Friday, January 31, 2014

CUSCO. 1.31.14

Man, there are too many things that happen that I feel the need to write about! Ill try to get at least a little of it in....

I have had a great week and a half with my companion. We were with president and finished up the last few sets of zone conferen uillabamba, Valle Sagrado, Abancay and Andahuaylas.  Now, next week we have changes and then we are in preparation for the next change, nos toca entrevistas!

This week, I had a funny experience and a SUPER spiritual experience which one would you like to hear first?

Ok funny.

So we went to the quillabamba bus terminal to send of some packages with materials that the zone leaders needed. Well, we were there waiting for them to fill out a few papers when all of the sudden a lady came in to the terminal with a few suitcases and her children. It seems like the bus terminal was having very little business that day because all of the ladies representing the different bus companies began to yell, casera casera! (which I have always assumed means like frequent buyer, or the "regulars" that come to buy from a store.) Well she was obviously NOT  a frequent buyer as I saw the startled look on her face and her two kids. I watched in awe as the ladies came from the two bus companies and began a struggleto see who could get them to come to buy a ticket from their company... literally a struggle. One group of ladies managed to get a hold of the mom and one suitcase while the other company got a hold of the two kids and the other suitcase. I could hardly believe what was happening! They obligated the family to use two different buses! It was honestly the most bizarre thing that I have ever seen, I even yelled out and told them to stop but... it was really to late. At least the two buses were going to the same place......

Spiritual and uplifting now. We had a lesson with Carlos and his wife tania. Tania is a member but carlos isn´t... he has quite a few concerns about the church and some of the stories that are related to the restoration. We decided to teach the plan of salvation and base our teachings 100% in scriptures from the BOM.  It worked so well! At the end of the lesson I felt the need to tell him to read moroni 10:4 and 5. He expressed to us how we had often told him to pray to recieve an answer, but that he had never really had this great feeling or comprehension that this set us apart from all the other religions.... cool!

Love you all so much!

Elder Neff.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

CUSCO 1.18.14

I am getting so much better at writting in my journal and that is a big help for me. I feel like I am more open to revelation because I am showing the Lord that I appreciate the spiritual experiences that he is giving me.  That has kinda been my theme this week, making an active effort to listen to the promptings of the spirit, which is so important, and sometimes I am ashamed to say that I get a little caught up in the daily tasks and forget a little to make an active effort to listen to the spirit. 

Yesterday we went to visit a less active women who lives up " en el punto del cerro" (on the top of the mountain) that is on the back side of our sector... well she doesn´t really live at the very top but, it is still a nice little hike. (although beleive me there are plenty of people that decided to build their house on the top of the mountain and it is always a joy trying to find your way up there). Anyway, we arrived at her house and she invited her daughter (member) and her daughters boyfriend (not a member) to meet with us as well. We practically turned our lesson into a " how to begin teaching session" to help This young man Cesar understand our purpose as missionaries. He was a little hesitant at first, but the moment that we began to teach him a little about the restoration of the gospel a beautiful spirit filled the room.  I was a little stunned, not because feeling the spirit is unfamilar, but because it came on a lot stronger than I expected. I felt a distinct impression to make sure that Cesar gave the closing prayer.  That was a surprising prompting because Cesar was barely participating, let alone volunteering to give the closing prayer. Well, I put my fears to one side and followed the prompting of the spirit. It was an awkward prayer, a little clumsy and a little uncomfortable because I insisted a little so that he would give it. But, a good feeling of confirmation came over me that I had done the right thing... maybe even like a little " I told you so" As I saw that he was pretty satisfied for having given the prayer. 

So, we just gotta trust in the spirit. It will always lead us to good. Honestly, as I come closer to the end of my mission, I realize more and more just how much the lord has blessed me in his work. I have been far from a perfect missionary... but perhaps I was rather hard on myself.  Today, as we traveled to a fun ruin sight in valle sagrado (pictures attached) I was talking to my good friend Elder Bentsen (not Jake Bengtzen... although I saw him about a week ago in puno and he is doing dandy, let his parents know!) and he told me something that was very significant. ( Mom and Dad I don´t want to toot my own horn so if you think this is too braggy for the blog take it off) He told me, " I don´t know if you realize just how many people look up to you, I heard all about you even before I had met you. Everyone told me that you were just a kind good missionary." It hit me so hard. I felt the spirit. I am grateful for that good feeling that basically let me know that, I have met the Lord´s expectations for me, and that is all of the satisfaction I need to know that I have done my best in serving him during my full-time mission. 

There is still so much to go! And I am grateful for it. I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Elder Neff

If you can´t tell these brown things are inca salt mines... the Incas are the Bomb I can´t even believe it. In another life if I could have been any type of Native American I would have been an incan. Hands down.

Friday, January 3, 2014

CUSCO 1.3.14

Dear Family!

This week was a full one, full of changes and mission council. I think we are all a little grateful for some P-Day time. President is even going to take a P-Day, he hardly ever takes P-Days, and this is definitely well deserved. We´ll have to see if he makes it down from the mission home to play a "pichangita" (little soccer match) with us later.

Firstly it was really exciting to have all of the new missionaries come in. Lots of Hermanas and few Elderes. Something interesting about this group, lots of the missionaries were a little older, they seemed to be very mature and this was nice considering the fact that past groups have been a little harder to deal with.

We take them for a "mini" tour around the center of cusco before we get to the mission home to have their first training and interview with president. When we get to the mission home we normally give them a short time to explain who they are and where they are from... the short time turned into a full testimony mtg. and it was really something special. They were all so eager to share their testimonies! So eager to be missionaries! Which was neat to see from this group of new elders and sisters. They all had unique stories about how they had gotten to the mission, and most of them included a lot of sacrifice.

Later this week we had a training mtg for new mission leaders. And yesterday we had a mission council in the mission home. We talked about a lot of things, one of them is a new booklet that he church has provided all the missions with titled "adjusting to mission life" Which really is a great help, such a good reminder that missionary week is stressful, but that there are ways to manage it!

What else can I say? Not so sure! I know its not that exciting what I have to say sometimes, it really is always an adventure, I think you sometimes just have to be here.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Neff