Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sicuani 5.27.13

This has just been the most exciting week ever. I really am so pleased. Percy and Soledad were married this friday, baptised saturday, and confirmed on sunday. Surely the most exciting weekend of their life to date! Really every moment of it was precious and I was so pleased that the Lord had given them and their family such an amazing blessing. 

Perhaps I didn´t give you enough information about this family in my other emails... I will try to give you an overview of the experience that we had with the family Hancco Terraces over the past few months. 

They were refferals that we recieved from a member family during my first change here in Sicuani. I remember talking to my companion after meeting them and making a comment like "Wow they are really nice people, lets do everything that we can so they progress." Little did I know that they would surprise me with the rate of their progress and dedication to repent and become members. 

At the beginning they progressed a little slowly and had quite a few doubts... but all of that changed when they made the special effort to pray and read the scriptures as a family, and especially when they asked Heavenly Father if what we had really taught them was true. From that moment on, EVERYTHING changed. They began to assist regularly to church and left their business that they were running selling backpacks and clothing on sundays (when they had the most success during the week I might add). They read every assignment that we gave them from the scriptures and kept all the comittments we extended.

We had invited them to be baptized, and they had all the desires to do it. The only obstacle was marriage, and it proved to be a difficult decision for them to make. Their dificulties came more from the fact that it would be a big expense, and that they wanted a lot of time to prepare. We challenged them with a specific date and they told us that they would pray and discuss about it. 

That lesson when we challenged them, I spoke to them about the doctrine of Christ and his atonement. I told them that the marriage did not need to be something fancy or grand, that they simply needed to get married so that the Lord could bless them, accept their fruits of repentance, and so they could enter into the waters of baptism... and that because Christ had made such a sacrifice for them, nothing else could be so important to them than this, in this time of their life. 

The next lesson, Soledad told us that she had a dream where she was hurring to get marriede the 24th of May. And Percy simply told us "Elders, you dont need to convince us anymore, I recieved an answer." (keep in mind that they said this about 3 weeks befor the wedding date)

Miracles DO HAPPEN!!!!

I love my mission. I love the chance that I have to live by faith and to help others to face difficult challenges. I know that the Lord gives us amazing blessings as we decide that his will is the most important thing in our lives, and as we live according to that will. 

I love you all so much. Summer is about to start! I hope you enjoy it. Here everything is freezing solid in the morning and melting in the blazing heat during the day. But we are loving every minute of it. 

Les Quiero, 

Elder Neff


p.s. I now have permision to email to who i please and can send more than one email a week. If you read this or the blog and want to write me a little by email i would love to hear from you and can respond a little. Call my mom for the email address.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sicuani 5.20.13

WOW! It is hotter than an oven in this peruvian internet cafe, but I could not be happier for the chance I have to write to all of you and to hear how the family is doing.

HAZELNUT!= cutest nickname for the cutest niece in the whole wide world!!!! I loved the video of her laughing. What was John saying? something like "Yeah!" and she would start to laugh. She is adorable and resembles a little the michelin tire man... but 1000000x cuter, and that is exactly how a new baby should be, cute, chubby and healthy.

HARD WORK is how Iwould describe this week. We put in a ton of hard work and it felt super good. As you all know my companion and I have been split up because two new missionaries came to the mission and opened up a sector in our zone. My companion is training one and the other is a missionary with more experience that has come from another mission, I have been working with him. We basically divided the sector so this week we were in desperate need of finding new investigators and working in areas of the sector (which is GIGANTIC) that we couldn´t get to for the size of the area. What does that mean? In addition to searching for references and supporting the less actives and new converts, we knocked on a LOT of doors. I really enjoyed myself, it is interesting to see how the people react to hearing the message of the gospel for the first time. I have a spiritual experience that I need to share about our increased efforts to contact. One night it was late, we were about to leave an area where we were contacting and head towards a meeting that we had with a less active. As we turned to leave the street we were on, I had a strong impression to contact a man who was walking slowly down the street It looked like he was depressed for something and the feeling was so strong that I couldn´t contain myself. It was interesting because at first he seemed a little startled that two young men began talking to him in the middle of an abandoned street haha, but he soon opened up and became very interested in the message that we had to give. We taught him this saturday and he and his wife have desires to get married and be baptized. Preach my Gospel says that when we teach people, at the start they may not realize that we are servants of the Lord, but if we have patience and teach them with power and by the spirit even the people with very hard hearts can be receptive to the gospel. So much more to say but my time is up....

I love you all, am praying for you. Next week Percy and Soledad get married. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

Elder Neff

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sicuani (pronounced sik-quan-ee in case you wanted to know) 5.13.13

WOW! I loved talking with all of you. That was a highlight of the week. It is wonderful to see how you are all doing so well and that you are all very happy. I´m happy too! I love that I have a family that is so supportive and loves me so much, know that I appreciate everything that you do... including that Mom and Dad still wrote me last night even when we had just talked a few hours earlier, thank you mom and Dad!

This week, two new missionaries were sent to our ward to open a new sector. It was something completely unexpected, one of the assistants called me during the lunch hour and told us that we needed to get everything ready for two new missionaries that would be arriving in Sicuani at about 8 oclock at night, they also said that we would be splitting up our companionship, and each of us would be taking one of the new missionaries. My companion took a brand new missionary to change and I took an Elder Vasquez that was transfered from the mission columbia Barrancia for health. It has been was fun showing them the sector, it is always exciting when you get to learn from another missionary. Everyone teaches in their own specific way, and it is fun to see the way that these people bring the spirit into a lesson. Elder Vasquez is very good at inviting the spirit.

 Elder Vasquez and I had an interesting experience teaching a man and his family that I think i told you about yesterday. Rarely have I had a moment to argue with someone during my mission, but as I was telling you yesterday, the Lord sometimes asks us to speak forcefully to people who reject gospel truths. This man needed to be burned (with love) a little and have his eyebrows singed... the spirit moved me to speak to him, but the words that I spoke were not my own. Nobody rejects a true testimony, because it is a conviction that one receives from the holy spirit, and the holy spirit testifies of all truth. I love that many times when all the information seems to be confusing and the doctrine difficult to understand, the spirit helps me to feel that what I am saying is true, and that makes all of the difference.

Mom and Dad maybe just for you... your discretion.  Many times here I feel like it is difficult for the missionaries to find themselves with the spirit, or that there are so many concerns for living in a third world country,  and dealing with people and missionaries from another nationality that there are problems with obedience or with concentracion on the mission. This has been very frustrating. The other day a missionary was talking with his family in an international call box and I was looking out onto the street... I asked my Heavenly Father what he thought of the situation, and how he viewed the circumstances that I was in. A few distinct impressions came to my mind. The first was " This is your mission, if I had wanted to send you to another place where the circumstances were different I would have done it, don´t think that I dont appreciate your efforts or that they are ´not good enough´, I put you here because you are the best I have for this place"  The other feeling that I had had to do with my patriarchal blessing, which tells me that with time i will be able to associate with people who are committed to the standards and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I feel that the Lord is very pleased with my work, and that he only asks that I keep trying to be better. 

I love you all! 

Elder Neff 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sicuani 5.6.13

I have bad news..... today was WAY  to stressful... and i am not going to be able to send you guys hardly anything. I have to send our numbers to the secretary in the office... so i can only tell you about the mothers day call you will be getting this sunday!
I plan to call you guys at 5 oclock, our time. That means you will get the call at about four o clock in the states (I think check for sure) I will be using the old skype account that i had. WOW I LOVE YOU ALL SEE YOU IN 6 DAYS! 

Elder Neff

p.s. there will be no pre-call... just be ready.