Wednesday, February 25, 2015

6 months! 2.23.15


How are you all doing?? I AM HAPPY!  I am loving my new area.  Hermana Molina and i are working really hard to see miracles... and the Lord is blessing us! It is such a blessing to be able to go to church every Sunday and see all of the people i love so much from my previous sector. Sometimes it is a little hard because the people ask me why i dont visit them anymore... as if i DONT want to visit them! haha they are crazy but i love them!

  This Sunday Geoconda had a really bad reaction to her cancer.  After relief society she was crying because she was in so much pain.  I just held her for a few minutes while the other ward members went to get the bishop.  I watched as the Bishop and his councilor gave her a blessing and i felt so grateful.  That she has this gospel in her life, and the priesthood, to bless and help her.  I realized that the gospel doesnt make our problems go away.  It doesnt make our trials any easier either. The gospel gives us the strength to face our problems with joy and pacience.  It makes us stronger.   

This week Christian Rosero was baptized.  Hermana Bahr and I sang A Child´s Prayer and dont worry i didnt cry this time!  However, as i watched Christian enter the waters of baptism, i couldnt hold back the tears.  It has been a really LONG journey with him.  As i watched him i thought of all the people that he is going to bless as a missionary. and that in a small way.. i will be able to touch their lives through him.  He shared his testimony after.  He talked about how as he went into the font, the water was freezing.  And all he wanted was to run out, but as his younger brother (who is 16 and baptized him) began to say the words in the baptismal prayer, he was filled with warmth.  A warmth that he couldnt describe!  I was SO HAPPY!!  

I studied this week about hope.  Something that perhaps i have been struggling with.  I find myself getting frusterated, because i think i have been expecting blessings that arent being completed.  I prayed and asked The Lord why.  I was doubting if i am truly doing my part as a missionary, or if i needed to change certain things.  I opened up Preach My Gospel and read about hope.  I learned that when we have hope, we work, obey, and serve The Lord... with the HOPE that ALL his promised blessings will be received.  I am trying to put this into practice.  As Mom always tells me "It is a marathon and not a sprint."  As this applies perfectly to missionary work, it also apllies to life.  We should serve, love, and obey The Lord, and we shouldnt EXPECT the blessings, but rather, HOPE for them. If He tries our pacience, we should continue hoping and working.  With optimism in our hearts and love for those around us.  

I love you all with my whole entire heart. And I love being a missionary.  

Hermana Neff 
P.S. we run this pathway every morning and it is BEAUTIFUL!! With a giant river, huge trees, horses. etc. I LOVE ECUADOR! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Carnaval 2.16.15

This week has been a little weird!  Hermana Molina (my new comp from Argentina) and I are working really hard.  We really want to have a lot of sucess in this transfer! This Saturday we are going to baptize another family which is really exciting!  Life is good.  
This week was carnaval.  It was terrifying.  Ok so i am going to do my best to explain what happened.  My old sector was Sangolqui.  It is about 40 minutes from where i am now in Tambillo.  Anyways in between sangolqui and tambillo is amaguaña.  Carnaval is CRAZY in Amaguaña.  Everyone gathers there to play. So yesterday was the big day to play Carnaval.  And it was Sunday.  Hermana Molina and I got on the bus that we usually have to take to get to Sangolqui... (where the chapel is).  This bus always passes for Amaguaña.  Well we didnt realize it but yesterday the buses were only going to amaguaña, leaving the people there to play carnaval and then returning to tambillo.  So we went as far as amaguaña.  and they left us there. in the middle of EVERYTHING.  It was terrifying. There were so many people gather in this small area playing carnaval and they were spraying us with carioca. We barely made it our alive.  Luckily we found a bus that took us to Sangolqui, but we got to church a half hour late.  Tomorrow is supposedly the last day.  Finally. 

Right now we are teaching twins.  Nadia and Caren.  They are 25 and SO GREAT!  I have complete faith that they are going to be baptized in the next month. 

I dont have much more to report about this week! We are working hard to find new families and to see miracles in this transfer.  Thank you for you prayers, love, and support.  I love to be a missionary!  I really love my life!!  

I have been studying a lot about faith this week.  I have come to realize that the best way to increase our faith is through prayer, diligent scripture study, and attending church.  I know that these are three simple things, but these three things make ALL the difference.  I encourage you all to study the scriptures EVERY DAY, PRAY with real intent, and ALWAYS attend church.  I LOVE YOU ALL!  

Hermana Neff 
 taigo pinching the double chin that i have obviously gained in the mission 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baptism yay! 2.9.15

This week was so so happy and so so HARD! 

First off FAMILIA SABANDO GOT BAPTIZED!!!   It was such a beautiful experience.  But i need to start from the beginning.  So Ramone was having troubles accepting the word of wisdom.  We had taught it, he understood it, he just didnt want to commit.  Wednesday he had his interview and he committed to live the word of wisdom.  On Saturday we were frantically preparing everything for the baptism.  We were so so stressed.  The baptism started and i wasnt feeling the spirit too strongly-because of the stress.  Hermana Bahr and i were a part of the program.  We were going to sing Grande eres tu or How Great thou Art.  We got to the front and began to sing. We made it through the first verse when i looked down at Geoconda and saw that she was weeping.  Hermana Bahr noticed at the same time, and we both began to weep. We sang HORRIBLY through our tears, but the spirit was SO STRONG.  I think by the end of the song almost everyone was crying.  It was one of the most special experiences of my life.  Then after the baptism they all shared their testimonies.  They talked about how the gospel and how the missionaries have changed their lives.  Geoconda talked about how when she was baptized she physically felt that something inside her, weighing her down, was lifted.  They all spoke about the warmth and happiness they felt.  I felt so happy.  After the service Ramon, the dad, gave me a really big hug, which i obviously responded to so so awkwardly, but it was meant in a loving way.. so i felt okay about it!  As i sat in church the next day watching them recieve the Holy Ghost and listening to the beautiful blessings promised them, i felt so happy.  I have been blessed to know and work with this family for over four months.  And how i love them! I am grateful to The Lord for letting me love them.  

Another miracle.  CHRISTIAN CAME TO CHURCH AGAIN!! Just to remind you al who Christian is, he is he 19 year old that knew that literally everything we taught was true... he just didnt want to get baptized.  When we visited him last night, he told us that he had a dream that he needed to serve a mission.  So now he is getting baptized as soon as he possibly can!  I was shocked, amazed, and unbelievably happy!  

So the hard part.  Last night we got cambios.  I am staying in this ward, but i am leaving to work in another sector tambillo and uyumbicho.  And i am going to train!!  Well i am finishing the training. Part of me is so so sad to leave Selva Alegre, but i know the Lord is blessing me to be able to stay in this ward and see Christians baptism... and work with other people that are needing help.  I am learning to accept His will and forget my own. I am training Hermana Molina from Argentina!  She is SO GREAT!! I love her so much!  I am really sad that Hermana Bahr wont be my companion, but we are still going to be in the same district..... which is such a happy thing!  

Another thing.  We are putting goals as a mission to read the Book of Mormon in this next transfer and high light every scripture about Christ!  And we are studying Christlike attributes.  I am really excited about it!  


Hermana Neff 

My favorite volcano

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Carnaval 2.2.15

I just feel so happy and blessed to write you all today! I hope that all is happy and well where you are, because it is great here! 

I am having troubles remembering a lot of what has happened this week... the weeks just fly by!  We are in the last week of the transfer and i am feeling pretty sad.  This Sunday i was a little teary during church because i have come to love this ward so much, and i feel so grateful to The Lord for letting me love these people. 

Familia Sabando.  PRAY FOR THEM!  They are all ready, but Ramone is still hesistant to give up drinking... we are going to see how he is doing this Wednesday.  And if he isnt ready, then it wont be this Saturday.  It kills me a little bit because i know that there is a chance i wont see their baptism, but i know that the important thing is that they are truly converted to Christ!  

We got carnavaled.... TWICE THIS WEEK!! And it technically starts in Feb. so when it happened Carnaval hadnt even started!!  For those of you who dont know what this is.. during the month of Febuary it is completely acceptable to throw eggs, water, and flour at just about anyone.  But, i think that if people hit gringas it is extra points.  And if they hit gringa missionaries they win.  I dont know this is just my personal opnion because literally EVERYONE ATTACKS US!! Ok maybe i am exaggerating a little bit.... but look at the pictures.  I live the days in fear and wear my ugliest clothes always. 
Last night we went to Quito and Elder Christensen aka the brother of President Christensen came and spoke to us.  He talked mostly about the Atonement and the grace of Christ.  I felt the spirit bear witness to me that through the grace of our Lord, we can do ALL things.  I found myself looking back at the start of my mission and realizing just how much help I have recieved through the grace of Christ.  When we do ALL that we can do, he will make up for the rest.  I love him. I feel honored and blessed to take his name upon me, and share his joyous message with others.  

This week we had so many less actives and investigadores in church.  We are seeing the fruits of our labors!! I love my life.  I love being a missionary, I love being a Mormon! 

Something Hermana Monzon always said to me was that to be Mormon is to be happy.  I know it is true.  And i feel so blessed.  


Hermana Neff