Monday, February 29, 2016

Scariest E-mail from El Savador Yet

Hey mom,

Don't worry about me.
Everything is just going fine.
I like how humble the people are. 
The challenge is attendance to church.
I was able to feel the spirit this week in a lesson we had with Alex Turcios. We just were talking about the answers we receive from God and he told us his story. He had dreams about the church. He had a dream he was in the church as a member, and he also had a dream that he was sick. He dream that when he called out for help, he called us. He started to weep as he told us his story. I was able to feel the spirit and I felt so grateful for the help the Lord has offered. 
We are teaching the Turcios family, Herrera family, Escobar family, Coca family, and Felipe.
This week we were at the zone leaders house for a little. We were looking for baptismal clothes. We got into the bag of clothes and started sorting through which shirt would fit Gustavo. I pulled out a few shirts getting just about to the last one and I felt this big pain in the finger. Like a bee sting. I put the shirt down and started the pain walk just kinda pacing while holding my hand. My companion unfolded the shirt and there lay ready to strike again a a a a a a.......... Scorpion. I got stung! It hurt pretty bad. I just started to feel numb everywhere. The venom was just like the drugs that the dentists use. We killed the scorpion and I ate it! It's suppose to help. Bahah, just kidding!!! I just took some medicine and the effects have slowly been going away. Now I can say I've been stung by a scorpion.
I love you guys,
Elder Neifert

Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Hot in El Salvador

Greetings Family,
Well its been hot. Have you ever woken up drenched? (not having used the bathroom but having sweated all of the NIGHT) OO-da-lolly - it's an oven and is just getting started too. I hear it will be even hotter in March. So here are some pictures I took from the top of our house (didn't come through!).
The week was good. There are a lot of challenges. I've taken like 6 one hour bus rides this week. We have been doing interchanges a bunch. There are some good Elders in my district. Just about every one comes from a different country. Guatemala, Columbia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States. Great group of diversity. And every one says that Christ came to their country hahaha. Who knows. I'm reading in the Book of Mormon - finishing the words of Nephi. Man, he has some great closing words. "It's what the Lord has commanded me and I must obey." Something to that effect. But he left some really powerful things to end with. Really awesome final testimony.
For service we have been diggin' holes for bathrooms. Its good work. Doing our dead guy duty. 
The food is soooooo different. Yes the popusas still are here but there is a bunch of weird stuff. I ate chicken feet the other day and I ate chicken throat, and another part I didn't know what it was. There's a lot more variety here. Back in the city people just ate eggs, cooked bananas, blended beans, and bread. Here I've eaten pasta, different cheeses, different tortillas, different salsas, and a bunch of stuff I don't know the origin. 
Covenants are so important. Keeping our covenants is a big challenge because it means giving everything. Serving with all of our might mind and strength. The first covenant we made is really well explained in Mosiah 18, but they all come together to make the everlasting covenant. All the ordinances of the gospel from baptism and confirmation to going to do baptisms for the dead, to receiving the Aaronic priesthood, to receiving your patriarchal blessing, receiving the Melchizedek priesthood, receiving the Endowment and then being Sealed in the Temple and renewing all of that every week with the sacrament is the everlasting covenant. Lots of things we need. We better get going on all of the ordinances. They all are very very important if we are to live as God lives.
I know it's true. This is the only church where you will find priesthood, where you will find all of the ordinances of the gospel, where you will find a Prophet, where you will find the true doctrine of Christ. If we really know what we have and we study the doctrine of Christ it just makes membership of any other church seem small. Its like when Christ asks the twelve, John 6:67, " Will ye also go away?" and Simon Peter responds in 68"... To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Its true. I love the scriptures! They are so fulfilling. They help me repent. I need to repent everyday.  I love to humble myself before the Lord. He gives me peace and comfort. 
Spirit up!
Elder Neifert

Monday, February 1, 2016

Leaving my First Area

Alright the update:
 We had a baptism and confirmation this week! Hermana Lorena. She's doing great. I could feel the spirit as we laid our hands upon her head to give her the Holy Ghost. We are working on a few others for next month well this month now!
We were able to finish this week pretty well. We found lots of new investigatores (investigators). We had a family home evening at a members house with investigators. IT WAS GREAT: The investigators feel a lot better about joining the church now.
We are going through a few changes here. They called last night and said "Well, Elder Neifert you have changes." I will be someplace else this week. I will be either leaving tomorrow or Wednesday. I have served in this area for something like 8 months. Give or take a little. Its been 6 changes. I feel nervous and a little sad. This is the first time I've had changes before. Who knows where I will be.
I will be leaving my beloved companion Elder Clawson. He is a really great guy. I'm super happy that I was his companion in the mission. We've got some hunting / sasquatch searching / monopoly plans we he gets back.
It feels weird that I will be 20. I don't feel too old. The mission has gone by super fast. 
Anyways, I love you guys! 
I know the Lord really is behind the changes. Hes got a really good plan for us.
Elder Neifert

Quick email to his Sister

Things have been going well. We just got notified that I  have changes. I will be leaving my area. Colonial. I'm actually pretty sad. I like it here. (Not in order) The things I will be leaving: great papusas, sweet house with two bathrooms, awesome cook (she makes us lunch), mediocre washing lady, leaving the remains of our dead squirrel, a really great companion Elder Clawson, and lots of great people who will be baptized soon. I will be missing the people the most.

I love you all! It makes me happy that Emma and Eliza are talking bout me! 
Spirit up

Elder Neifert

Monday, January 25, 2016

Visits from General Authorities

Jessica and Codyman,

Enjoy your birthdays! Do something fun!  Its weird that is has already been another year! I love you guys and you are not forgotten. Isaiah 49:14 and 15.

I WILL BE 20! AHHHHHHHHH I feel old. You must feel old too. So we are not alone.

Heres a little of what happened this past week.
Elder David L. Cook came to our mission! I was able to sing in the mission choir again. It was a grand experience. Really I was able to feel the spirit as he talked. First, I got to shake is hand again. He said to me, "Hello". It was a warm hello. It was really so quick. I just wanted to linger longer, but I imagine his hand hurt from being squeezed by 600 missionaries. He spoke on the importance of having the spirit as we teach and he spoke on working with the members. A few things I remember word for word are that, "We are edifiers of the church, we need to be the most warm, loving, kind, and friendly, but the most important is that we have the spirit. Because we are the message." He stressed that people see us and know us before we talk or teach. We can reflect these things with little actions. He helped me remember my purpose: to Baptize! To baptize till I've got pneumonia. That should be my biggest worry getting pneumonia, because I'm baptizing day and night. 
 He has a great spirit about him. I know he is an apostolic witness. One of his words I will never forget are, "I know His voice. I know His face." His testimonio (testimony) really helped mine. I could feel how sure he was of Jesus Christ being our Savior. 

Elder Christensen of the presidency of the seventy was also here on Sunday. He came to my stake. He talked about the scriptures. They are a treasure he said about 5 times. They are so important. He talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy which is always a something everyone can improve. Having righteous worship of the Sabbath. He told a story of a son who wanted to stay home to watch the Superbowl instead of going to church. He gave him a great powerful lesson of the Sabbath day. At the end of the 20 minute Sabbath talk his son just said, "yeah, I'll just stay home." He was worried about his son. BUT He had an impression during the sacrament that his son really did hear him. Sometimes I feel like I've taught something powerfully and nothing happens. Everyone has their agency. One thing is they will remember what was taught and testified of, AND one day it will be remembered. 

I love you! I know that the Lord is holding you up in your callings and your troubles,

Elder Neifert

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tatooed Eyebrows

Here's the update from this week. Starting from what happened most recently - we had our stake conference Saturday and Sunday. It was great! The topics more or less were keeping the Sabbath day holy and serving missions. In the session on Saturday our mission President, President Bruno Vasquez, came to speak. When he got up to speak he began talking about the missionaries. He called Elder Clawson and I up to the stand! His message was really simple. The purpose of an Elder (missionary or no) is to BAPTIZE. There's a great reference in Doctrine and Covenants talking about the purpose of an Elder. We want people in the ward to baptize the investigators as they help us in lessons as they befriend them. Its really a great idea. Before the mission I would have helped the missionaries out more if I had that vision that I could baptize one of the investigatores (investigators). President is really passionate about getting the ward to help the missionaries more. He's really doing a great job. Talking about mission numbers and statistics we have been rising in the past months.
We went our visiting with a few members yesterday. We had planned to visit a few investigadores (investigators) who are progressing rapidly. As we passed by Rosas home on the way to the appointments she called out to us, "Tengo un familiar aqui que quiero presentar a ustedes." (
I have a family here that I want to introduce to you)
We went in to her house and a tall man with a baseball cap came out. The first thing I saw about this man was his eyebrows. He had shaved his eyebrows and had tattooed them back. I shook his hand and I started talking in Spanish, but he started responding in English. He told me he had been in St. Louis, Missouri for 8 years. I thought that was really weird. We got to talking about the church and I asked if we could come over to visit him another time. He said he couldn't, but that we could visit him at his house. He lives in the other area. Despite the fact that he had tattooed in his eyebrows, he turned out to be really nice. Its great to see the members wanting to share the gospel with their family and their friends here. There is a lot of work to do here for Elder Clawson and I because of the members who are sharing with their friends.
Things are crack-a-lakin in our area. We have a great teaching pool. Lots of people are going to church and are reading and praying, but lots are just afraid to be baptized. They either feel inadequate or unsure. We have been praying hard to change their hearts but I'd like to ask some help with Familia Hernandez, Lorena, Alexis, Saul, Antonio, Maria, Ana y Dolorise. They could use some prayers to help them feel that the church is true.
I love your guts! Keep on writing me! I like reading your letters. I'm not to good at writing back, but give me another shot! I'd like to change. Keep on praying and reading the scriptures. I'm in 2 Nephi 11. There is a great scripture about the sword of truth. Nephi just tells his tumultuous brothers the truth and it HURTS! But the truth hits the guilty in the core. 1 Nephi 16: 2 and another one 2 Nephi 9:40. Now it makes a little more sense why it's the "sword of truth". Keep up the hard work. All of your afflictions will come out for your benefit. In some way or another it was to help us.
Elder Neifert