Tuesday, November 25, 2014

LOS CHILLOS 11.24.14

How is everyone?? 
I am doing great!!
My new companion is seriously the light that i needed in this transfer.  We have so much fun together!  She is teaching me how to work hard, but how to enjoy it as well.  
So we were visiting a less active this week.  And her boyfriend Enrique was there.  We have been teaching him lots, but he isnt baptized and he cant get baptized until him and Maria get married. In this lesson was the daughter of maria (wendy) and her husband (Santiago)  They are also inactive.  So we asked Santiago to give the closing prayer and her really didnt want to.  So Enrique offered to help him and started to pray.  He says " ENrique, you say, Heavenly Father, thank you for this day...... and other nice things other nice things like that"  Hahahaha we were DYING.  Ok maybe it isnt as funny over email but we were dying.  And then we sang Nearer My God to Thee and he was singing HORRIBLY:  i was trying so hard not to laugh, but i loved it because he was singing from his heart. As i sat with them i saw an eternal family.  I felt that i wanted to do everything i could to help them obtain the goal of an eternal family.   Santiago eventually said the prayer and GUESS WHAT:  HE CAME TO CHURCH!! They only stayed for 1 hour, but it was definitely a miracle.  

We are teaching a woman named Claudia, she listened to the missionaries before, but didnt want to be baptized.  We are confident that now is her time! She loves church, the only problem is that she doesnt want to leave her catholic traditions.  We have faith that her heart will change!

I am so happy about the miracles that we saw this week, but the truth is, i realized something.  Maybe Maria, Enrique, Santiago, Wendy will never be active again in the church, maybe Claudia, the Family Savando, and the Family Asipuela will never be baptized.  But that isnt what is important.  I am here to simply make a mark on their lives.  And if i can help them even just a little on their path to eternal life, then i have done what i was sent to do. Because everything that happens in my mission and in our lives is what the Lord wants for us.  Sometimes it isnt easy to accept, but if we press forward with faith... good things will happen for us. 

I love the hymn Master the Tempest is Raging and the story that goes with it.  When the apostles said "carest thou not that we perish?" and the Savior asks them why they were so afraid, where was their faith??  Arent there times in our lives when we ask, "Carest thou not that we perish?" " What motivates us to ask this question? It is our lack of faith.  I am realizing that i need to increase my faith.  I am grateful that Father in Heaven is patient with my weakness and is constantly helping me strengthen them.  I love him! 

I love you humans will my whole heart.  
hermana neff 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Never give up! Los Chillos 11.17.14

I made it through my first transfer!! And i said goodbye to Hermana Mollo.  It was a little sad, but she was excited to return home! I have learned so much from this transfer.  I have learned to work hard and be obedient.  and that when things get hard, we need to always press forward!

My new companion is Hermana Monzon. She is from Peru. This is her last transfer in the mission so i guess i am a killer!  But she is SO GREAT!  She has so much energy and excitement about the work.  I am so excited to work with her for this transfer.  I am staying in Los Chillos also, which i am grateful for the warmer weather that we enjoy here!!

This week i learned something very important.  In the mission, there are days when i simply want to give up.  To sleep longer, to put off working, to really just rest.  This week i realized that this is not an option.  Ever.  Whether we are serving a mission, or serving in a calling, or raising a family... it doesnt matter.  We can never give up.  Because our perfect example, our Savior Jesus Christ, NEVER gave up.  He devoted his life to the salvation of souls. He taught, loved, and served all his life. He was rejected, despised, and i am sure he was quite frequently exhausted. He suffered for us more than we could ever imagine.  Even after he performed the perfect act of love, the atonement, he didnt stop working.  After his death he could have rested, yet we read in 1 Peter 3:18-19 that he continued in the work of salvation in the Spirit World.  If the Savior after his death did not rest, then what right have we to give up?  To rest from our own work in this life?  It is not easy, but was it ever easy for our Lord?

The great blessing is that we do not have to work alone.  As we read in Jacob  5:72, the Lord will labor with us in his vineyard.  He will give us strength to complete our work in this life.  I am ever grateful for him and his sacrifice. How blessed are we to know of this message? And because we know it, how much more is our responsibility to share it?

I love you all very much!  I am sorry i dont have too much to say about this week.  Only that once again we ate SO MUCH!  EVERYONE wanted to feed us because Hermana Mollo was leaving.  Seriously almost threw up... a few times.  But that i guess is the mission right?!?!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  ¡Seguir adelante!
Hermana Neff
ps sorry no pictures.. we had a busy week! love you all!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grace. LOS CHILLOS 11.11.14

first off. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY JACK!!!  I cannot believe you are nine. Wow. Ok at least i think you are nine. I am forgetting everything these days so i could possibly be wrong, but happy birthday! 

So this week we had the opportunity to go to the Panecillo.  It is a really cool statue that overlooks the city of Quito.. actually it is a little creepy but we had fun!  I wish you all could see the city of Quito.  It is so so beautiful.  

Ok so being a really tall gringa here in Ecuador can be interesting at times.  For example, i was buying some water at this little tienda in the street.  When i starting speaking in spanish to the owner of the store he freaked out!  And then when i told him i was nineteen years old he freaked out even more!  He kept saying to his wife "Que linda!" hahaha i was dying.  And my companion is sometimes bitter because the people here love gringos.  Well, i´m not complaning!  

Then we were waiting outside this investigators house and i was talking with a group of little girls.  They kept asking me to teach them english... so i started teaching them english. I loved it! I love the children in Ecuador.  Seriously the cutest kids in all the world.  So anyways  Then this guy pulled up in his car and asked if i was teaching english classes.  I told him that if he listened to our message i could teach him a little english.  Well he wasnt too happy about that.. and drove away.  

Press on! 

So we have some new investigators.  Three families who are seriously so great! In one of the famlies the mother has cancer.  But she has so much faith and i love learning from her great example!  I love when we tell people to pray to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet of God becuse if they do, they always recieve an answer.  I know that God answers prayers.  Sometimes i want to give up on people.  Sometimes i have a lot of fear to teach them, because i dont feel like i can help them.  Whenever i have these feelings i am reminded that every person that lives and has ever lived on this earth is a Child of God.  And he loves them.  And when i have this perspective, i am not afraid.  I know that he answers our prayers.  I pray every day for him to give me strength, and every day he gives me strength.  

I know that sometimes we simply cannot change our circumstances.  And i know that life can be hard. Hard things happen.  We feel tired, rundown, overwhelmed, stressed.  And we cannot change the things that are happening to us.  But i know that we can ALWAYS change.  As we plead with the Lord for his help, he will always give us the strength to face our trials.  Through his saving grace and love, we can grow and learn.  We can become strong enough to face any challenge in our lives.  The Lord is strengthening me.  Every day, and i love him for it.  

This transfer is almost over!  Which means Hermana Mollo is leaving me.  I have a lot of fear because the area is still new to me, but i know that with the strength of the Lord I CAN DO IT! I am ready and willing to face new challenges that come my way, because i have faith in the grace of our Lord and Savior. 

I love you all so much!  Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Neff

Monday, November 3, 2014

LOS CHILLOS 11.3.14 "The joy of tomorrow comes after the work of today."

How are you all??? 
My life is wacky-as usual. 
This week was interesting. Here in Ecuador they celebrate dia de los muertos.  So i ate a lot of colada morada and wawa de pan.  Which i realize none of you know what this is and there is no other way to explain it other than HEAVEN.  The sad part is they only eat it for three days in the year. This is the tradition.  So until next year! 
Also, it stormed. A lot.  The storms here are actually quite terrifying.  The lightning is always super close and loud and i usually feel like i am going to die... but at the same time i love them! 
So our investigator Eladia dropped us.  We were pretty sad, but the best thing to do in those situations is get back to work! So that is what we did.  We got back to work!  We have a couple new investigators that i will tell you more about next week. 
So the goal of our mission is to become a bilingual mission. So the spanish speakers are learning english while the english speakers learn spanish.  In our district we are having prayers in english every week.  So i think my district leader (trying to be nice) asked me to pray in english.  It was the hardest thing of my life!  I could not do it.  I struggled and struggled.  I guess that is what happens when you only speak in spanish for a month! After 18 months i think i will have forgotten english....

Today we went to this waterfall in the mountains called Rubybosque.  SO COOL!!  
Ecuador is seriously one of the most beautiful places on planet earth! I love it here.  Even though i am in a more difficult area, the Lord is always with me!  I feel him giving me strength in every moment. 
I sort of had a major realization this week.  Because in all honestly i was feeling pretty bad.  All of our appointments fell through and no one was really wanting to talk with us.  I had heard countless times how joyous missionary work is, but i havent felt that joy yet.  I have felt peace and happiness yes, but joy? So i was thinking about this and the words came into my mine "The joy of tomorrow comes after the work of today."  If we want to have joy, then we must be willing to work for it.
I love you all with todo mi corazon.  I love this gospel.  I love the Lord!
hermana neff 
oh and ps happy halloween!