Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Christmas Phone Call

Gygi Family Christmas 2016
Our family had an excellent 45 minute Skype with Elder Gygi on Christmas.  He looked happy and healthy and enthused for his missionary work.  Most importantly, he had the look of a missionary serving the Lord in the best way possible.  We got to meet his new companion, Elder Carreño, who is from Columbia and speaks just a bit of English.  It was fun watching Jared seamlessly flipping back and forth between English and Spanish as he translated for us as we spoke a bit with Elder Carreño and with the local family hosting them for Christmas dinner.  We got a kick out of listening as Elder Gygi now seems to speak English with a Spanish accent – and he was completely unaware of this. 
As you can see from the pictures, Elder Gygi was blessed to be able to baptize E. two days before Christmas.  We can’t think of a better Christmas present than being able to bring someone to Christ through baptism.  Elder Gygi’s District consists of two sets of sister missionaries and Elder Carreño and himself.  Other than one of the sisters, all of the missionaries in his District are natives with limited English.  But Elder Gygi loves working with the native missionaries and using his Spanish.  You can see his District performing service by cleaning a pool and also singing carols at a local plaza. 
We are grateful for Elder Gygi’s missionary service in Argentina and to the Lord for keeping him safe.  When we asked when he might next get transferred, he laughed and said that his Mission President recently told him that he won’t be sent to the “rough” areas because he just looks too American with his blonde hair and fair complexion, which could consist of regular relief of personal belongings! 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

¡¡Feliz Navidad!!

¡¡Feliz Navidad!!

It is almost Christmas even if the weather doesn't feel like it! We had a great week! 

Yesterday at church we had the annual primary program. The electricity went out right before sacrament meeting started. But they went on with the program. It was beautiful hearing the little kids sing all the songs i had grown up singing, but in spanish. songs like "Dime las Historias de Cristo" "Soy un Hijo de Dios" and many others. Then all of a sudden, during one the girls talks, the lights came back on! They said that the primary had said a prayer before the performance asking for the power to come back on. It was great to witness that!

I hope everyone is in the true spirit of Christmas. As President Monson said, "To find the true spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the spirit of Christ." 

Merry Christmas!!

Elder Gygì

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Week of Surprises

Elder Captain America
 It is just going to keep getting hotter here in San Justo! We had a great week full of surprises. I am with my new companion, Elder Carreño. It is great with him. He is from Ibague, Colombia. He has been a member for a little over 3 years! He was baptized at 18 and then left on the mission 1 year later. He and I got here to Argentina on the same day so we both have 15 months in the mission. He speaks almost no English hahaha but he really wants to learn so I am trying to teach him. Elder Bragg also told me that I need to teach him English because he will use it in other church callings. 

Our investigators are doing good! A. has his baptism on the 23rd. We changed it from the 17th because he wanted his mom to be able to come too. J. does not have a date yet. 

We had a great surprise on Sunday. We were sitting in the Gospel Principles class when Brother Nielson (1st counselor in the bishopric) asked me to come out for a minute. He took me out and said "Elder Gygi your family came to visit you!... just kidding!" but then he took me into another room and i saw 3 people, all looking very American and not Argentine, and I recognized one of the kids. I said "Hey, I know you!" and I gave him a big hug. It was Marcus Bragg, a friend of mine from EFY Santa Barbara about 4 years ago! I had no idea that his dad was a general authority! His dad, Elder Mark Bragg of the 1st quorum of the seventy, was called as a member of the presidency over the South America South area and was visiting our chapel. Marcus told me that he saw a picture of me in Argentina on my Instagram and showed his dad. Elder Bragg then called President Robertson to ask what area I was in. He told him that I was currently in San Justo, so he and his family came to visit the ward and see me! And of course they just happen to show up the one Sunday I was assigned to give a talk. I spoke on member/missionary work and how we are not separate but one body working together. Sister Bragg even took a picture of me speaking, hahahaIt was great to see them. I translated Elder Bragg's talk to his son Marcus who doesn't really speak Spanish. He is going to an international school here. A bunch of ward members thought they were my family!

Elder Bragg then stood up to give us a short message. He looked at all 4 of us missionaries and said "Elders and Sisters, I have sat in a room with 2 apostles, Elder Holland and Elder Cook, as they assigned mission calls. I watched as they prayed and pleaded for each missionary. I can tell you personally that you have all been put here by revelation." 

I know that this church is true. 

Elder Gygi

Sunday, December 11, 2016

EFY Santa Barbara

Dear Gygi Family,

I had the opportunity to meet your wonderful son while attending the San Justo Ward in Buenos Aires.  He is a tremendous missionary.  He actually spoke in the Sacrament Service so I was able to see him in action.  My wife snapped a probably "inappropriate" foto of him at the pulpit but we will repent.

He is happy, healthy and working very hard.  He is a blessing to President Robertson.  We actually went there this Sunday expressly to meet your son.  He went to an EFY a few years ago with our son, Marcus.  When Marcus found out that your son was in a Buenos Aires mission he asked if we could go visit him on an off weekend.  Since we did not have an assignment this weekend it worked out perfectly!  Marcus is finishing up his senior year in high school here in BA and wants to go back for splits sometime soon.

Thank you for preparing such a fine young man who is so ready and willing to bless the lives of others in this very special part of the Lord's vineyard!  He is a fantastic example and a natural leader.

Un abrazo.
Elder Mark A. Bragg
Presidencia de Área
Área Sudámerica Sur

Spiritual Seeds Planted by Sisters

Hey family! 

Transfers came this week and we got the news. Elder Ehlert is leaving to be President Robertson's secretary! I will be staying here and my new companion is Elder Carreño from Colombia! He came with me to the mission so we have the same time here. I will be the district leader. In our district are us and 4 other sister missionaries. It is going to be a great transfer!

We had great success in finding people this week. One person we have been teaching for a few weeks accepted a baptismal date. His name is A. He is 23 and his best friend is on a mission right now in Brazil. He has come to church a few times but is now more interested. He will be baptized on the 17th.

We found a man name J. this past week. He saw us walking down the street towards him and ran into his house. He then walked out and came up to us with an old Book of Mormon in his hand. He told us how some sister missionaries gave him that book 10 years ago and how he always reads it. He listened to our message but was not set on attending church. Then on Sunday, just before sacrament meeting started, I saw J. walking out in front of the church. I left my comp (probably shouldn't have done that) and ran out to catch him before he walked away. I invited him in to the meeting and he came in and listened. It was great!

I hope all have been participating in the 25 days of Christmas campaign! 

Merry Christmas!

Elder Gygi