Monday, July 27, 2015

Talking in Chuch, Following the Spirit, and a Tribute to his Mom

Wow that ward sounds pretty fun. Haha with his harmonica! That would be a sweet site! Kudos to him! (His mom and sister's family visited Elder Neifert's Grandmother in Santa Fe, where a brother played the harmonica as a part of his talk) I haven't had much time to practice playing the harmonica to much. Sometimes I miss singing in English, and I forget that everyone else is singing in Spanish. There are some hymns where I've forgotten the lyrics in English. Wow that would be a really cool assignment - teaching the atonement.  (In the same ward as talked about earlier, the Missionaries taught Sunday School about the atonement.)  I spoke in church yesterday on prayer for a scrambling 15 minutes. Sometimes I feel like time flies by, but the 15 minutes of discoursando felt pretty long. I talked about the prayer of Nephi to break the bonds his brothers tied him up with and also the prayers of Alma, the prophet, for his rebellious son. Both prayers offered with faith, were contested. Like Moroni 10:4 says when we have a sincere heart, true intention, and faith in Jesus Christ our prayers are more powerful. We pray to know Gods will and act on it, not to persuade him of our selfish desires. When we ask or pray while being directed by the spirit, we are completing his will. I think it's in Doctrine and Covenants 50:30 that says we will be lead what to ask. We should always pray for the spirit. We can't survive spiritually without the help of the spirit. We know we need His help, there aren't any doubts about that. 
This week we were walking down the street about to walk to a different area when I stopped dropped and prayed. Minus the dropped part. But I said a prayer in my heart to know where we needed to go. I looked at this house a little ways a way and searched my feelings. Does this feel right? I felt good. I took that as a yes and we knocked. A solo mom answered. We couldn't share a lesson because it's not appropriate to be alone (my companion, me, and one woman). So we talked from outside her house about how we can help her and her two children with the principles and Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know shes ready to be taught. She has cousins who are returned missionaries and other family who are members. We are planning on visiting her when her cousins visit. I think that the more I practice praying for the spirit and listen to my feelings I can receive help which comes directly from a loving Heavenly Father.
We talked with a member about his experiences in his mission and one thing that I liked which he talked about was service. He said that we can say "we care about you!" One true way to show love is service. When we serve, people really see how much we care or not. I like one of the note cards which Seth sent me. It says, "Nobody care what we have to say if they don't know how much we care."  I felt guilty because the first month I didn't wash my plate when we ate at the cocineras (cook's) house for lunch every day. I started to wash them and the cocinera told me to stop. I just told her that if my mom saw me, and I wasn't washing my plate she would be pretty mad. After that she hasn't bugged me too much about it. I think that's a pretty good excuse for doing a lot of things. I hope that's okay that I speak for you mom. I think about you guys sometimes and I'm super grateful for who you are, and what you've done to help me. Your influence extends to El Salvador. I think there is a good comparison between Alma the prophet and you guys. He prayed and prayed for the help of his son and an angel came to his son in response because of the prayer of the righteous who had faith. I love thinking about the power of your prayers. I think probably on of the most earnest and heartfelt prayer comes from siblings and parents for the other. I love you, and pray for you everyday! I know Heavenly Father Hears our prayers. He knows our hearts and our needs and He gives pretty awesome gifts! Matthew 7:11.

Elder Neifert 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Book of Mormon

Hey Mamy,

Well that's is super sweet that you guys got to fly out to Utah. I hope Grandma and Grandpa are doing well. I've seen a couple gardens here and none of them look as neat and full as theirs.
There are been a lot of experiences with the holy ghost this week. Its almost like there are doves everywhere! Baha - well there are! As I was sitting in gospel principles this week a dove flew into the class. It just came straight in and went directly to the spinning ceiling fan. It got a good skinnin' and I got some feathers. I've grown to love the people here but I've also grown to dislike doves. I haven't been pooped on yet but I've had some close calls. They wait on the wires hanging over the streets for missionaries in white shirts. My old companion got pooped on his first day in the mission. I think I wont be sticking my tongue out anytime soon. 
We had a small uneventful encounter with a dog in the night. We were just walking and this dog just takes off in our direction. I didn't really think much of it at first but as it got closer and closer I started to realize how unhappy and big it was. My companion took off his backpack and swung it at the dog, while giving a good pirate sounding "hey". That's when the dog just turned around and ran back with its buddies. We in the mean time took off running because we saw this even bigger pit bull in the shadows.
I've started to study The Book of Mormon whenever I have time. We have an hour at night between 9:30 and 10:30 to prepare ourselves to sleep which is really broad. And in the morning there's prep time to be ready to study at 8. Well I've just started to use these times at night and before 8 to finish what I need to do and read The Book of Mormon. I've felt the power The Book of Mormon has and the small gospel truths which I've found tying to patriarchal blessings, Joseph Smith, the doctrine of Christ and maybe a couple words which just testify of the divinity and truthfulness of The Book of Mormon. The spirit is invited when we read and I've felt strength and power from the holy ghost as I read.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A More Effective Missionary

Well this week was a change (transfers). There were a lot of changing things happening. I got a new companion -
Elder Lopez, from Guatemala, Quetsaltenago (or something like that). He's a good guy. Apparently he played semi professional soccer in Guatemala. We will see if he was lying or not today because were going to play after we are done writing. He's happy and I think we are going to learn a lot from each other and help some good people this change. He's new to this area so he doesn't know the people or the city. That means I've got to teach him. So it's been different to plan who we will teach and where we will go all by myself. It will get easier once I get some more practice. He speaks next to zero English which is super good. I'm going to learn a lot of Spanish this change. We have been working on finding new people to teach. This was what we've been doing - talking with lots of people and trying to teach them in their homes while asking for their references. We've found some people to teach! I have some good faith that some of them will be baptized in the future. We are going to find even more this coming week. Hey, if you have ideas of how we can work with and invite the members to help us out I love to hear what maybe the missionaries in our ward are doing and ideas you have.
One thing that I've notice about my companion is he knows a lot of scriptures and things about the gospel. I've started to make plans and ideas to use my time as a missionary more effectively. I've got a set plan for the mornings and the nights so I can study the scriptures more. I think that good habits can really help me in my mission - learn more, be more happy, and be more effective. These things don't come in one month like I'd like them to. I've got to consistently try and learn more. One thing I love to study about is Joseph Smith. There are so many testimony building facts and stories about his life. Maybe I won't share all of the stories with my investigators or anyone, but they've helped me feel more converted. One of the biggest conversion changers for me however is The Book of Mormon. I know it's true and I know anyone can become close to God if they read and apply the principles in their lives. It is the most correct book in the world, and there aren't many people who know it exists. 
I love you!


Tell Grandma Pam "Happy Birthday" for me!

Wow! I just realized your summer is almost over! What have you guys done for fun in the sun!?

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Lord Works Through People

We had a few investigators a church, but I'd like to have more. They can't be baptized if they don't come to church.

I kinda like to clean. Saturday I was sweeping and mopping our floors. I've found it's something that helps me relieve stress and have a clean, more spirit worthy place to learn. 
 One thing that I like about the people here - They don't need much. Almost everyone has a tv with cable, but besides that they don't have all the amenities and digerydoos that we have.

Pretty neat that everyone believes in God and Jesus Christ. EVERYONE. Almost everyone has a church too.

I haven't been able to find a ukulele, but I sang in the mission President's home the first day in the field. I can't remember why I did that, but I sang Nearer My God to Thee. I think I could sing more. We sometimes sing hymns during lessons with this old man who is house ridden  - Hermano
Santiago. He was my first lesson in the field. We sing during every lesson with him. He is a really good man. I want to send a picture of him, but I really haven't used my camera too much. I have only taken it out on Mondays to send what I have, but I haven't taken any more pictures... I will work on that for next week. I bought a small solid harmonica last p-day (preparation day - when they shop, do email, etc). I've been fiddling a little with that. There's a missionary from Oklahoma that can get down with the harmonica with the best of 'em. So I'm going to ask him to help me start. I've got the whole set up. An elder who is going home gave me a hammock. So I've been practicing my harmonica in my hammock. I'm pretty excited to learn who to play that and join the harmonocans group in town.
The work this week was really good. We've got some good investigators with baptismal dates who are reading the Book of Mormon and beginning to change. We have changes this Wednesday and we've got a good amount of people that could be baptized this coming change. We found one of these people yesterday. We were visiting with a Hermana on her front porch because she was a little busy and we couldn't have a full lesson. So we left her a copy of lesson 1 to read a pray about. We couldn't visit with her more, but she told us we could visit her neighbor. The Lord works through other people because when we knocked a girl about 18 opened the door and started to cry a little as we told her who we were and why we are here. We knocked on her door right as she and her mom were talking about how she need to trust in God and remember Jesus Christ. She was ready to receive us. During the lesson she was crying a little about some trials she's going through and some questions that she has. We introduced the Book of Mormon and explained how the Book of Mormon has the answers she needs and the comfort she is looking for. So we will see how her reading goes this week. I'm excited to see what happens with the mom and daughter. They are good people, and they were prepared. They still have their agency (the ability to choose). That's one thing that I've learned. Everyone has agency to accept or reject the gospel. Maybe everyone won't accept the gospel, but they should all have the opportunity. I would like to see these people after this life and have them say, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to accept the gospel. Not "hey why didn't you talk to me?  I was waiting for you." The spirit is extremely important to know what to say and what to do because these people need the gospel. With the direction of the spirit we can say something that softens their heart, we can do something that helps them open their door to us. Without the spirit we can't do much.
So this next change we've got some good people to work with. But I will be getting a new companion. I will know on Wednesday who it it. So I will be in San Marcos Colonial ward, but with a new companion. I am excited to see who it is, but Elder Lauro was super good. He can really gain the confidence of the people.
By the way I got your letter last Monday! Thank you! I was good to have a paper letter. For the package, I'm pretty set with what I need. 
I love you Mom. I missed the fireworks. They didn't have a party or anything special for the 4th of July. It was a little sad, but surprisingly people wore USA shirts.

You are loved,
Elder Neifert