this week. I am an obedient missionary, but i still have many things to improve. MANY things. This week... there wasnt a particular phrase or saying that hit me hard to teach me this lesson.... the spirit taught me the lesson. President was speaking about obedience and he told us about his experience with the law of tithing. He said, " I need to be obedient in the exact moment that the lord requires it of me." The spirit taught me the importance of obedience in that phrase... I cant exactly explain it, but I know that all the happiness i will experience in my life with come through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.... How can i say it? I just feel it so strongly in my heart that I cannot deny it. Mommy.... Interesting thing happened concering the doctor. To recieve medical attention here in Peru, you need to have a carnet ( un licencia para extranjeros) There was a missionary that didnt have one yet so we lied and said that he was me :) He had giardia. hehe Thankyou for supporting the missionery program and paying for the medical expenses of Elder Green. I am sure that he will be ever grateful. I personally, am super greatful that I didnt have giardia.... because that is the dumps. And i have already had enough diareah to las a lifetime ;) Les quiero. Que les vaya bien en todas las cosas Elder Neff

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sicuani 3.4.13


(Note from Ami:  I am inserting the photos I sent to Sam of the baby so you will see what he saw.  Her name is Hazel Therese Brunt.  Born March 1, 2013.  8lbs 3oz. 21 1/2 inches long.  Really cute!)

She is the cutest little baby I have ever seen. I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Happy for you and John! I am sitting here in the internet just smiling, showing all the missionaries pictures of my new niece... I think they think I am weird but I dont even care. Just so happy :)

MOM AND DAD you are now GRANDPARENTS..... oh my goodness you are practically OLD!  HAHahaha DAD I laughed so hard in your letter así es la vida de los abuelos.... ojala que la vida no sea tan aburrida. ;)

How could it be? Hazel is the cutest baby on the PLANET! So happy to be an uncle. I cant believe how our lives can change so fast... including the changes that happen here in the mission! Which are many. Excited to give you all an accounting of what happened this week. 

I am falling into the rythmn of being a zone leader, and honestly, I love the work that we do. I love being able to help the missionares with their challenges in the mission. This can mean anything from a work visit, to helping Elder Green (a north american from my group serving here in sicuani) to get medical treatment for GIARDIA! which you get when the panaikuna (sisters) dont boil the water or clean the chuño super well before you eat it :) 

I have had the opportunity to get a new look with respect to the "key indicators" That we use in the mission to help us measure our progress. Preach my Gospel and the missionary program is designed perfectly. I have to pass the goals that we achieved as a zone every week to the assistants and to president. They give me great advice, and some times burn me a little... hahah but it is all done with a spirit of love and i feel that they desire our progress and success as a zone. 

Well speaking of our investigators, we are preparing a couple to be MARRIED and BAPTIZED! Couldn´t be more excited. We need to take out their birth certificates and a few other things, for that we are going to travel one hour to their pueblo where they have herds of ALPACA! Get ready for some stellar photos in the week to come! 

The work with less actives here ward vilcanota has been especially rewarding. I love working with the youth! they are so powerful when you help them to get motivated. Funny story, there is quite a beer culture here in peru. One day we finished a lesson with a less active family and we were drinking soda. (inca cola obvi.... delicious.... I am going to cry when i get back to the states and we dont have it.) speaking of the beer culture, the kids began to make jokes and pretend to pour a little of their soda on the ground for their "dead compadres" well, they asked me how to say it in english... so i told them to say " this one´s for my homies" (dont ask me how i know that i have never drank in my life!) It was hilarious as all of them started to pour out their soda and say "dis wan es para mis HOMIES!" I was dying it was so funny. 

Well, who wants to know about my new companion! His name is elder Calderón, (no he isnt the son of president) But everyone always calls president "chicha" (a drink made from corn) sooooo we like to call my companion Chichita (little chicha) He was born in lima, but moved to rosario Argentina when he was 8 years old. He is DA BOMB! To be honest, I think that he has been my favorite companion yet. There are a few pictures of us.... one of them is him angry taking the key indicators... OH! and the pictures of the food should be interesting. Maybe you know what Bistec mondato is? It is a peruvian dish that is made with arroz, a thin beef steak, and an egg "montado"   over the bistec..... Well.... one day we had to cook for ourselves.... so I have made a new invention......................BISTEC MONTASO!!!!!!!!! arroz, bistec, huevo, salsa de tallarin, papas fritas, platano frito y ensalada de palta.......... It was DELICIOUS! and then i almost had an infarto. (Note from Ami:  We looked this up.  It means "heart attack"  FYI. )

Well the time is running short. Oh! but i forget to include something. I want to congratulate my BF Sarah P. on her mission call! Bahia Blanca! That may be the coolest thing i have ever heard :) I was waiting anxiously to hear about it too. Excited to get a real letter and hear about it soon! (my comp says it is a pretty place and that it is mostly Pampa! And that you are going to love it.) Careful with maté, all the missionaries from argentina say you get addicted! 

Family i love you all sooo much, I hope all is going super well (kiss hazel for me.) Eden thank you for writing me i am sending you a letter this week ;)

Elder Neff