Tuesday, August 25, 2015

1 AÑO (1 YEAR) 8.24.15


i hit one year this coming week and i dont want to talk about it. 


This week has been great! We had divisions with Hermana Morán from California which was great!  

I love being able to go to other sectors and meet new people and help them in whatever small way i can.... even though it is hard for me to work outside of my own sector!  

So this week i had a really special experience.  We are teaching this man named Fausto.  He lives alone because most of his family has passed away.  This week we were teaching him about the Book of Mormon.  I was zoning out a little during the lesson because we had a member present and they were sharing a pretty long testimony.  Anyways all of the sudden Fausto interrupts (this is so embarrassing but i cant rememeber how you spell that word i have forgetten english) the member and asks me "hermana Neff, what was it like for you?"  Referring to how i gained my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  It caught me off gaurd and i sat there for a moment just... thinking.  Then i told him (it was like the words just came out without me doing anything... that happens a lot in the mission) that when i read the Book of Mormon i feel a security.  I feel a peace and love and joy.  I feel enlightened and i KNOW that these feelings come from the spirit.  I felt so edified after that lesson!  My testimony of the Book of Mormon was just completely strengthened in the moment!  I FELT IT. I know that this church is true because i know the Book of Mormon is true.  It is the foundation of my testimony-and in it contains all the doctrines and priciples most dear to me.  

We had a specialized conference this week and a conference with the Hermanas. Hermana Costa and I had to give the capacitation.  I wish i could share all of the strong spiritual things that happen to me in my mission.  The miracles i see everyday come from my ability to feel and respond to The Holy Ghost and the things that he teaches me everyday... as long as I am willing to listen.  

Being a missionary is so great!  I am truly loving my time here!  

Much love, 
Hermana Neff 

we went to this plsce called Guano today.. stay tuned for more pictures.  Brace yourselves.
this is one of my favorite plates here in Ecuador... Delicious:

my mummy boyfriend.  He is over 500 years old... no joke. And was obviously a catholic preacher here in Ecuador.  (shocker) 
 mumified with a mouse.  
peace. we were crackin up over this painting.
divisions with Hermana Romero!
so this is what happens when i am in charge of pressing the self timer on ALL the cameras:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Riobamba 8.17.15


This week was very special because we were able to have a member of the 70, Elder Waddel, come and talk to us.  We had the conference in Ambato and i was SO HAPPY to see Ambato!  I saw members of the ward and people that i really really love.  So that was fun!  

Anyways Elder Waddel talked about some really special things.  What i found the most inspiring was how he told us that when we make fun of people that are obedient (in the mission but it also applies to everyone) we are making fun of the Savior himself, because he was the MOST obedient of us all.  There are so many people in this world that will laugh at us for our obedience the the commandments of God.  Paige in her email talked to me about how there is a lot of evil in this world, but that there is also a lot of good.  And we have the power to be that good!  The Savior is our perfect example, and he overcame ALL evil. we are representatives of Him in HIS church.... and we must act as He would.  Elder Waddell also talked about how God reserved us to be missionaries in this time, and that before this life we defended His plan of salvation.  It was a very spiritual experience to be able to listen to one of the chosen servants of The Lord.  

This week we got in a small car accident.  My companion and i are fine, but we were in a taxi and i saw the car coming towards where i was sitting, i screamed and the taxi driver swerved and the truck that hit us destroyed the front of the car.  My companion told me that she swears she saw the car coming directly toward the door where i was sitting, but it hit further up and no one was hurt.  It was a miracle and i know that God was protecting us!  My companion and I paid the taxi driver and walked away from the site so it wasnt too grave!  

Also, maybe you have heard... cotopaxi exploded!  I saw the lava coming towards the city and we had to run to high ground.  Luckily our house wasnt covered....
jaja just kidding cotopaxi is on the other side of the mountains so i cant even see it, and apparently it is shooting off ash towards Quito, so we didnt even know it happened!  But its pretty exciting here because that hasnt happened in a long time!  

In my study this morning i was reading a scripture that really touched me.  

John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

I think that there have been so many times in my life when.  I know what is right, I want to do what is right, and i feel that i should do what is right.... but then i dont do it!   And I feel sad and repent. Sometimes we arent as obedient as we should be, or we dont work  like we know we need to (shout out to sestra nydegger and her email this week) and sometimes we just simply fall short!  We are human, and we are going to make mistakes.  But if we KNOW that something is right then we better do it!  Because it is what truly makes us happy.  And if we dont know that these things are right and true, then we better work toward gaining a firm testimony, because it is the ONLY way to true happiness in this life. Our actions should always reflect our desires.  

I love the Lord.  I love my mission.  I am recognizing everyday the beauty of feeling the spirit and following it. I have learned that lots of times the spirit isnt a voice, nor a feeling.... but an righteous thought and idea, that when acted upon is powerful.  And as we act on this righteous thoughts and ideas, the spirit testifies to us that they come from him.  

I love you all! 
Have a HAPPY HAPPY week!!

Hermana Neff 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Riobamba 8.10.15


So i am starting to get in the groove of Riobamba!  This week the members made me feel so welcome on my birthday.  I will attach some pictures!  One thing i am loving about Riobamba is that the members are giving us REFERENCES!! A lot and we are seeing so much success and blessings because of it!   I feel like every week there are so many little miracles and things i could tell you, but i forget.  Mostly just know that the spirit is the best teacher and that i am LOVING this time with Hermana Costa!

Ok so mom wanted me to maybe send a little but of my insights talking about testimony and i think i have a few things to say on the matter!

First, if you want to gain a stronger testimony, there are three things that should become the main focus of your life.  They are
church attendance (attending all three meetings every sunday)
DAILY, MEANINGFUL scripture study
Daily prayer, (family and personal)

These three important things are the KEY to developing a strong testimony, a testimony that should be founded on the Savior Jesus Christ.
When we attend church, the most important thing that we should do is focus on the Savior.  Family and friend relationships are important, and should be strengthened while attending church... but if your heart is not focused on the Savior and His sacrifice (particularmente while you take the sacrament) your church attendance really cant serve you in the long run.  As the Savior speaks in 3 nephi 18 when Christ institutes the sacrament.

 12 And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.

 13 But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall, and the gates of hell are ready open to receive them.

The second is daily scripture study.  A while back in my mission, President Christensen asked me what I was doing to strengthen my personal testimony.  I told him that i really didnt know.  He told me that i had to find a way to strengthen my testimony and suggested that i apply the Book of Mormon to my own life, everyday-focusing on the atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ.  As i have done this i have seen the blessings and my love for this book has grown immensly.  It is the foundation of my the testimony that i have of this church.

Third, daily and sincere prayer.  I have always prayed daily, my whole life.  But there have been many instances in which my prayers have been less than sincere.  As i have made the goal to truly converse with my Father in Heaven, i have felt His life, and learned to trust in Him and His timing.

On my mission, the truths of the gospel have become rooted deep into my heart.  I love them. As i ponder them, my heart and mind are filled with light, love, and understanding.  I know my Savior lives.  I know that His church was restored through the prophet Jospeh Smith, and that the evidence of this marvelous restoration is found in the Book of Mormon, which is the truest book that has ever been written.  How blessed we are to know of these beautiful truths, that allow us eternal happiness-happiness that will be felt with our dearest loved ones forever and ever.

Los quiero con todo mi corazón.

Hermana Neff

I taught the district how to sing happy birthday in english
the tradition here in ecuador is to shove the persons face in the cake.... 

The district bought me tres leches. Delicious!
i told you it was tradition 
I have fallen in love with fried fish
i did divisions with Hermana Sangredi and it went great! She is from Bolivia the same city as my trainer.  
they took us to get papi pollo which is an ADDICTION 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Riobamba 8.3.15

Ok WOW! 

So this has been a crazy week of adjusting to Riobamba, and REALLY missing Ambato!  But i am excited to get going here!

My companion is Hermana Costa:
{she is the furthest from me in this pic}

She was actually my sister training leader a few months ago and now we are companions!  We get along really well and we are having fun!  She is from Venezuela. I am really learning a lot from her and we have been seeing miracles this week!  I have been feeling the spirit SO strongly in the lessons.  He guides me, and i know what to say.  It is truly amazing.  

We have been finding a lot of new people to teach and i just am really loving it here! What more can i say?? jajaja being a missionary is the best, and serving in Ecuador is SUCH a blessing!

So in Riobamba there is a volcano really close.  This one isnt active... it is called chimborazo and it is THE BIGGEST MOUNTAIN/THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!!!! I couldnt get a good picture this week but i have never seen anything so massive.  Seriously i look at it i just know that if it explodes it will be the end of the world:

Also today, i saw a bee that was four times the size of a normal bee. They are everywhere here.  Ok another thing that you should know about Riobamba.  It is a city that was founded by the spaniards.  I have never seen so many catholic churches in my whole entire life.  They are beautiful and literally on every corner in the city:

When we get up higher into the mountains they are filled with catholic churches.  It makes the setting nicer, but the work a whole lot harder!  Another thing, the mountains are huge! Like i would say twice the size of Utah mountains.  Maybe that is an exaggeration, but really they are giant!  

The rama is great.  We are a branch because the people here need to pay tithing and they need more priesthood leaders.  So Hermana Costa and I have set goals to help the ward members, less actives, and investigators with this.  I hope i can make a diference here!  

I am just feeling ready to work and love my sector, and love the hermanas.  This week we start divisions and we are in Quito today and tomorrow for a leaders conference.  I think it might cost me a little at first to not be able to work in my sector every day of the week, but i know that i have been called for a reason. so i am just ready to do my best!  

I love you all so much.  I know the gospel is true.  Life is happy!

Hermana Neff


Riobamba! 7.27.15


Ok so i am no longer in Ambato.  Yesterday we got the calls and i cried and cried and cried!  I was so sad.  I really wanted to finish Hermana Willson´s training and stay in Ambato, but The Lord has a different plan for me. I am truly so grateful for Ambato and the love i have for the people there.  Ambato changed my life.  I am also so so grateful for Hermana Willson.... she has been one of my BEST companions!   

My district celebrated my birthday because they felt that i wouldnt be here in ambato for the real thing.... they were right:

My new companion is Hermana Costa.  She is from Chile and she is finishing her mission in 2 transfers, but i LOVE HER!  So i am NOT training again.  But i have been callled to be a sister training leader.... or hermana líder. It was a surprise for sure... and i am a little scared, but i know that The Lord has called me for a reason!  And i am ready to serve the sisters in Mission Quito Ecuador and just really magnify this call that The Lord has given me! Oh by the way i am in RIOBAMBA!  

This week we had some really special experiences.  So our two investigators are getting baptized next Saturday which is really exciting (although i wont be there).  But this week we were contacting and we found this lady who lives alone.  She is a bit of a cat lady, but was a GOLDEN investigator!  She has recieved lots of missionaries in her house, but when we arrived she said that "God touched her heart and told her that this was the right pathway."  She told us that there is a light in our eyes that is different from all the other people, and it is what she wants in her life.  It was amazing to find her, and i hope to hear good news about her from Ambato!  

Really i am excited about what the future holds for me!  I know that The Lord has called me for a reason.  Leaving Ambato made me realize just how GRATEFUL I am for the mission.  And the love that i have for the people here.  I am with Sister Nydegger this week. I feel like my heart has grown so much with love for the people here, all of you back home, and for my Savior.  We are so incredibly blessed.

Much love from Riobamba, 
Hermana Neff 

These are our investigators that are getting baptized:

Ambato 7.20.15

Ok so this was such a great and weird and hard week! 

We had to go to Quito AGAIN!  This time we went for my visa... i guess it had to renew it because i am almost at my 1 year mark in the mission.  So sad.  

So this week we were really excited because next week (the last week in the transfer) we were going to have the baptism of Leslie and Jennifer.  I was so so excited because these are two of the most prepared investigators i have ever had!  We are working with the whole family, but it is a little slower with her parents because they arent married.  So this week Leslie and Jennifer disappeared!  Like no one, not even their parents, knew where they were. We found out later that they were stuck in Quito and couldnt make it here in time.  So they couldnt come to church and have their baptismal interview.  I was so so sad.  But i honestly felt like it was the will of The Lord! I recieved the impression that it was truly what He wanted to happen with them.  So they will be getting baptized August 1st, and i am ok with it!  

 We have transfers next week- and i want to stay here in Ambato with ALL MY HEART!  I love it so much here, but i dont know what The Lord´s will is for me and Hermana Willson.  I would love to finish her training. So we will see what happens!  

I have truly come to love the ward here SO MUCH.  This week we sat down with our ward mission leader and bishop and set up a ward mission plan.  This ward has been struggling for years with missionary work.  Hermana Willson and I felt like we needed to really get the ward excited about missionary work.  So as we sat down to make the plan, we really felt the Lord guiding and helping us know what goals and plans to make for this ward.  It was amazing to see The Lord work with us in that little room, guiding and helping us know what to do.  I really love this ward so much.  I would be perfectly happy to stay here and finish my mission! They have become my family and i am hoping that i get at least one more transfer here with all of them!  
{my pensionista}

I just am so happy to be a missionary.  I love the peace that comes from the gospel.  I am grateful for the love i have for the people here in Ecuador.  I am grateful for The Atonement and for the chance that i have to be clean from ALL my sins.  I have so many short comings, but i know that God forgives!  And that He loves us so much.  I feel like the greatest blessing i have recieved so far in my mission, is to have the doctrines of the gospel rooted deep into my heart and soul.  I love the gospel.  I love the Book of Mormon.  I love life!  We are so blessed.  

Love you all! 

Hermana Neff 

chimborazo!! I finally saw the third volcano that can be seen from our rooftop.  (usually you cant see it becaus of the clouds)
we did a service project this week!
this is my pensionista's husband... he is always making fun of me haha:

So today is dia del amigo... so this goes out to all my PANAS!!!!! HAPPY FRIEND DAY!! 
The wall in my room.  
So i woke up to tunguragua like this.... just a little scary: