Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CUSCO 7.29.13

Ok..... My bad for not writting more last week.... Ill give you all a WAY GOOD CARTA this week!

Ok so ya I am in CUUUUUUSSSSCCCOOOOOOO!!!! Por FIN! I am loving it. Even though I have only been in the department of  Cusco for the first year of my mission, I have loved every second of it and couldn{t be happier that i am here in inti raymi.

We are 26 missionaries, but all close here in the city which i really like.... I don´t have to go very far to see any of the missionaries in the zone and that is way fun because it is so much easier to help someone out if they have a need.

Last week I was on a bus.... (aka bus = teeny toyota van that they use are transport here a lot of the time and when there isn{t a seat i basically fold in have and hold on for dear life to a little metal bar that keeps me from squashing the little peruvian people with my big gringo form)

anyway I was in the folded in half position, and honestly a little bugged that I was having to ride así, when a woman asked me if she could hold my backpack. My first thought was, " I think she will take it and run when they open the door...." (I am ashamed I thought that at first) But something told me to tell her yes and she took it with Mucho Gusto. The person sitting at her side got off the bus and I decided to sit down next to her. I just had this strong feeling to talk to her. So I did! Her father in law is a member in the stake and she and her daughter began to show some interest in the church a few months ago.

They didn{t live in my sector but I decided to do a work visit and present them to the missionaries who live in their sector. The lesson was yesterday and it was just such a great experience. The mother was experiencing some health problems so we gave her a priesthood blessing and explained how priesthood power blesses families and that this was exactly the blessing that they needed in their lives at this time, Theyboth commented that they were sure the Lord had sent us to them at this time in their lives to bless them.

Ya I think so too!

I love you all! Hae a wonderful week and I PROMISE that I will slowly improve in my writing.

Elder Neff

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CUSCO 7.22.13

Sam didn’t have a lot of time to write this week L so he sent us the update that he sent to his mission president.  Perks of being a zone leader I guess!  Sam is now in the City of Cusco, Zona Inti Raymi.  He says, “google maps Tupac Amaru…. I live there.”

Presidente Harbertson:

Hoy día traté a dar una clase que edificaría a la zona y ayudar a los misioneros a empezar el nuevo cambio con muchos ánimos. Al tomar los logros ayer en la noche, nos dimos cuenta que las fechas de la zona están muy bajos por la cantidad de compañerismos que tenemos. Creo que tiene que ver en general con la actitud de los misioneros y que piensan que las metas de excelencia están más allá de su alcance, sé que no tienen que sentirse así y yo y elder Castellanos tratamos a animarlos a esforzarse para lograr la meta. 

También tuvimos una reunion con los obispos y el presidente de la estaca. Hablamos del tema de que cada barrio necesita tener la organización misional. Hablando sinceramente, algunos de los obispos no nos creen que es importante y dicen no más que trabajamos por nuestra propia cuenta. Pero tenemos el apoyo de algunos y vamos a empezar por allí. 

Thank you for your advice the other week about attitude and how it determines everything.  I’m doing my best to apply that and hope the zone can do the same.  I was here a long time and I am grateful for it, it has been the greatest growth opportunity I have yet to experience in the mission and I am looking forward to doing the same in my next area.

Monday, July 15, 2013

SICUANI 7.15.13

Well I am sending a whole bunch of pictures right now, I hope you all enjoy!  There are a few pictures of Sicuani, Pitumarca (Yes I did baptize someone in that river!) and the Watia I told you about last week.

Mom that is totally nutz about the bear.  Happy that no one died and that Brent Henry is da man with his Bear Horn!  I hope you are all enjoying Powell even with the boat issues, send me some pictures next week!

I think that the saddest news I have is that I found out yesterday I have a change.  Can’t believe that my time in Sicuani has ended and that I am off to a new sector.  Who can say where I will be writing you all next?

One thing I can say though is that I am very pleased with the work that I have been able to do here in Sicuani.  I have learned so much and despite of all the difficulties I am happy that I have been able to grow as a missionary and feel even more my conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful in particular that I have been able to learn how to be valiant in the face of opposition even when things seem going all wrong!  Many times the work here in this zone has been less than exemplary, but I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn how to be a good example to others who might not be as dedicated.  

I am sad that I will be leaving my investigators, many of which are progressing and the members are becoming even more excited with the work and helping us with references every single week.  I am so sad that I have to leave the wonderful converts that mean SO much to me.  Percy and Soledad in particular.  I think that when times were rough here in Sicuani that was one of my greatest comforts…. They have not missed ONE SINGLE DAY of church since they were baptized.  They both have callings and are trying every day to live the gospel.

Love you all so much!

Elder Neff

Monday, July 8, 2013

SICUANI 7.8.13

Ok…. I am going to send this but I need you to promise me that you are going to UPDATE THE BLOG!  Haha Family how are you!!!  The pictures were awesome.  Yes I was there last year in the “front yard of fire” or whatever we called it.  Don’t you all remember that one of the mortar packages fell down and Brandon and High had to go and kick it in the other direction?  Which ended up being in the direction of a super dry field so we pointed it to the left and one of the mortars pegged the Glaittli Suburban… ya good times!

Ok let me tell you how we are doing here in Sicuani.  I have been here since February, can you believe it?  At this rate I am going to have only two more sectors before my time runs out…. Oh well.  If I don’t make it to the Jungle or Lake Titicaca I will at least be able to say the I am “cerano (mountain person) for life!”

We are twenty missionaries now in the zone and I am starting to realize the great changes that are going on in the missionary program world-wide.  We were a mission with about 180 missionaries?  The Lord is hastening his work and I couldn’t be serving at a more exciting time as a missionary.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the opportunity we have to repent.  It was the first class that President Harbertson gave to the missionaries and I spent a lot of time reflecting on it.  I realized what a great blessing it is to be able to repent.  As we repent we are able to change our current circumstances, and not only that, we can literally erase the past problems and transgressions that we have committed in the past.  It is the greatest gift that our Savior could give us along with the ability to overcome physical death.  I tried my very best to apply this to my teaching this week and to my personal life.  I am grateful that repentance helps me to be a better person and missionary every day, and that the greatest blessing that comes from this is a personal peace that I can show to every person that I meet.

Well what else would you like to know about life in Sicuani.  Perhaps the student strike where the kids left rocks in the street and burned tires so the cars couldn’t pass?  Haha or the other day our lunch was yams and potatoes that are cooked underground with charcoal?  (this type of cooking is called Watia) Its really tasty but you definitely have to apply the “a little dirt don’t hurt” phrase haha…. Now I know why nobody has teeth here….

I honestly love you all so much.  Dad, I was thinking…. The only Christmas/Birthday present that I really want is that when I get home, you have two fly rods waiting for us, and all the nifty stuff that we need to go fly fishing in the Uintas when I come home in June.  I can get home and that same weekend we can jump in that new shnazy CR-V and finally do that trip we were planning before the mission.  That is honestly the only thing that I want.  PROMISE ME WE CAN DO IT!  Remember that I am now responsible and committed to doing things so if you let me down I will be bummed ;)

Oh and when you send the sweater send socks…. All of mine have holes now.  


Elder Neff

Thursday, July 4, 2013

SICUANI 7.3.13

WOW!  SO SORRY THAT I AM WRITING TWO DAYS LATE!!!! I spent the last two days in Cusco and we got hope last night recently…. I had to find the very best day to get to internet and even though we don’t have an appointment right now its proselyting hours so I am going to make it supa quick!

The new president is DA BOMB!!!!!!  I am so stoked to have him here in the mission.

I had the chance to say good-bye to president Calderon last Sunday night… It was a bitter sweet moment, but I felt very privileged that after we passed him the key indicators he took the chance to say goodbye personally.  I will ALWAYS be thankful for his great love that he showed towards all of us.  

Well…. I will have to tell you more next week.  LOVE YOU ALL! 

Elder Neff