Tuesday, October 28, 2014

LOS CHILLOS 10.27.14

Hi!!!!!!!!
HOW IS EVERYONE DOING?!?!???!

So this week has been... well a little bit hard and weird. and really funny at times too.  

So Eladia was supossed to have her baptismal interview this Sunday, but she didnt come to church.  So that was pretty sad.  We are visiting her tonight to see what happened!  But we honestly have no idea. It is super frusterating at times because we think our investigators have testimonies and then they back out of baptism, or have fear, or.... well who knows!  And in this area it is not easy to find new investigators.  Very few people want to listen to us!  But we have decided that either we need to have more faith, or Heavenly Father wants us to learn something from this.  So we are pressing forward!

So on wednesday (i think it was wednesday....) i ate more than i have ever eaten in my entire life.  The people here LOVE to feed the sister missionaries.  So we went to have lunch at a less actives house.  She fed us well... chicken, rice, beans, cake... etc.  Then as we were leaving she made us sandwiches for the road.  Super super nice of her.  Sidenote: her mom is super old and LOVED me.  She was kissing my face and pinching my cheeks like i was a five year old.... hahaha so so funny.  my companion was dying.  Then after we visited another less active.  My companion had to use the bathroom (which i panic every time this happens because i have to make conversation with the person we are visitng haha) but i was talking with her  (her name is Rosa... sidenote again: every woman here is named either Rosa or Maria) and i asked her if she likes cooking and what she likes to cook.  Well then she asks me how much time we have and i say ten minutes and she starts cooking green bananas for us.  Then rice.  Then she pulls a full fish out of her freezer, chops it in half, and starts cooking it.  At this point i really am panicking because i am feeling bien lleno.  But she put it all on a plate and we ate it all.  And i am pretty sure in the process i swallowed a few fish bones..oops. THEN.  We really had to go to the bathroom so we stopped at a members house to use their bathroom and they insisted on giving us cake! (The members here ALWAYS insist on giving us food, but NEVER insist on giving us references!)  So then after we went to another less actives house and they fed us break and some really yummy drink that didnt taste so yummy because i was seriously going to barf.  haha this country is loco, but i love it.  

Spanish.... well it is coming.  I only have three weeks left with Hermana Mollo so i am going to try and speak as much as i can! 

Today we went to the Basillica.  The city Quito is so beautiful.  And this basillica really was amazing. I cant believe it!  I walked around thinking about dad.  It is so special to walk in the same places that you have walked papa!   
I just want you all to know that Heavenly Father loves families.  I am so so so grateful for my family.  Almost every day i sing or listen to families can be together forever.  I always tear up because i love my family so much.  And the mission has helped my appreciate how incredibly grateful i am that we get to be together. forever. 
I love you all so very much. 
hermana neff 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

LOS CHILLOS 10.20.14

Hey FAM.  
Como estan ustedes?? 
The mission is WACKY!! haha seriously every day is quite the experience.  It is not easy but it get better every day! And i am learning so much.  every day.  

Ok so first off i am literally the tallest human in this whole country.  I have met two people taller than i am and one of them is an elder from California. Haha i TOWER.  Also, it rains every day which i love (when i have my umbrella) 

Second this sector is hard.  It is reffered to as la prueba de su fe.  Because the people have lots of money and are totally content with their life.  some people we talk to say that they are busy and will never have time to hear our message.  too busy.  Or they are a bit nicer and give us a fake address and telephone number.  Or they are strict catholic and get really mad at us...... haha it isnt easy but we are pressing forward with faith!
Third i have a testimony of fasting!  This week Eladia didnt want to take lessons from us amymore.  We asked her what happened and she didnt give us a straight answer.  So we fasted. The day after she recieved us again!  And accepted a date for baptism! We were so happy for her.  

Our other investigator Pedro is really hard because he wants to talk about everything BUT the gospel. And of course i cant understand much of what he says so i just try to not fall asleep during the lessons. 
I had my first baptism!  I know what your are thinking. "She is so amazing wow best missionary ever two weeks in the field already has a baptism!" WRONG! Haha i wish i could say i did anything for this girl and her baptism... but i didnt.  However, i have a lot of love for her and i have had the opportunity to teach her and her family a little bit! Her name is abigail. 
Ok another thing.  I really dont like contacting.  It is scary and i never know what to say or even have time to think about what i want to say! This week we were blessed to have the mission president and his wife visit our sector.  Our president pointed out this passage of scripture that has really changed my heart! 1 John 3:7-18.  PLEASE READ.  I am serious.  If we do not have love for other then we CANNOT know God.  Because God IS love.  And because he gives his love so freely to us, we must give our love freely to others. And having this love leads us to testify of him, beause is we want to bless the lives of others! And if we have love then we will have boldness, because there is no fear in love. Perfect love casteth out all fear.  
I love you all so much.  It brings me so much joy to hear of your successes.  Life is sweet. And being here has made me realize that what makes life so sweet is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  
Keep pressing forward with faith!!
Hermanita Neff (We are Hermanitas to the members here... i love them) 
My backyard

Mi casa

Monday, October 13, 2014

LOS CHILLOS 10.13.14

This week has been LOCO!!  
So we got to Ecuador and did training and such until Thursday. I love my mission president.  They are so wonderful!  I am very blessed to have them!  On Thusday i got my new companion.  She is latina from Bolivia.  She speaks maybe 10 words of english.... so i am learning spanish fast!  She only has 5 weeks left in her mission and most of her time here, she spent as sister training leader.  She is a GREAT missionary.  I am learning so much from her!  but it is a little scary because when she leaves,  i have to show the new companion the area, introduce her to all the members etc. etc.  So i really need to learn fast! 
So I am in Los Chillos!  An area in Quito that is beautiful!  It is a mountain/valley city and i love it.  We are completely surrounded by Volcanos!  Like huge volcanos! haha kinda scary, but awesome!
Volcano:
So in my first lesson here i couldnt understand much, but we were teaching and all the sudden i heard mooing. Like loud.  After the lesson we walked outside and there was just a herd of cows, walking down the street... casually.  There are also lots of horses and chicken and roosters.  I hate the roosters.  They wake me up at 5 every morning.  There are also billions of dogs.  They scare me a little bit.  

Our apartment is great!  And i looooove the food here! The members are also wonderful.  It is amazing how different i feel when i am in the home of a member over a non member.  I am so grateful to have been raised in this gospel.  It is TRUE!  
So one day this week we were contacting and werent finding anyone (the people arent very humble in this area) anyways we prayed to find one family and... we found four!  But we only taught one and they didnt come to church and we havent gotten in contact with the others... but it was a witness to me that God is helping us!  Even though we are just two young girls! 

the people here are all super catholic or jehova witness. So we dont have much success contacting. 
But we do have three investigators!  Pedro, Eladia, and the familia borrero.  Pedro lives alone and is really smart.  He has lots of questions and talks A LOT.  Eladia is an angel.  I love her so much.  She is gaining a testimony and i love teaching here.  The Familia borrero is more sceptical.  They dont have a baptismal date and dont want one because they dont feel like they are ready.  But they came to church!  And pedro and Eladia as well.  Hermana Mollo and I were SO HAPPY!!  

Anyways i am well and happy! and learning a lot! 
hermana neff 

QUITO 10.10.14

We got this letter from Eden's mission presidents.  They sound so nice, and it was so kind of them to let us know what area she will be in!

10 October 2014
Dear Brother and Sister Neff,
We are so pleased that Sister Neff is serving in the Ecuador Quito Mission.  We welcome her with all our hearts and know that the gifts she has been given from our Father in Heaven  and the talents she has developed will bless the lives of those with and for whom she serves in a unique way only she can offer.   She has impressed us as an outstanding young woman.  Her dedicated service will further increase her abilities and character in remarkable ways as I’m sure you’ve experienced as both of you served missions.
There are currently 251 missionaries in our mission, serving in 13 zones.    Sister Neff  has been assigned to serve in Quito in the Los Chillos South Zone with Sister Mollo as her companion and trainer.  Sister Mollo is known by the other missionaries as being a very hard working, and obedient  missionary who loves the work and is a great example.
Attached are photos that show Sister Neff with her companion; the group of missionaries with whom she arrived; the group with their trainers; and with us.
We know and understand that there is sacrifice on your part both emotionally and financially to support her during this period of full time missionary service and we express our gratitude for your offering which furthers the work of inviting others to come unto Christ and to receive the blessings of the Gospel in their lives.

With our love and gratitude,
President and Sister Christensen

Thursday, October 9, 2014

QUITO 10.7.14

HI!!!
Ok so I am in Ecuador safe and sound.  I have gotten about four hours of sleep in the last 30 hours, but I feel so good!  I had the great opportunity to ride to the chapel with the president and his wife.  I love them already!  They are amazing people!
DAD.  Quito is beautiful.  I am in awe and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve here.  Get onto LDS.org and watch the video in the church news (I think) called "called to serve."  It was filmed and the chapel I am emailing is in the video.... so Dad watch it and see if you recognize it!  The president said that this chapel was being constructed when he was a missionary.  It is the first chapel in Quito.  
I find out who my trainer is on Thursday.  Say lots of prayers for me!  I love you all very very much. 

Talk to you soon!
Hermana Neff
 
(me and the president and his wife)

CCM 10.6.14

Family!  
Ok so i get to send another email because i will miss my p-day this week which is such a blessing because i get to tell you all about my favorite parts of conference!!  Conference was amazing right?? 
I guess i will just share some general things with you that i learned

-SUSTAIN THE PROPHET! I love our beloved prophet Thomas S. Monson.  This also includes us sustaining ALL church leaders. 

-Kindness is powerful. We need to be a little kinder and loving towards everyone! 

-This was probably my favorite "self improvement over self contentment"  We can all make GOOD choices, but we should constantly be striving to make choices of excellence.  Making a good choice is making a choice of self contentment, a choice that is less than excellent.  Making the BEST choice, a choice of self improvement, is making a choice of excellence. 

-Have NO fear of men. Love all people, despite your differences with them (because perfect love casteth out all fear).  But do not lower your standard of choice because you fear them more than you fear God. 

-When we take the sacrament, we should consider how the grace of Jesus Christ can help us be better in the week to come! in this same talk Sister Esplin mentioned how Aaronic Priesthood holders represent Christ when they administer the sacrament.  When she said that i got a little emotional as i thought of Ben.  I am so proud of him and his wonderful example of Jesus Christ.  I love that boy!

-Dad, didn´t you like the talk about how the ward needs to be united in saving souls??  (by Chi Hong Wong)  You have the power to make this a reality in the seventh ward!  I have learned a lot this week in the MTC about how missionaries and ward members have to work together.  It is so exciting! 

-We bear the responsibility for our actions.  All of our life changes must be SELF-WILLED.  They cannot come in any other way.  And when we decide to make changes, i know that the Lord will help us.  

-Study the scriptures!! Gathering light is a life long search! We cannot ever learn everything the scriptures contain! It is so exciting that the Lord will reveal his eternal truths and doctrines to us if we will simply study them. 

-I love that Elder Uchtdorf said that our personal testimony of light will bless our posterity.  I thought a lot about Grandma Anderson and the many conversations we have had about the gospel.  Her testimony has truly bless my life! I also thought about Grandpa Neff and the many conversations we have had about missionary work.  They have also blessed my life.  Mom and Dad, your testimonies have strengthened me my whole life.   Thank you. i love you!

-Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers. 

-What are we willing to give up to follow the Lord?

-Ask God how we can be charitable and generous.  He will guide us

-Look to God and live

-leave a rich legacy of faith for those who follow us

-live the gospel joyful 

-Walk the paths of Christ.  Be his disciple.  Walk AS he walked. 

-Ponder the path of your feet

-study the doctrine of Christ.  Live it and love it. 

-from time to time ask yourself what you can be doing better. avoid the small errors.  

-do family history work!

- How can our own personal ministries answer the prayers of others?? 

-SHARE THE GOSPEL!! YAY!! 

There is so much more! But those were my favorite points.  We are so so blessed to have living prophets who guide our church today! 

Ok so now.  I am leaving the CCM:
I will miss my district. so much. 
I will miss my teachers (probably the best teachers on planet earth)
I will miss the food (especially the fruit)
I will miss the amount of study time i have
I will miss mucho mango arizonas and access to peanut butter
I will miss Tuesday night devotionals and Sunday night movies.


I will miss so much about this beautiful place!  I have truly loved my time here.  But i am ready!  I am so ready to get to the mission field and start teaching.  Please pray for me. Next time we talk... i will be in Ecuador!  


Friday, October 3, 2014

CCM 10.2.14

FAMILY!! Como est├ín my LOVERS!! 

So i leave the CCM on Monday.  My heart is a little bit sad as i think about leaving this place.  I have come to love my district so much.  The hermanas have become some of my best life long friends and it will be so hard to leave them.  There are 6 Elders going to Quito with me and my companion, but we havent met a single other sister going to Quito in our time here at the CCM!  So i think there are probably a lot of natives.  Which is so great!  

Today we went to the temple.  It is so beautiful.  I saw one of my friends from BYU at the visitors center! She is serving her mission in Mexico City right now!  It was so fun to be at the temple.  I am so grateful that families are forever because of the amazing covenants we make in the temple.  I am so happy to know that my family is forever and we will see all our loved ones again!

I am so excited for conference!  As we watch we should consider the Master´s hand in preparing the prophet´s and apostle´s message!  It is not their conference, but rather the Savior´s... and i know he directs it!  How cool is that!!

I am sorry but this week hasnt been too eventful!  We are just packing and enjoying our last few days with our amazing teachers (hermano chan and hermano hernandez) and with the district! My flight leaves at 2:55 AM tuesday morning and i have a layover in Columbiaat 6 AM.  Then i get to Ecuador at 10:30 Tuesday afternoon!  I am so so excited!  I have loved my time in Mexico.  I have learned a lot.  And i am ready to go apply this knowledge in the mission field! PRAY FOR ME!!

Also, if you guys have time i suggest you watch the devotional by David A. Bednar called The Character of Christ.  It is life-changing.  

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Neff

My companion and I in front of the temple
Me and my teachers
My district