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