Monday, April 29, 2013

SICUANI 4.29.13

MOM AND DAD.... dont forget to fix up the email and send it to everybody XFa gracias.. You da best :)

I want you to send this to my friend feed.... idk if you can even see it... actually thinking about it you definitely cant so... well I am going to think about how we can fix it up... for next week.

Well the changes came and went. We have a sector in the zone called Espinar, I´m sure that I have told you about it once already. It is about 2 hours away from Sicuani in car and much of the road is a dirt trail. It is a super cool sector, and it is a WARD with a chapel and about 80-100 asist every sunday, that gives you an idea of how strong the members are... but the missioneries tend to become a little relaxed working in this sector. We had to help them get their focus back about two weeks ago and then gave our informe to President and the Asistants. I thought that as we fixed the problem, the missioneries could have another chance... Unfortunately they got sent far away to another zone. Later I realized that it was 100 percent inspired as the missioneries had done NOTHING to fix the problem practically with the week that we gave them to better everything before the changes. I don´t think I have ever been really mad in the mission but I almost blew a top with that one. If the missioneries don´t decide to change when they are given a second chance how can they expect to teach people about the atonement. Sometimes missionaries think that the mission rules dont mean anything in the long run but they really do reflect what we think about the savior and his atonement, and how important it is to learn the principle of obedience. (RM´s please don´t call me a ruler ;)

not to much more to say. We had a conference with president this week... This man has influenced my life so much in just the short time that he has been my mission president... june 30th enters President Harvardson.

Love you all, more pics of Machu Picchu!

Elder Neff


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MACHU PICCHU! 4.20.13 (and Happy 20th Birthday to Sam TODAY!)

WOW! It has been an amazing week. I truly am grateful for the cool opportunities that I get to have here in the mission... especially because this week I went to MACHU PICCHU! do you know what that means in Quechua? It means old mountain.. and yes it is super supa OLD!  Probably the coolest experience of my life to date, meaning, it is talked up a lot and there is no bull in just how cool it is, I hope the pictures do it some justice.
Right now I am sitting in the mission office. These last two days have been a very good amount of traveling and fun. Today we have changes and I think that after that I am just ready to get back to work. 

The answer is NO I do not have a change, my companion doesn´t either so I will be chilling in Sicuani at least until june, and possibly july. Up until now I have loved every minute of my time in Sicuani so I would be very pleased if they let me serve they for a few more changes. The time passes just too quickly and every moment in your sector is precious. Up until now we have three couples that are progressing very well. (I think that I sent you a photo of one of them and their extended family who are members... we are outside one of the chapels in Sicuani) they are named Percy and Soledad. The only challenge that we have with them is getting them prepared for a marriage date and then they will be ready for baptism. I am super, SUPER excited. I have not had the chance to marry a couple and have them baptized yet in my mission... it really is a special feeling when you prepare a family to receive the gospel. Even their three year old son is excited! He always asks us at the end of our lessons. "elderes, oracion?" and there is a funny story that comes with this. We were sitting with the family in sacrament mtg, and a sister was going up to the pulpit to give the benediction. The son of the family was all ready with his arms crossed for the prayer, when all of the sudden his cousin ( who is the son of their member extended family) yelled from the front of the chapel, "Saith (name of the kid) veng!" There was a moment when I looked at the little kid and he looked at me... I totally mouthed "NO" (there are some parenting problems here sometimes I feel like the parent haha) and he smiled... and then got up and started running wild through the chapel during the whole prayer.... and it was like a 5 minute prayer given by a panai.... oh my goodness que verguenza... But my investigators seemed to feel fine about it... haha so it turned out ok. 

What can I say about machu picchu? Check out the pics... they are beautiful i think I took about 70 and a bunch of videos.

 Thank you so much! I have to end but I am super happy, yes all of the packages came. When you get a medical bill about my eyes. dont have a super freak out. There is a very good opthamologist here in cusco... he helped me out because the pressure was a little high in my eye. I have medication its all good. Love you! (sorry the internet is super slow in the office.... I will send my card with all of the photos)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sicuani 4.15.13

My goodness I am suffering, Dad send me an email! You may not think that your normal everyday life seems interesting to me, but I would love to here from you :) ( dad I just got your email so forget i said that ;)

We´ve had a wonderful week here in sicuani. Actually... I spent a good part of the week in other sectors of the mission. Firstly, this week we had the Zone leader training mtg. with president. It´s always an amazing experience to have a training mtg with president, and even more on this occasion because he spent a good amount of his time talking about his personal feelings about being called to be a seventy. (Did you pay attention in conference? President is going to be a seventy!) It was super enjoyable the whole experience. The first thing he told us was his reaction when the area office called him.. he told us he though " uh oh, surely they are calling me to burn me about something" hahaha but instead of that they were calling him to be a 70! I am so happy for my mission president, this man has taught me more with his words and examples than I could ever thank him for. This training mtg he said a few phrases that really impacted me, a few of which were "obedience is the base of all success in life" , and " a mature man is one who learns to have emotions like a child". These phrases impacted me and i have tried to put them into action in my daily proselytizing life haha. 

 I especially had the chance when we went to go and do a work visit in the sector Espinar. Espinar is a mining town HIGH up in the Andes, but it is a WARD and there are many strong members who live there. The problem was that the missionaries who are serving there began to be very relaxed in their work... and we didnt know anything about it because we were pleased with the indicatores that they were giving us ( I learned that in life we always need to be vigilant even if the situation seems like it is OK) and everything seemed to be fine. We interviewed all of them and reviewed their planners... well everything was not fine and I called the assistants to give a report, happy we fixed the situation. 

The rest of the day I spent helping the elders get some good work done in their sector. We placed a baptismal date and got to know a lot of members. I am amazed everytime I go to work in another area to know that the principles of missionary work are constant... even if the situations change a little according to the situation. It is great to serve the missionaries, no matter where they are serving. 

On to my sector, I am working SO HARD with our investigators.... I am seeing many things that we can improve in our sector, pray for my investigators, especially Percy and Soledad, they are a couple that we plan to baptize this month of may. Wonderful people but there are a few challenges that they need to overcome. 

 I love you all! Enjoy the pictures! The letters I am trying to send home are backed up about 2 months because I dont trust the mail system in sicuani... sorry... just know that I love you all. 

No we didnt drive the moto

My shoes are dying, time to find someone who will replace the sole with AIRPLANE TIRE! 


various others...

P.S I got no information from you about the bank! IAM going to take out the money ANYWAY! because i am going to MACHU PICHU! 

Elder Neff

Monday, April 8, 2013

SICUANI 4.8.13

WOW! Andy Jack that dance was off da hook. What an incredible talent... I would like to say that he learned it all from me but it is obvious that he learned it from Ben with all the hip movements that were involved... haha Paige and John Congratulations! I have been praying and I am so grateful that the Lord blessed you with this great opportunity. Congratulations, success with AT&T and if I don´t get an good deal on a phone plan when I get back... I guess it wasn´t ALL in vain :)

The week was super interesting. A lot of it was planning for general conference and getting the investigators ready to hear the voices of the Prophets... My parents can testify that many times they saw me sneak of to the basement and found me sitting on the couch reading past ensigns..... I just love to read the words of the living prophets. and I love promising blessings to people! And the coolest is when you can back up the promises with your personal experiences. I just promised and promised and promised the people that if they would listen to the prophets and apply what they learned in their personal lives that the lord would bless them abundantly. Its funny how affective it is to listen to the words of the living prophets. Its like... instant remedy. What does that mean? Sometimes we really have to search the scriptures to find an answer to a question... and feeling the spirit realize how we can apply the situation to our personal lives. But when we listen to the Prophets it is amazing how the council is very direct and clear and their isn´t quite as much effort involved. It is great to have the opportunity to listen to the profits every six months to receive a good wake up call.

The talk that for me that was most dear to me was the talk by elder Richard G. Scott. I thought about all of the families that we are teaching... and that they are searching to have a christ-centered home. I love that Elder Scott said that we should build our homes with the teachings of Jesus Christ and then invite our friends to come and experience the blessing that come from such a home. I had so many thoughts enter into my mind about my own family, immediate and extended, ward members and friends who´s families and homes were examples of the love of Christ. Invite your friends members and non-members tro know exactly what that means! The people that we are teaching who are progressing the most are the ones who have family members or friends that really live the gospel of Jesus Christ and show that example in their family life.

  I interviewed a few people for baptism this week. i love participating in the ordinances of salvacion... you just feel really good. I love shaking peoples hands after having interviewed them and feeling the assurance of the spirit when they tell me " I know I am ready to make this committment with Jesus Christ" and then i can say. "I know you are too!" The photos attached are from some fun activities we did this week. It was my companions birthday... hes super old (22) Cant believe that I am about to leave my teenage years as well.
  Love you All! Que Dios Les Bendiga!
  Elder Neff

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sicuani 4.1.13

Well I have some wonderful news this week! But it also comes with some sad news. We BAPTIZED! But there aren’t any photos.... and you can blame that on problems that we had with the baptismal font and things like that. 

This Saturday was very,very interesting. We did divisions and my companion stayed in Sicuani while I went of to do baptismal interviews in PITUMARCA! We got there and waited in the adobe capilla until the investigators got there. They came from a two hour bus ride from a little village super high up above Pitumarca called Hanchipacha. First I interviewed a little boy, 8 years old. His aunt and uncle are members but his parents aren’t. Cutest little kid, his name is Ronald, spoke more quechua than spanish but we worked everything out haha. Then I interviewed the husband of one couple that was going to be baptized as well. This turned out to be a little more difficult haha, because he spoke even LESS spanish. I had to stop on a lot of the points of the baptismal questions to try and help him understand (we are talking about people who never went to school, and lived in a little peruvian village their entire lives... they have a very limited understanding of a lot of things), and then things were even more difficult with the wife  because she understood 0 español and someone had to translate. 

 I have to say that I am very grateful for the example of one of my friends Elder Ward for something that he wrote in one of his letters home... that in everyone of his baptismal interviews he has felt the spirit of whether or not someone should be baptized, or if they weren’t ready quite yet. With these people I had to rely 100% on the lord and the spirit. I was doubting, and a little nervous to make the decision with out too much knowledge of what they were saying and all of their needs. I weighed the possibilities of the situation and decided that it would be better for them to be baptized. As the sister left the room and I waited for the district leader to come back so I could talk to him about a few things... I just had the strongest feeling that I had done the right thing, and the Lord taught me a great lesson about how important it is to him that his children receive the saving ordinances. 

 Well when I got back the situation of my own baptisms was a complete WRECK! The Elders were filling the font with buckets of water because the water system wasn’t working, the investigators were arriving late, haha and I could honestly just laugh. But we worked it all out, baptized Joel and Rosalinda, and about 60 people attended their baptism. Wow I was so happy. At the end I offered to sing and sang Las familias pueden ser eternas.... Awwwwwww..... But for real it is the greatest song to sing at a baptismal service, I love bringing the spirit through music.

I hope you all had the chance to think about the savior this week. For me, I am just so grateful for the knowledge that he lives. And that is all that I am going to sayabout that. :)

 Congratulations to Beth for her mission call! 

 No package yet but it is sitting in Cusco

 I am going to take out money soon so can you send me the info from american first about how much it costs to take out money in an international location?

 Nothing more just love you all tons :) 

 Elder Neff