Thursday, October 31, 2013

CUSCO 10.18.13

The other day, I made a big realization.  I have never been happier. Really never been happier in my whole entire life. I am realizing the blessings that come from service and faithful dedication to the work of salvation... its not what I expected it to be, but it is really even better. 

I thought that the happiness you felt as a missionary would be smiles on your face, perfect teaching situations and baptizing MILLIONS! haha, but thats not it! Its personal peace mom. It is feeling clean from your sins and helping others to do the same, the best that you can. 

And the other part is this strong desire growing in me to always, always serve the lord and make that my main priority for my whole life! I understand very well that most of that work will be done with my own family, but sometimes I get scared thinking about the end of my mission because I will miss this oportunity so much. Its not that I dont want the mission to end, I know very well that it will. But I don´t want to stop serving the Lord. Ever. Period. That is what makes me happy right now. So that is my ulitmate goal for when I get home.- 

I miss the family, very very much. Some times it has been difficult... a lot of times actually haha. But I love you all and think about you often. 

Much love 

Elder Sam Neff

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CUSCO 10.15.13

Ok mom and dad.... conference thoughts!!!

first of all, a little frustrated because I took a lot of notes and am not sure where my journal is where I wrote them all down, but I will give you all my thoughts from what I can remember.

Mom I loved your comments on the priesthood and honestly I had NO idea about that woman´s movement. What a shame. Someone who thinks they can change the Lord´s mind through a  protest... doesn´t understand revelation. And how sad because I feel like their worry comes from the fact that they haven´t even taken the time to really understand what the priesthood is, and that it is our unique oportunity to serve as men... President always talks about this.... and how he believes that men need the priesthood, it is the "program" that helps us learn how to be servicial... something that woman have before they even come to this earth. More and more everyday I realize the great blessing it is to hold the priesthood and help spread those blessings specific to the priesthood in Cusco Perú.

And all I´m saying is that men aren´t going around looking for the way to have kids.... well, I haven´t been home for quite awhile so I hope that the world hasn´t gone that far down hill since I left.

Some things from conference that really impacted me were Elder Richard G. Scott´s talk about  the power of the atonement for us personally and guarding ourselves from past problems.  Also Elder Ballard´s talk about just opening our mouths to preach the gospel... that has affected me a lot, and I have been making extra efforts to open my mouth this week.

More than anything after conference my desire to be a faithful follower of Christ is always strengthened... but this time it felt so distinct.  I felt the importance of this faithfulness in my calling as a missionary, and in all of the challenges we will face in these last days. I can´t imagine many of the difficulties that we will need to face.  I think the most valuable lesson of my mission has been realizing that being faithful to the Lord is all that matters. I feel good as I make good decisions... and that never has to end. It will be especially important as the world continues to move farther and farther away from the principles of the gospel... we don´t have to "hacerles caso!"

The mission has been a tough experience... but I think that the other day, I realized why that was so important.  I don´t think that my mission would be any good to me if it had not been so hard. The Lord had to teach me, I think, that he needs me to love him more than anything else.

The calling may not be that easy, but its my calling, and callings rarely are convenient.

Mom and Dad your examples have been soooooo good to me, when I read about Dad in mtgs all sunday and Mom juggling the lives of 7 children 1 grandkid and working at the  highschool.  I think about how we are all doing something for the kingdom of god.  It makes me happy :)

I am going to be honest. I´m not sure what days I will be writing but Ill try my best to make it constant!

Love you all :)

Elder Neff

Friday, October 11, 2013

CUSCO 10.5.13

Mom and Dad, I am a little tired. We just got back from a work visit to Ollantaytambo, which is about an hour and a half from where I am serving right now in Cusco. We went to go and check on the Elders there and see how they were doing . 

Olllantaytambo is a little tourist town and is part of the valle sagrado zone. We went to go and get a feel for how the elders there are doing and how the work is going. When we got there I was really quite impressed with the elders, I couldn´t believe the amount of challenges that they were facing. Look it up on google earth, ollantaytambo is a little tourist town, that probably exceeds the population of actual inhabitants everyday the amount of tourists that come through to see the ruins or take the train to machu picchu. 

We went to the rescue! I hope that you have read the first presidency message for this month. It was a wonderful experience and we also found them a few new investigators, which is really difficult to do in such a small town. 

Earlier this week we went to Juliaca to have the zone conference and interviews with president. We were able to do a training mtg with the missionaries and it was such a great experience.... the interviews seem to be taking quite a long time with president harbertson as he is trying to get to know better the missionaries. We talked a lot about the importance of preach my gospel and how the missionareis should use it as a tool to help them be better prepared. We also talked a lot about ward council, and how it is the connecting moment between the missionaries and members to coordinate the work of salvation! 

I know that I am sending this right as conference is starting, I am about to go and watch it. I love you all so much! and hope that you have a wonderful conference experience! 

Love you

Elder Neff