Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Broadcasts and Conferences

Hola familia y amigos!

We had a very busy week! There was a worldwide broadcast to all the missions. Some apostles spoke to us about a change in our purpose. Our new focus is 'Teach Repentance, and Baptize Converts.' We are now not working as much teaching less active members. I am excited with the direction missionary work is heading. Because that is the reality of our message and the gospel, through repentance we can become clean.
Elder Udall and Jared have a mutual friend: Elder Jack Knight!!

We also had a mission conference in which an area seventy came to speak to us. Elder Svec is in charge of the Brasil and Argentina areas. He and his wife gave great talks about being positive. They asked some missionaries to come up and share a fun experience from our missions. Elder Jamison and I were called on. I shared a funny story of a day we were out knocking on doors. Every single person rejected us. We were frustrated and hot and tired. But I remembered that President Robertson had told the missionaries to take a 15 minute break and eat something. So we found a little café. It turns out this café sells waffles with ice cream and dulce de leche!! I have not seen waffles in 5 months. It was the best thing ever. After eating those, we had much more motivation to work. This story made Elder Svec laugh, a lot hahaha. 

I am happy to be serving the Lord for this time in my life. I know many lives will be blessed.

Elder Gygi

Pizza buffet place called Pizza Libre. I had so many types of pizza I've never heard of. Pizza with eggs, ham, french fries, spinach, hot dogs, salami, even one with fettuccine pasta on top.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Goals

We had a good week, actually, every week is a good week! Our investigator, J, quit smoking! He went from smoking 4 packs a day to nothing in 3 weeks. He is awesome. He reads the Book of Mormon everyday. He is an older man, about 60. (What!!???!!! That's older!!??! Ouch, son :/) He just loves the gospel. God definitely rewarded him for all the faith he is showing. He has his baptismal interview tomorrow!

I am now in an area that has a Ward.  Our chapel here is much nicer than my last Branch building.  Our building is the Stake Center for Merlo.  It has two stories!  Because this is the Stake Center, it also has a Family History Center.  Church buildings here have concrete soccer courts instead of basketball courts.  We also have a Ward Mission Leader who is very helpful and two Ward missionaries who go on lessons with us.

We had interviews with our mission president last week. During my interview he says, "Elder Gygi, so you've been here 8 months now?" I was like, "President, I've been here 4 months!" He looked confused and then laughed. It was funny. We all made goals to share with him during our interviews. One of my goals is to be positive, no matter what happens. Like my high school science teacher used to always say: "Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it." (Mr. Demassa, I hope you are proud that I remembered that). We may not be able to choose our situation, but we can always change our attitude. As we choose to be positive, the Lord will bless us. We will also be happier.

Elder Gygi

Post Script:
Mark was able to have a bit of same-time emailing with Jared on Monday. They discussed the football playoff games, how great our Las Sendas Ward is with leadership and the support from members that continue to write to him and his weight fluctuations. He started at 120 lb. in the MTC. (I know, he's a lightweight, but with muscles). He gained about 20 pounds in his first area with all of the delicious food and bike riding. But now that he is walking everywhere, he's lost about 8 pounds. But he has also now learned about foot blisters and the magic of Moleskin! So many learning experiences in a missionary's life :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Real Turkey

What a great week! 
Our investigator J is progressing and really trying to quit smoking. We also found a new investigator. Her name is L. It is interesting how we found her. Elder Jamison and I were looking for someone we were told to go visit. We could not found the house number and were walking down the street when I felt an impression to clap on this door. We did and L answered. She is about 25 years old and she is blind. She said the she could tell from our accents we are from the US. She asked if we could teach her English. We came back and taught her English and then shared the message of the restoration. Our second lesson we had with her, she wanted to learn more English, so we shared the story of Nephi getting the brass plates. We said each sentence in English and then Spanish to help her learn. She loved it. We ordered the Book of Mormon on CD's for her to listen to. We invited her to be baptized and she answered that when she receives an answer to her prayer that she will be baptized. We are so happy with her faith.

I heard an analogy from a less active member we were teaching yesterday. It is about a pavo real (that means peacock in English). I laughed when I heard that name because that translates directly to mean 'real turkey.' The story goes, this peacock needed to enter a room that had food in it. His body could fit through the door, but all of his beautiful feathers denied him entrance. Other peacocks figured out to put their feathers down to pass through the door. This Peacock did not want to hide his feathers that he kept so nice a clean, he wanted everyone to see them. This kept him from his ultimate goal of food. This story can have many applications. We need to put our pride away to obtain our goal of eternal life and happiness. 

Elder Gygi

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pass Along Card

Hola everyone!
So I got transferred last week! I am now in the zone of Merlo in the area of Padua. My area feels so small compared to my last one. This one is tiny. This area is also very cheto (rich). I do not have a bike anymore, only walking, my feet hurt haha. This area is a big city, unlike my last area out in the fields and forests. It´s weird getting used to. My new companion, Elder Jamison, is the tallest elder in the district. He´s like 6´6 or something! He and I are very different. He is very smart and loves computers and technology. He went to a semester of college and studied programming. He has been on the mission for 9 months and this is his first time being senior comp. That means I need to step up and really help out. I´m excited to be here!
I want to share an experience we had yesterday. Sunday afternoon at about 3pm, we were out contacting in the streets, just walking around trying to find strangers to teach. The streets were just empty. After about an hour, we finally saw someone taking out the trash. We stopped and talked to him. Trying to quickly teach him something about our church before he walked away, Elder Jamison pulled out a 'Restoration' pamphlet and opened to a picture of a warm smiling family. He showed this man the picture and said something along the lines of ,"Our message will bring much happiness and peace to your family." The man paused and looked a little angry. He said to us ,"My family is happy, and we do not need your religion to help us." He then proceeds to yell at us for forcing our religion on him, and told us of all the pain and suffering he has seen in the world. He said that we do not know anything about it because we´re just rich Americans. This went on for 10 minutes. I suddenly felt a prompting to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ and leave. I reached into my bag and pulled out a pass along card. It had a picture of the Savior on it. I then said, "We are only 19 years old. We have left our lives to come here and serve you and the people of Argentina. You are right, I have not personally experienced the pain and suffering of the world. But He has. He knows. He understands what you have been through. Jesus Christ suffered for me, and for you, and for everyone. He died for you so that you and your family can live together in happiness forever. We know these things are true." I then gave him the card, told him to have a good day, and left.
Rejection is bound to happen. I cannot count the number of times I have been yelled at, laughed at, or had a door shut on me. But every time that happens, I can feel at peace knowing that I have the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. And for that I am eternally grateful. I bear testimony that this Church is true in the name of Jesus Christ, amén.

Elder Gygi