Monday, November 30, 2015

Fear Not

I’ve learned that time is weird on a mission. I said something to my companion the other day like "Hey Elder what did we teach that family yesterday?" and he replies "Elder we haven’t taught those guys in a week." Time just flies by, (Tempus fugit). I can’t believe that I have been on my mission for three months. Feels like I just left. 
Elder Huefner and I went to the Argentine black market today. That was a fun experience. I bought a BOCA jersey for 170 pesos! It was a $70 jersey that I bargained for and got it at $17. It was super fun.
We had a kind of tough week. A couple days ago, we were just getting rejected by everyone. No one wanted to hear what we had to say. It was tough but the scriptures say, "There must needs be opposition in all things." I would never learn to appreciate the good days without experiencing the bad ones. Our family of investigators, familia R. set a date to get married on 30 Dec! That means that they are set for baptism in early January. I’m so excited for them and we have seen a huge conversion take place. 
I found my new favorite saying in the scriptures. It is found in my favorite scripture, DyC 6:36. "Look unto the Lord in every thought; doubt not, fear not." The phrase 'fear not' sounds like it could be on a Nike shirt. I love that phrase. To me, it means that no matter what happens to me, I never have any reason to be afraid. Because I know that the Lord is on my side. Reminds of David and Goliath. No one wanted to fight this huge guy, but David said, "I'm fighting with the Lord on my side, how could I lose?" I know these things are true.
When I say my area is out in campo, this is what I mean. We’re in the middle of nowhere. Instead of Francisco Alvarez, my comp calls it Francisco Mars.
Con amor,
Elder Gygi

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sunshine In My Soul

Missionary Trasportation
It rained like crazy this week, our bikes are so muddy. The other day, our bikes were broken (a weekly occurrence), and it was raining super hard, lightning and everything. We were pushing our bikes through mud and water. This whole time I was singing, "There is Sunshine In My Soul Today." The mission has really taught me to be positive and look at the bright side of things. Every time a challenge arises, or something seems hard, I remember the story of Nephi, Laman and Lemuel. The Lord had commanded them to retrieve the brass plates from the wicked King Laban. Laman and Lemuel said, in effect, "No we don't wanna do that, it's too hard." But Nephi stood tall and replied, "I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded." When I first arrived in Argentina, I thought to myself that I had the attitude of Laman and Lemuel. "This language is too hard, I'm too tired to study, I don't want to exercise at 6:30 in the morning." But as I've tried to adapt and learn, I've felt more like Nephi. Now when a challenge arises, I think to myself "This will make a sweet story."

Venezia's Pizza?
Remember how we didn't end up giving talks in sacrament meeting last week? Well we gave them in yesterday's meeting. It actually went really well. At the start of my talk I said that I was still learning Spanish and I'm sorry if it's hard to understand me. After I finished, I sat down and a man came up to who I hadn't met before. He says, in English, "Elder Gygi, don't be so hard on yourself, your Spanish is great. I understood everything and it was a fantastic talk." After talking with him, I found out that he went to BYU and learned English there. He has even visited Mesa Arizona before.
Mary, Our Lady of Luján Basilica

Luján is famous for this Basilica and its shrine of Mary

I know this is the Lord's work.
Elder Gygi

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Little Jaunt to Capitál

I finished my first 6 weeks! Transfer are this week, Elder Huefner and I are both staying here in Francisco Alvarez. Which I kind of expected, it doesn't make sense to move when he only has a month left in the mission. 
Also called the Cowboy Roll
I had to go to Capitál (downtown Buenos Aires) this week for tramités (not sure what that is in English but it's basically my government paperwork to stay in Argentina). [It translates to formalities, procedure or as we know it "red tape."] It was fun to be in a big city. Picture Paris mixed with New York but everyone speaks Spanish. I had to travel around to all the government buildings to do paperwork. I also had to bring a bedroll to sleep on. I felt homeless haha just walking around a huge city with another guy my age with a blanket and pillow! I was with a different Elder this whole time. I was with Elder Enriquez from Mexico. He doesn't speak English. While we were there, we got to eat at McDonald's!! It was the best thing ever! It's exactly like home. [FYI, Jared had 2 Quarter Pounder's and a Big Mac!! What?!!! Where'd he put all that food?!!]

The family we have been teaching, familia R., is going to get married so they can be baptized! We're super excited for that. 
Yesterday in church, Elder Huefner and I were asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting. We were asked 1 hour before the meeting started if we would talk about missionary work. I thought OK maybe I can do that."How long do we need to talk for?" "30 or 40 minutes" Seriously???  I was very nervous. I did not even have a notebook with me to write down some thoughts. All I had was a pen and my Spanish Book of Mormon. I opened up to the last blank age in the book and wrote some notes of what I wanted to talk about. During the sacrament, I was still very nervous. I said a prayer asking God to help me because I still do not speak the language fluent enough give a long talk. I felt the spirit and was very comforted. The words of a scripture came very clearly to my mind. It was "I will be on your right side and on your left, I will lift you up." [D&C84:88] I'm not even sure where that scripture is, but that is what I felt. I knew I would be able to give this talk. I was all prepared to get up to the stand and talk, but others were already on the stand. I was a little confused. 4 other members ended up giving talks and I didn't have to. Even when the Lord knew that I would not have to give a talk, He still comforted me. I know that He will always help us when we need it.

Elder Gygi
Elder Gygi and Luján Zoneleaders

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Handlebar Miracle

The electrician
I want to share a miracle that happened this week! This week started out not too good. My bike handle bars broke, but only on one side. So I had been riding with one handlebar for like 2 days. Then our electricity went out. I was confused as to why we were having these trials when we were working so hard. Some men came to fix our electricity and found that they didn't have a part that they needed. We searched our apartment for something that would work. The guy saw my broken handlebar and said that he could cut it and use the pipe to fix the electricity. My broken bike became useful later. I know that I went through a challenge in order to strengthen my testimony. I know that Heavenly Father loves and looks out for his children.
Jared's twin Elder Millet 
A sister in our branch had a dream the other night that she told us about. In this dream, she saw a friend of hers. She felt that he needed to hear our message. She asked us to visit him. So we did. He and his family are from Paraguay. He is 28 years old. We taught him the story of Joseph Smith and the Restoration. This man and his family, who had no knowledge of our church, said that our message was very clear and even sounded familiar. We have an appointment to return and teach them more. It was cool to be used by the Lord to bring this message to them.
December is Elder Huefner´s last month in the mission. He wanted to set a high goal that would make us work hard. We prayed and decided on the goal of 20 baptisms for that month. It will be tough. But I have faith that if we are obedient, repentant, and work our best that the Lord will respect and help us with our goal.
I love the work here. I love the people. There is no joy equal to that of sharing the message of the Atonement of Jesus Christ with God´s children. 
Elder Gygi

Why do boys send their moms these types of apartment photos?

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Good Week!

It was a good week! We had a baptism! Her name is R. and she is 70 y/o. The Elders before me were teaching her but stopped because she needed to quit smoking. Elder Huefner and I were riding our bikes and saw her on the street and stopped to talk to her. She told us that hadn´t smoked anymore and really wanted to get baptized. We started teaching her again and the baptism was great. The water was freezing! Her brother was the one who baptized her.

I got to go on splits with the Elders from the area next to us. My companion for the day was Elder Oyarce. He is from Chilé and speaks no English! I really had to use my Spanish that day. It was very fun. Oh and our power went out on Friday. I thought it would only last a few minutes like back home when the power went out every once in a while. But minutes turned to hours, and then to days. We had no hot water for like 2 days. So to shower, we had to heat up water on the stove. It wasn´t ideal but hey at least I have a sweet story to tell! I´ve learned that Argentines have really creative insults, Like this one said I look like Captain America before he was experimented on hahaha I was laughing at that one. Oh and I finally got attacked by a dog! This big pit bull just knocks me over from behind and tries to bite me. I stood up and picked up a rock and it ran away. It was crazy.
Also, soccer is nuts here. We were in a lesson yesterday and then I just heard fireworks go off. I was confused so I asked the guy what was happening. He said that BOCA just scored. (There are two major teams in Buenos Aires, BOCA and River, I´m a BOCA fan). As we were walking home, people are in the streets just yelling, everyone is honking their horns, Everyone´s radio is on full volume. You can hear the game anywhere you are.

Last story, we almost got robbed. We were riding our bikes and a guy on a motorcycle comes up to and says "give me your phone." We were just like wait, what? He says "I´ve got a gun and I´m gonna shoot you if you don't give me your phone." I was just thinking, "this guy is riding a motorcycle, how is he going to take our phone and hold a gun at that same time without letting go of the handlebars" haha. We just quickly turned down a street and rode away quickly. It was kind of funny.

I totally forgot that was Halloween yesterday. I was laying in bed and I said to Elder Huefner, "Hey I think it´s Halloween today." I am definitely improving in my Spanish. I can talk and understand much better than when I got here. I actually have trouble talking English sometimes. Elder Huefner goes home on December 30. He is from Bountiful Utah. His personality is to always follow the spirit. Like we will be late for an appointment and he´ll say "Elder, stop I feel like we should knock on this door." (By the way they don't knock on doors here. We stand at the gate and clap a few times).

I realized how great our ward back home really is. I sat in sacrament meeting and saw maybe 40 people there and I remembered how packed the whole building was at my farewell. And no one cleans the building at all here. We have no ward council or mission leader to work with. It gets frustrating trying to work with members because they don´t want to come to lessons with us or anything. I´m grateful for the ward back home. (Shout out to Las Sendas!!! Another lesson learned for a future leader...) 

Well, I keep seeing more miracles every day!

Yo soy Elder Gygi