Monday, March 30, 2015

Ambato 3.30.15


What a joy to be writing you all this week!  It has been quite a week!  
So on Monday i traveled to Ambato.  It is about a 3 hour bus ride from Quito and it was quite lovely!  So fun to see a lot more of Ecuador after 6 months of the same ward!  Although i do miss them all a lot, i know that God has put me here in Ambato for a reason!  

So anyways i was in a trio for two days with Hermana Merril and Hermana Coronado. We were pretty much just in the house for these two days because Hermana Merril was super sick... parasites. We left the house on Tuesday and she fainted (dont worry i caught her)... so after that we stayed in the house to rest.  

On Wednesday i went to get my hija.  They talked to us a lot about training and how we really make the difference in the missions of these missionaries!  I feel like i have a huge responsability which is really scary but exciting. Oh i forgot to tell you, its kinda funny because my companion from the MTC (hermana Roach) is also training!  We are the only sisters in the mission right now that are training and opening sectors!  Ok so anyways i got my hija!! SWEETEST HUMAN!  I think she is helping me learn how to have 5 million times the charity that i have right now.  Her name is Hermana Maldonado and she is from Chile.  On thursday we had our Reunion de Zona and they were all telling me that i have a chilean accent now!  Not sure how i developed that in one day.... 

Once we got to Ambato i literally had no idea where to start.  The Carpeta was más o menos and our house was DISGUSTING!!  And the hermanas before didnt have too many investigators.  So we sort of started from scratch.  But with the blessings and help of the Lord we found four new investigators in two days!  We found one of them on Friday and her name is Rosa.  If you havent figured it out by now every woman in Ecuador is either named Rosa or Maria.  Anyways we started teaching her in her store.  She told us that she had never prayed.  I started the lesson with the opening prayer.  I looked at her after i finished and she had tears in her eyes.  My companion and I asked her if she was okay and she told us that she was going throught some really hard things in her life right now and just needed some peace.  As she cried I felt so grateful that God had put her in our path so that we could help her find the hope that is only found within the gospel. 

"peace i leave with you, my peace i give unto you: not as the world giveth, give i unto you.  Let not your heart be troubles neither let it be afraid." John 14:26

As i have been contacting a lot this week i have realized a lot of things. I have realized that The Lord doesnt always give us spiritual promptings of the people that we need to talk to or contact, but that he expects us to talk to EVERYONE.  So we are talking to EVERYONE.  In buses, taxis, streets, stores etc. And if there is time we contact. We have been finding so many people to teach just by talking to every person in our path.  

Sunday was a really great day.  I loved getting to know the ward members.  It is a small ward and they need A LOT of help.  I was talking with my companion the other day and we talked about how we just feel like big things await us here in this sector.  And we feel like the Lord has put us her to not only find those he has prepared for us, but to also help strengthen the ward members.  I feel so blessed to have been put in this area.  I love it! 

Today we didnt do anything but clean our house!  It was so gross.  And i dont blame the hermanas that were there before, i blame every missionary that has every lived there! jajaja but really it was pretty disgusting.  

This week we end our sacrifices.  I feel like i have seen so many miracles, but mostly within myself. As i have read the BOM i have seen just how much it talks about Christ.  I love him.  I am grateful for the Book of Mormon in our lives.  It is a book FULL of power.  I love the gospel and i love the mission!  

I am praying for you all and i LOVE YOU!! 

Hermana Neff 

casual bird in their house...
My comp likes to braid.... I'm not complaining....

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Miracle of Forgiveness 3.23.15

emailing from.... AMBATO!!!  So transfers were today and i am just a little freaked out and here´s why!  Last night our district leader told me that i was leaving the ward (after 6 months :( ) and headed for mira flores in Ambato.  I was really excited because he told me that i would be finishing someone´s training again, which i had already done, so i felt experienced and ready!  Leaving my ward yesterday was really hard.  I cried.  But i know that the Lord has a plan for me and that i am here in Ambato for a reason. So anyways today we get to Ambato to find my companion and my new district leader tells me that i am not finishing someone´s training, but STARTING and OPENING a sector!!  When he told me that i literally felt so afraid, but i KNOW that there is a reason and that he will give me the strength and confidence to train and open this sector!  

This last week we saw a lot of miracles.  On Monday we saw Alex drinking and we felt so sad about it.  He had promised to keep the word of wisdom, but he really had only made the promise to us, the missionaries.  So we went to visit him on Friday and we taught the lesson over again.  And we explained that living the word of wisdom isnt a "whenever i want" sort of thing, but forever.  We made a list of all the reasons why he wants to stop drinking and put them all over his room.  After he said a prayer, and he promise God that he would never drink again.  It was a miracle.  I feel a little sad that I wont be there for his baptism, but i know that we were able to help him change his life, and i feel so grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to do so.   

The mission is full of miracles, but i think that the greatest miracle i have seen is in myself.  The changes i am experiencing in my life, and the person i am becoming.  I love the Lord for giving me this opportunity.  I have truly felt the miracle of forgiveness and change in my life. 
As mortals, we may not, indeed cannot, understandfully how the Savior fulfilled His atoning sacrifice. But for now the how is not as important as the why of His suffering. Why did He do it for you, for me, for all of humanity? He did it for the love of God the Father andall mankind. “Greater love hath no man than this, that man lay down his life for his friends” 

promise that the brilliant morning of forgiveness can come. Then “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7comes into your life once again, something like sunrise, and you and He“will remember [your] sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).How will you know? You will know! (See Mosiah 4:1–3.)elder boyd packer 

He gave his life for us.  And through him, we can be clean again.  What a wonderful life we live!! 

tengo gozo en mi alma HOY!! 
Now go share your love with someone!! 

les quiero mucho.  
hermana neff 

My last day with Hermana Molina. I love her with all my heart!
this is hector.  He is from columbia and we told him not to touch us to take the picture but he did anyway
This is Alex! He is hilarious 
There are always horses in Ecuador 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Good news 3.16.15


This week was a little uneventful, and a little bit frustrating... but good all the same!   

We have been working with a lot of investigators that we just feel are not progressing.  Its been hard but we have had to drop a lot of people that we really love.. because they just dont have desires to progress!  On Tuesday we dropped one of our investigators and we were feeling a little upset about it, but we went and visited a contact that we had and she was AMAZING!  She has such a strong testimony of Christ and she accepted baptism! I am so excited to be able to work with her. 

We also visited Alex.  Just so you all remember Alex is our investigator who drinks a lot.  But he has such strong desires to change his life.  His friends are a really bad influence but we are trying so hard to help him with his addiction! It is amazing to watch how happy and good he feels when he prays, i know that God loves him and wants him to change!  

I have been studying a lot about humility this week.  I am really trying to apply it right now in my life!  Humility is when we accept God´s will, and we do his will.  And not only do we do and accept his will, but we do and accept it happily and gratefully! 

I realized this week that i have not been applying The Atonement as much as i should in my teaching.  Joseph Smith said that all things that pertain to our religion are only appendages to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  So i have a goal to apply the Atonement in every single one of the lessons i teach this week.  It really is such a blessing in our lives.  And the MOST important thing we have in our lives.  In a talk that Elder Holland gave to missionaries, he explaines that the word gospel means "good news."  He says "The good news was that everyone´s tomb could one day be empty, that everyone´s soul could again be pure, that every child of God could again return to the Father who gave them life."  I am so grateful for the Atonement in our lives!  I am grateful that God shows us our weaknesses, but that he has given us a way to change. When i think of all of this, my heart is filled with joy!  Elder Holland says "He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free."  I am so grateful for the Savior!  I am so grateful that we can change!  

SMILE.  Because God loves YOU! And i love YOU! 

I love being a missionary!   

Hermana Neff 
Service painting this week

Friday, March 13, 2015

I am only crying a little. 3.9.15


Wow i am not sure how i feel about the fact that my niece was born this week!  I havent really felt the sacrifice of the mission up until this point... but she is BEAUTIFUL!  and i am so so excited to meet her!  

This week was really great!  Familia Quishpe got baptized! The service was really sweet and special.  Hermana Nataly told us that she felt like all the weight that was pressing down on her body was left behind in the baptismal font.  Nataly, Mauricio, Adriel, and Jaren all bore their testimonies. I feel so blessed that God has given me the opportunity to love and help this family.  I played the piano while the other missionaries sang i need thee every hour.  Another lovely experience.  

This week I experienced a lot of changes within myself. I love that God is showing me all my weaknesses, and helping me to strengthen them.  

We had Zone conference with president this week and I was asked to bear my testimony.  I bore a simple testimony of the things that i know to be true, and i felt the spirit testify to me that the things i was saying were true.  

I have been studying this week about virtue.  I am working on memorizing hymns in spanish so that whenever i have a thought that isnt focused on missionary work, i can sing a hymn and refocus myself! 

This week i gave a talk in church. Well actually the people that were supposed to give talks didnt show up, and the bishop announced (without telling me) that i would be giving one of the talks.  I made eye contact with the bishop after he made the announcement and i think what he must have seen in my eyes was sheer horror, but i did it!  Our ward is pretty big so it was scary, and i never thought i would have to give a 10 minute talk in spanish, on the spot, with only 6 months in the mission!! But it was really good for me to gain more confidence in myself.  

I love my life!  I cannot believe how fast this transfer is flying.  

have a great week! 

Hermana Neff 
My backyard
hermano quishpe birthday 

Beer in the street 3.2.15

First off i have two shout outs to make!  JENNA HAPPY BIRTH like two weeks ago sorry my bad... and HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAZEL!!! My angel is 2.  I cannot believe it!!

So this week we had some pretty cool experiences.  We went to visit Familia Quishpe.  They are getting baptized next week.  Originally it was this week, but the hermano had some troubles giving up drinking.  We finally committed him to keep the word of wisdom.  Then after we went outside with the whole family and dumped every bottle and can of beer he had in his house out in the street!  It was so much fun! I am really excited for their baptism this Saturday.  Love this family so much.  

We found a new investigator this week.  His name is Alex and he is 24.  He has a major drinking problem but we are helping him out a lot!  He has a baptismal date for the 21st of March. We found him and he really didnt understand his purpose.  But he says that we give him hope that he can change his life. When we tell people we are teaching him they get this shocked look on their face.  But he came to church with us and hey, the Atonement is for EVERYONE.  

So another really interesting thing happened this week.  We were at church and this lady came up to me with her nine year old son and asked me where i was from.  I told her that i was from Utah and turns out that her little boy went to crestview for a year AND KNOWS ANDY JACK!!! I literally started crying right there.  He looks like andy and talkes like him! (cause he spoke perfect english)  His mom doesnt really speak english but she was so sweet!  His name is Martin Villacis..... so show andy the picture and maybe he knows him!! 

This week we didnt have too much time to work because Wednesday we had a Women´s Conference with all the sisters in the mission.  It was so fun and i learned A LOT.  The mission is sort of being reborn right now because literally half of the sisters go home in the next two transfers.   Within the next 3 months i will be one of the "oldest" sisters in the mission..... scary! But the president wanted to have the meetings so that the younger missionaries could learn how to train and be hermana leaders etc.  

This week i have been studying about love and charity.  I love this topic.  I have learned that to have charity doesnt just mean that we love people.  It means that we love people and DESIRE their salvation.  I think that this is what helps me to overcome my fears of the mission.  Knowing that i love these people and i desire for them to be saved, so that one day we can enter into God´s Kingdom together!  I love you all so so much.  The gospel is true. I know it. I love it! 

Hermana Neff 
I saw Hermana Roach at womens conference!! And my comp gave me this skirt from Argentina.  I love it!! 
These twins that we are teaching right now.  They are SO CUTE!! I love them.  
THe picture i took with Martin.  He reminded me SO MUCH of Andy Jack.  
AND we had a BBQ today with our zone! So much fun!!