Friday, August 30, 2013

CUSCO 8.26.13

Ok... so I bet you are all a little surprised to be getting an email from me on a saturday, the truth is I am a little surprised too.

Not too much to say, I guess that I will be able to write more when we go back to normal p-day schedule on mondays. (It will be the monday in two weeks not in 2 days).

I had an emergency change, and now I am serving in the office. I got a call from President tuesday night telling me that I needed to get my bags packed and that i had to be in the office at 7 30 in the morning and that I would be replacing the assistant who went home that same day.

Kind of nervous Mom and Dad, but I am just trying to keep things real and be the same missionary that I have always been.

We are a little nervous as well because in about 3 days Elder Grow a 70 will be coming to the mission and we have to get a lot of things ready for his visit.

I am sure that there will be a news flash or something about Elder Cook visiting us, stay tuned for that on the church web site!

Elder Neff

Thursday, August 22, 2013

CUSCO 8.22.13

Ok.... big confession. 

I did not tell you EVERYTHING that was going to happen this past week in my last email... the truth is that we something VERY exciting happen.....

About two weeks ago I was in the chapel where the mission office is located waiting to teach a lesson with a few missionaries in my zone ( they needed a little help) but as I was waiting for the investigator to arrive the missionary who is personal secretary to the president came and said that president wanted to talk to me. 

Uh oh

Mentirita! I wasn´t THAT scared... until I stepped into president´s office. He told me that he had a special announcment and that it particularly had to do with me. UH..... I had no idea what i was thinking at this point, one of my first thoughts was that they were going to open a remote sector somewhere off in the mountains and that he wanted me to go there... or emergency transfer... yada yada who knows. 

I was very surprised when he said that we were going to recieve a visit from a few general authorities..... A few? THREE. Elder Cook, Elder Calister, and Elder Wadell. 

" And Elder Neff, The assistants here tell me that you have a lot of musical experience."

"Thats right President" 

"Elder Cook has asked that there be a choir in the program, and I want you to organize it." 

"Ok, How much time do I have?" 

" The mtg is in 10 days."



Maybe that gives you an idea of how I felt in that moment. I knew I needed to say yes because there was no one else who could do it, but I had NEVER directed a choir in my whole life! And there were going to be three general authorities in theis mtg. I was at least a little nervous. 

Well faith always precedes the miracle, and that is exactly what happened. Faith + Sally Deford music and a quick translation from spanish to english of "oh my father" and we were good to go.

There were about 20 elders and 20 sisters in the choir. Well, it wasn´t perfect but the Elders and Sisters sang SO WONDERFULY. I was proud, and grateful that they were ready and willing to put something together under such short notice. 

Well enough about the choir, what did the general authorities say! Such wonderful messages, they all spoke and so did everyone of their wives. I felt such a strong spirit, and was particularly grateful for the Apostolic blessing the Elder cook left for us, he talked about all of our loved ones being blessed for our service as missionaries. Elder Calister talked about the apostasy and how important it is that we teach it as missionaries. Elder Wadell speaks very good spanish and bore a simple but powerful testimony. 

I think my spiritual batteries got recharged for the rest of my mission! 

Sorry I couldn´t write on monday, the mtg was that day so we were pretty busy. Mom I promise I am OK. I hope paige and john made it back to UT alright. 

Edna I write you in one week ok? ;) 

loves and bye! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

CUSCO 8.12.13

Hey Fam!!!!! 
What can I tell you all. I am doing so great! Loving the opportunity that I have to be serving here in Cusco. 

Yesterday in church I had to give a talk on Sacrifice and it made me do some real thinking about the principle… and especially how it applies to missionary work.  As I was preparing the talk, I began to think about the many things that missionaries need to sacrifice… Yes I thought a little bit about you guys, and how much I miss you… the things I left at home… my studies, but none of these things stood out as much as one particular thought that I had.  The greatest thing to sacrifice as a missionary or member who desires to share the gospel are our own selfish desires to hold onto the natural man. I thought back to all the many people who I have taught and how important it has been that I could lose my own selfish desires and give all to help them gain a testimony of the gospel.  One of the greatest ways that we can honor the Savior is through testifying of the great sacrifice that He made for us and not just being satisfied that the power of the Atonement has had an effect on us, but that it can have an effect in many other people and bring them the peace and happiness that so many desire to have in this life. 

The other day we had a lesson with a recent convert that is a member of our ward. She is a great convert and always asks very interesting questions. She began to ask us questions about the difference in religions and how she had been to a religious panel the other day where they talked openly about religion and different beliefs. She expressed to us that the feeling from the panel was that in spite of our differences, we all try to reach the same God who loves us and wants us to be happy, and that in the end we would all be united in the same belief. 
To me it seemed like the conference was full of a lot of “feel good talk” about how we all need to be one. Great, I love it. We do need to try to be unified, we do need to love each other in spite of our differences… but a thought came to my mind exactly in this moment of an experience that Elder Packer shared in “Our Search for Happiness” about when he visited a similar religious panel. .. and I think perhaps a similar feeling was present… but Elder Packer was able to testify boldly of the truth in spite of the fact that perhaps there would be a little of resentment or discussion on the subject.

I applied this principle with our recent convert. I told her that we could be tolerant, but that it is ALWAYS important to say the truth… we might have to sacrifice some friendly feelings, but the important thing is that we can be TRUE friends and show that true friendship by helping others understand the one and true way to happiness. 
She was really impacted by what I said. And we saw that change in her this Sunday. She came up to me and started talking about how she now has a desire to serve a mission, where before she had been telling us that a mission was SO out of her plans that she was not even considering it. 

I am happy that the spirit helped me to say the truth in the moment when it was so important. 

Elder Neff

Monday, August 5, 2013

CUSCO 8.5.13

Is it a guilty pleasure that it is playing right now "Walking on the Sun" by Smash Mouth in the internet cafe and I am singing along in my head? I remember when i was way little and Mom would put that on in the house and I would Say "play it againg! play it again!" ..... maybe don´t put that guilty pleasure on the blog..... :)

GREAT Week! I just feel so good. So pleased with all of the great things that are happening in the zone, in my sector. The zona inti raymi is doing so great.

This week my companion and I had a lot of success in finding new investigators. I love the way the Lord prepares people to recieve the gospel and how he guides us to these people so that we can help them.

Remember the story of the lady on the bus? Think of that example, and then think of the example that I am about to share with you.

For many days we had put a man named Gilbert Arias, as a plan b in our planners simply because he lived close to some of our plan A´s and we wanted to have the oportuinty to visit with him.... well for many days it seemed to be in vain that we had even put him on the list of things to do becasue we could never find him.

Yesterday, we had an appointment that was about 20 minutes away walking from our apartment towards a rather poor part of my sector. The `person that we were going to meet with wasn´t home and afer some vain attempts to find other worthwhile things to do in the area, we started to head off to our nxt appointment.

en camino, we run into a very drunk lady that pleads for our help and we stop for a minute to consol her and see how we could help (normally I avoid talking to drunk poeple but she was a woman so I felt bad and we talked to her.) After sending her off in the direction of the police station to get some help, we realize that basically all of our plans for the early afternoon have been ruined... and the looking at my planner I though to myself... "well.... lets go look for Gilbert" (I promise you most days are NOT like that)

So we went to his house, his car was there, we knock on the door and the first thing that he says is, Hermanos! Pasen! He was very excited to see us.

he is a laywer who concidentily works in Izcuchaca..... we had a great talk about that and then we asked him what he expected from us and what he would like to learn. He had many questions about the plan of salvation and what we believe as mormons. His wife has a tumor and it seems like they are passing through some real dificulties in their lives. We gave him a copy aof the book ofmormon and he promised to read and pray. As we ended the lesson he offered a prayer in which he asked to know if the book was true.

This man was a refereral from a member who was really never expected to progress, but I am so grateful that the Lord prepares his children and that dilligence is a wonderful principle we can apply in missionary work. The Lord never gives up on us and we should never give up on others either.

I love you all! I am so happy  have all of you as friends and family!


Sorrry there aaren´t any pics.... I dont have a picture adapter and the elders that have them already left because I had to spend time sending key indicatores,

NXT week Fo sho.

Elder Neff