Saturday, October 21, 2017

Jared's Speaking on Sunday

We want to say to you all THANK YOU SO SO VERY MUCH for your love in following Jared as he served the people of Buenos Aires. You have given much kindness and faithfully followed his adventures. He has been a joy to have home with us even if it was only for a very short 8 days before he left for UVU
Here are a few memories of the more mature but same fun Jared after two years
Mark: Speaking English with a Castellano infletions. Suddenly loves most foods. Fell in love with soccer, specifically Argentine soccer star Messi. 
Sean: He couldn't focus on one thing for too long, It was as if he was rediscovering a lot.
Ariel: Mate, what a ritual.
Taylor: So stinky but so excited to share his experiences we couldn't get him to shower. 
Mom: His excitement to share the many gifts he brought home for his family. 

If you would like to hear some of his experiences while he served in the Argentina Buenos Aires West mission, he will be speaking tomorrow:

Sunday, October 22 at 1pm -2:10pm @ The Stonebridge Ward
7752 East McDowell Road, Mesa, Arizona 85207

Kampala, Uganda
Williamsburg, Virginia
Cactus dangers in Mesa, Arizona
Be Prepared
Mission papers submitted
Last supper in the USA
In the field
A Jeep photo for mom :)
....some soles didn't quite make it.

At the end of two years of saving some souls....

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Returned With Honor

MUCHAS GRACIAS for following Elder Gygi as he served the people of Buenos Aries, Argentina for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are loving the return of this easy-going young man with his humor and love for life. He has shared stories of faith, fun, scary things but mostly his obvious love for the Savior. He is at Utah Valley University. He is excited to be around our extended family living in Utah. Once again, THANK YOU for your love and kindness following Jared on this adventure.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tuesday, 8 August 2017 at 9:15am

For anyone who is able to join us in welcoming Elder Gygi home, he arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor on Tuesday, 8 August at 9:15 am Terminal 3.

Monday, July 31, 2017

This is My Last Week in BA

Dear Family,

Well, 2 years later, a few pounds lighter, but a whole lot smarter. I could share the hundreds of faith building stories right now but Gmail has a character limit. Of the many precious gifts and talents and experiences that I have been through, the one that stands out is my testimony. I know that this is the true church. I know that this is the Lord's work. Yesterday in church the bishop's counselor came up to me and asked if I could give a 20-minute talk on any subject. I chose "The Gospel Of Jesus Christ." And it hit me that I have spent my whole life preparing for my mission and now that it's over, what next? I am excited to see what Heavenly Father has in plan for me and my future. This last week is the best time to give it my all!! I'll see you next week in MESA!!

Elder Gygi

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2 Weeks Left to Work Hard

Hello Family!
2 years ago!

We had a great week! Lots of success and great times with Elder Gonzalez! We had a special training with President and Sister Resek that was great. When President came in and shook my hand he said "Elder Gygi! Are you ready to go?" and everyone started laughing. I am the oldest missionary in the mission!

Great news! Our investigator T. is getting baptized on August 5th. We have been teaching him for a while and he has been progressing little by little. But one day he was thinking if he should get baptized or not while he was walking down the road. Then some graffiti caught his eye. Painted on the sidewalk was a scripture: Juan 3:16. He had never read it before so he wrote it down and looked it up in his bible when he got home. He said he felt a strong impression that he was on the right path and took that as his answer to baptism. It shows to me that Heavenly Father answers everyone's prayers.

2 weeks left to work hard!!


Elder Gygi

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Better to Be Early

It is freezing!!! Good thing I won't have to put up with it much longer! 

This past week we went on divisions with the elders in Villa Tesei, another part of the city of Hurlingham we are in. I went with Elder Meyers and we had a great day! He is from a small town in northern California called Greenville. We were able to find a bunch of people to teach, and I learned a lot. Everything I learn seems to be one big lesson: Follow the spirit. If we do that, we will be guided in everything else. 

Our ward is doing great. We had ward counsel early on Sunday morning and we raced to get to the chapel in freezing cold only to find out that we were early. Well, better than late!

I feel like my letters are getting shorter and shorter, but it's not because of lack of writing material! I will send some pictures too.


Elder Gygi

Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Through Small Means"

Hey, family!

This week was a little slower than the rest, not much new stuff going on. Last Monday we went over to Villa Tesei to spend P-day with the other elders, and we played a lot of UNO! I lost (but the other elders cheated).

I am sitting here trying to think if anything happened this week and nothing comes to mind. It was just a normal, good week of work. Sometimes the weeks are very exciting with tons of things going on and sometimes we just need to keep working the rough patches. The best thing about this work is that it is the Lord's, He directs us. Even when we don't know what to do, I am confident and have faith in the Lord that he will make His will known unto us.

We taught an investigator this week named T, who has been investigating for about 6 months. He is 22. We already taught him all of the discussions and he still has a few doubts. I hope we can help him make it to baptism. I see lots of potential in him.

I have felt a lot of humility in the mission. I am amazed how the Lord is willing to work "through very small means" (or in other words: me) to accomplish His eternal purposes. I love this mission!


Elder Gygi

Saturday, July 8, 2017

New Mission President Resek

Hello Friends and Family!

We met our new mission president! President Resek is great! He is very excited and full of joy for the work. We had a meeting with him and his family yesterday. They showed us the video of when they opened their mission call and President Resek started jumping and screaming. It was very funny! He was so excited because his son is here in the mission right now! President Resek was in the translation department of the the church and was in charge of making the new Spanish translation of all the Standard Works. It took him 14 years to do, so imagine he knows the scriptures inside and out. I will have very little time with him as my president but I know I am supposed to be here in this time. I am pretty sure that I will be his first closing interview with a missionary. I am excited for that. 

I have 5 more weeks to work my hardest here, y lo voy a aprovechar! (I will take advantage of it!!) Thank you everyone who has supported me, I know that my family has made many sacrifices to get me here and I am forever grateful to my parents.

Hasta la proxima!

Elder Gygi

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Happy 1st B-Day, Jared!
Hey Family and Friends!

The weather here in Argentina this week is perfect! Sunny but not hot. It will be hard to adjust to 120º AZ heat. We have continued to have successes here. I love being able to witness the church grow.
We did divisions twice this week. First, on Tuesday, I went with Elder Maycock (I have been with him in like 3 other zones in my mission, so it was my 4th divisions with him!). We had a great day, I lead the area here in Hurlingham. During that day we taught a lesson to recent convert named N. We were in the lesson and it was late at night and I knew we need to leave to catch the train by 7:58 to get home in time. The whole lesson I was thinking that we needed to leave and not be late. Then I heard the spirit whisper to me "Would Jesus Christ leave a lesson early to catch the train?" Humbled, I then really paid attention to what he was telling us. We felt prompted to read with him D&C 58:2-4. Which says in part "... For after much tribulation comes the blessings..." I was very happy that we were able to share with the struggling recent convert a message of hope. 

I think that is what I will miss most when I finish my mision, receiving revelation for others and being to help someone every day. I hope I will still be able to take that blessing home. I love my mission and I love this work.

Elder Gygi

PS: We got flight plans!!! Jared lands at Sky Harbor on August 8th, 9:15am!!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Faithful Action = Positive Results

Dear Family,
Elder Gygi & Elder Gonzalez

My first week with Elder Gonzalez has been great here! Our area is doing awesome and we are constantly seeing miracles. I love the work that we are doing. 

The other day we were looking for a guy that missionaries had talked to a while back. We couldn't find him so we stopped and asked a random guy if he knew him. He said no. We then asked if we could share a message about Jesus Christ with him. He said sure and let us in. His name is V. and he is from Paraguay. We taught him the first lesson and he committed to being to be baptized in July. He wants us to come back and teach his whole family. It is great to find the prepared people.

The best part about being a missionary is feeling the guiding direction of the spirit every day. I have gained a strong testimony that Heavenly Father wants to guide us but we need to move our feet. Only when we act can he show us the way.


Elder Gygi

Monday, June 12, 2017

Rise Each Time You Fall

Hey, Family! 
Wow, I can't believe Taylor is getting married!! Hopefully, I'll be home for the wedding! We had a great week, our investigator E. was baptized and confirmed over the weekend and we have been finding lots of new people. 
Tomorrow is transfers (there were only 3 weeks between because of the mission president change) and I am staying here in Hurlingham to finish my mission. Elder Lopez is leaving to a very very very far away little pueblo called Nueve de Julio. His new companion is the Branch President out there, he'll have fun out there. I am staying here with my new comp Elder Gonzalez, from.... MESA AZ! He went to Westwood High School! It is going to be a lot fun to finish the mission up with a fellow Mmesanite. We have a lot planned for this transfer.
We had a great last zone conference with Sister and President Robertson. He gave us his "last advice" to have a successful life. It was a very emotional reunion. President shared with us a poem called "The Race" about how we should never give up. One thing he said that really stuck with me was this: "Winning is only this: to get up each time you fall." I am very grateful for the time I have had to learn from my mission President.

Elder Gygi

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Happiest Time of My Life

Hey, Family!

This is the last week of President Robertson's mission! We will be getting President Resek in the coming week. It has been great to have almost 2 years with Pres. Robertson, I have learned so much from him. 
We had a great week! We continue to see miracles every day while finding new people. We had a long list of people to go visit that the missionaries had previously contacted. As we were trying to find all of these people we felt impressed to knock on a door. We knocked (or more accurately 'clapped') at the door and a woman about 40 came out. We explained that we are missionaries and asked if she would like to hear a message about Jesus Christ. She said "yes" so we taught her the message of the restoration right there on her doorstep. She told us that was currently attending a Christian (in Spanish 'Evangelista') church because she liked what was taught but was not convinced that it is the true church. She also said she has been praying and looking to join the true church. We promised her that if she read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true God would tell her where she needs to go. It felt like such a perfect lesson. The woman's name is 'Miracles' in English! 
We had the confirmation of our investigator S. yesterday and I was privileged to confirm her. She is 23 and her husband G. is 27, he was confirmed last week. The have one little boy. On Saturday E. will be baptized. He is 28 and his wife C. is a member. She had always been praying for E. to accept the gospel but for 2 years he met with the missionaries and didn't want to join the church. We taught him and for some reason he was more prepared. He has quit smoking and is very excited to be baptized. Elder Lopez will baptize him and I will do the confirmation.

I have 10 weeks left to work as hard as I can! This has been the happiest time of my life!

Elder Gygi

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Field Is White

Hey Family!

I arrived in my new area last week. Hurlingham is very different from my last area out in the country. I am now in a big city with a much bigger ward. But the work is the same anywhere you go. My companion, Elder Lopez is from Spokane, Washington. His parents are from Mexico so already speaks Spanish. He has been on the mission now 16 months. So we are both experienced missionaries working together. 
Before I got here the missionaries had a baptism. So on Sunday we got to confirm Brother H a member. And next Sunday we will confirm his wife as well. We have a baptism on the 10th of June for our investigator E. He has been investigating the church for about two years but finally felt ready to make the step to baptism. Just shows that everyone has their time. This area is very prepared and we are finding many people to teach.


Elder Gygi

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hurlingham, #9

Hurlingham Polo Club
So I am getting transferred! I will be going to the area of Hurlingham (I've never been there so I don't know what it is like) and my new companion is Elder Lopez (not sure where he is from), I will leave Las Heras tomorrow. I am very happy for the time I have had here to work and build the church. This new area will be the ninth in my mission and my 17th companion (I hope that's a good thing!). I have been very blessed to see much of the church in Argentina. It is truly a marvelous work and a wonder

This week we traveled to another area to go on divisions with the Zone leaders. I went with Elder Gutierrez from Peru. We had a great day, even through the cold and rain we were able to find many new people to teach. The lesson I learned is that the Lord rewards our work, we get what we work for. 

Elder Gygi and Elder Fregenal
In church, the stake president's counselor, Brother Carrizo, spoke to us. He told a funny story about how one morning he woke up late for work. He had to leave by 6:00 am to take the train and he woke up and it was already 6:18 am. So he ran out the door and caught a bus to the train and when paid his train ticket the clock at the station said 3:30 am. Confused, he asked the employee what time it was. He confirmed that it was 3:30. Something had happened with his cell phone that changed the time. He was so focused on getting to work, that he paid no attention to his surroundings, like the fact that he was the only one at the station when it is normally full of people at 6:00 am. The lesson he shared was that, even with a goal in mind, we need to be aware of our surroundings for people in need. We all have the goal to return to our Heavenly Father but we are not alone in the journey. Always be attentive to those in need.

I hope all is well back home. Stay safe everyone!

Elder Gygi

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Missionary Work

Hey Family! 
We are doing good out here in Las Heras! It is starting to cool down which is nice. Yesterday Elder Fregenal and I were in a lesson with an older man that we found out knocking doors. He let us in and we were getting know him. He asked if I was born in the church (that is to say are my parents members too). I said, "Yes." He then asked Elder Fregenal if he was born in the church. He said, "No I was born in a hospital!" We all laughed so much when he said that! Great times hahaha.
The church out in Las Heras is growing a lot. It is great to be able to witness firsthand in real time the growth of Zion in a place where the church is still young. I love to see the faith of the saints, how they pray that one day we can have a chapel here. I know that one day it will come. 
One of the older members of the church gave me a pamphlet entitled "Missionary Work" (in Spanish) written by President Kimball in the 70's. It is a very worn and old pamphlet, one of the first for the Spanish members of the church. I read it and it is fantastic. He talks about how we as members need to greater faith that we can find and baptize more people. Not for any statistic but to bring more souls to salvation. I know that our faith can change the heart of people we meet.

Elder Gygi

DyC 34

I don't have a lot of time to write!! Sorry you don't get a big letter this week but I will write next week! Just know that I am well and we are working hard! Read DyC section 34 this week, it's short and helped to change the vision of my mission. Glad to hear that Taylor graduated! Tell him I say "felicitaciones!"

Elder Gygi

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Elder Fregenal

The weather has been a lot better this week. No rain and cool sunny days. But the sky changes so fast in Argentina that at 9am it might be sunny and then at 4pm it's freezing and I didn't bring a sweater because it was sunny when I left the house. But the important thing is that Elder Fregenal and I are doing great! He is super funny and great to work with.

We gave talks yesterday at church. In Elder Fregenal's talk, he spoke about his conversion. A friend of his came to his house 3 years ago with the missionaries and asked if he wanted to hear a message. He told them no and said he didn't believe in God. They then spent the next 30 minutes asking why and finally got into his house. They invited Elder Fregenal to read the book of Mormon, pray, and to come to church. He said he wasn't going to read it, he didn't believe in prayer, and he wouldn't come to church. Then on Sunday morning the missionaries knocked at his door with his friend and said they were going to take him to church. He finally accepted and went with them. After the first class of priesthood quorum (we have sacrament meeting last) he went to leave. One of the missionaries said that the meeting wasn't over and took him to the next class. After Gospel Principles ended, Elder Fregenal again went to leave the chapel, but again was told that it wasnt over yet. So he tried to escape the church and walked through the next door he saw, into the sacrament room where the bishop took him and sat him with his family. "After that meeting," he said, "I knew there was something here that I liked. So I took their challenge to read the Book of Mormon." One of the Elders said someone once read it in 1 day so Elder Fregenal tried to do it too. It took him 6 days. After that experience he decided to be baptized. And now he is here on the mission. I am very grateful to be with him and to learn together. 

I hope everyone is doing well back home. Everyone keeps telling me that I am almost done with my mission. That is why I have to make the most of it!

Elder Gygi

Saturday, April 22, 2017

An Unxpected Meeting

This was an absolutely fantastic week! I am writing late today because we have p-day today in the afternoon and also in the morning tomorrow. This is because today in the morning the whole mission got together with the Buenos Aires North Mission in Capital to attend an unexpected meeting with President Russell M Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles! We learned about this meeting 2 days ago. We had to wake up at 4 am to get to the chapel in Caballito at 9:30. We got there and the meeting started. President Nelson decided that before starting, he would shake everyone's hand. He went down the line of 500 missionaries and greeted everyone, with his wife as well. Then they addressed us, as well as our mission presidents and the area presidency. 
President Nelson asked for President Robertson to give one piece of advice to all of the missionaries. President Robertson got up to the pulpit and said "Teach repentance and baptize many converts," and then turned and sat down! I don´t think the Savior would have said it any simpler. 
For most of President Nelson's talk, he explained the history and lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the 12 Tribes of Israel. He described the responsibilities of the tribes and our duties according to our patriarchal blessings and personal lineage. I thought to myself during his address "This is all great to know but what does it have to do with missionary work?" Then he said this: "None of you are here by chance. Each of you elders and sisters were foreordained and chosen to accomplish exactly what you are doing now. Through your lineage, all the world will be blessed." I felt the spirit very strong in that moment. By serving a mision I am fulfilling promises. 

Let me say a little about my new comp! His name is Elder Fregenal and he is a native from Tucuman, Argentina, a province up north. He has been on the mission for 13 months. He is 21 years old and was baptized 3 years ago. He is the only member of his family that was baptized. I can see that he has made a lot of sacrifices to be here on the mission. I am very privileged to be working with him and have the opportunity to learn from him.

We are going to work very hard here in Las Heras!!

Elder Gygi

Sunday, April 16, 2017

It's the Rainy Season

Dear family and friends, 
It was a good week with bad weather. It rained all yesterday and today but harder than I have ever seen! All of Las Heras is flooded (see pictures of me in the water). We woke up this morning and the water was still rising, luckily we live in a second floor apartment. The wind almost broke our windows. Seeing cars get stuck in the water made me (jokingly) think of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 88:90 where "the waves of the sea shall heave themselves beyond their bounds." The waves have already arrived in Las Heras! 
Tomorrow we have transfers. I will be staying here in Las Heras and Elder Ramirez will be leaving to go to Moreno, where I just was! I can't remember my new companions name but I have never met him. I'll meet him tomorrow. 
I am happy to stay here in the area, I feel that there is still much work to be done. On Saturday we had the baptism of R, a ten-year-old investigator. His mom is a less active member but his dad is not a member. R. is great. He attended 3 sessions of General Conference. Elder Ramirez did the baptism and I did the confirmation. We had to travel to the next town over for the baptism because in Las Heras there is no baptismal font. We literally had to run to catch the train. 
Hope everything is great back home, I got my flight plans today so it is starting to feel very close. Have to make the most of my time here!

Elder Gygi

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Choose Happy

Tracking or tracting?
This was conference weekend! It was full of inspired messages and the spirit. I was prepared to watch the entire conference in Spanish, which is alright, but I knew I wouldn't get 100%of the messages. But when we got to the chapel the bishop came up to me and said "Elder Gygi do you want use my computer in the office to watch in English?" I excitedly accepted his offer and watched 8 hours of talks by myself (of course not far from my companion). This was the first time that have attended conference alone, but it was great because there were absolutely no distractions. I was able to focus completely on what was being said and the impressions I felt.

I particularly liked the message of Elder Yoon Hwon Choi . He spoke of how when he was a mission president in Seattle Washington. The missionaries had to go out and work even in the hard rain. But when it would rain, he advised the missionaries to enjoy it, to look at it as a storm of blessings. He said that when it rains "Look up, drink in the blessings!" When he finished his talk, we had 2 hours until the next session of conference started. So Elder Ramirez and I decided to go out to knock on doors and invite people to come to church. When we walked outside, of course it was raining. I don't believe that was a coincidence! So I thought it was a perfect time to apply what I had just learned. With a smile and a good attitude we went out to work. We found one of our investigators and invited her to come watch the last session with us. She accepted and we walked with her to the chapel (I held the umbrella for her haha)! 

One of the lessons I have seen over and over and over in my mission is that we can choose to be happy. No one has the power to make us feel an emotion but us. If we want to be happy, we can be! If we want to be sad, we can choose that too. But never can we blame external circumstances for our attitude. I know that the easiest choice is to be happy. The Holy Ghost is one of the ways we can choose to be happy (did anyone else notice that 3 of the apostles chose to speak on the power of the Holy ghost?). 
Elder Gygi and Elder Gutierrez training. 

Hope everyone CHOOSES to have a happy week!

Elder Gygi

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Travels & Miracles

This week was full of travel and miracles! On Tuesday, the whole zone of missionaries in Marcos Paz got to go to the temple in Buenos Aires. But the temple is about 4 hours from where we are. So we had to wake up at 4:15 am to take a train at 5 am to get to a bus by 6:15 am to take us to Buenos Aires by 9am. We then spent the day in a training meeting with President and then we were able to attend the temple. It was a fantastic day. I saw Brother Riccart, the temple president, who is a good friend of mine from the San Justo area. 
During one of the meetings, President Robertson asked us this question, "If the Savior was here next to you, how would he describe your faith?" Jesus Christ, in respect to people's faith, has said the following "Never have I seen so great faith," "Thy faith is sufficient," and, "Oh ye of little faith." What would he say about our faith? Is it great or only just sufficient? I have learned that it is through faith that miracles are wrought. It is only through faith and accordance to God's will that we can accomplish what he asks of us.
On Thursday we went go eat lunch at a member's house. When Elder Ramirez and I showed up, their 9-year-old son B. said, "Elders, can you go visit my friend? His mom is sick and I told them you would go over to help and share a message!" When a 9-year-old gives us a reference, we have to go! So we went and met the R. family. The mom was waiting in the door to receive us! They are a young married couple named S. and H. with one son, J, who is also 9. They have a strong belief in God but do not currently attend a church. S. had an operation for throat cancer and cannot speak above a whisper. Luckily Elder Ramirez knows how to read lips! We shared a message about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. They accepted a copy and the invitation to read and pray about it. Look, even little kids in the primary can share their testimony!

Hope everyone has a great week! 

Elder Gygi

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Chance To Hear the Message

Hey Everyone!

I think my body is finally used to riding long bike distances! After a year and a half of no bike, it is hard to get used to again. 
We had a great week, including the Marcos Paz stake conference yesterday. We had to take an early train to get there on time. The stake center is about an hour away. The train was really cool though early in the morning. We could see the sun melt the frost across the whole farms making everything foggy. 
So we got to the stake conference, which was in Loma Grande, one of my old areas! It was great to see all the members I met before. President and Sister Robertson spoke to us and also Elder Batalla and Elder Krasnoselsky of the 70 gave talks. After the conference, I went to go shake hands with Elder Krasnoselsky and say thank you. I went to shake his hand and he gave me a big hug, kissed me on the cheek, and said, "Elder Gygi, thank you for serving in our country!" He then gave me some very important advice on missionary work. He said, "Elder Gygi, never let anyone walk past you with talking to them. I promise you that if you do this, you will find more investigators, you will teach more lessons, and you will baptize more people." He then told me a story of once when he was waiting for a bus. Two missionaries came up to wait for the same bus. They greeted him but didn't say anything more. Due to a delay, they were waiting together at the bus stop for an hour. He said that the missionaries never talked to him. "Could you imagine if I was not a member? I never would have been able to accept the message you carry," he told me. I realized that no one is obligated to accept our message. But we, as members of the church, are obligated to share it and give people the chance. Never think that someone will say no. We all must at least offer.

Elder Gygi

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Game of Habla Gatito

Hey Family!
We have now moved into fall so the weather is cooling down a lot. All the rain the past few weeks just killed the heat which is nice.
We did a TON of biking this past week. We had some people to visit in the little towns that border us and it's a pretty far ride on for the little beach cruisers we have. 
On Friday we were in charge of a ward Family Night activity. We had a lot of people come out, including some investigators. We played a fun game called ´Habla Gatito´ (talk like a cat) that was really funny and then we shared a short message about the voice of the Spirit and how we need to be quiet and attentive to hear it. It was great to get the whole ward involved in our activity.
Not too much has gone on since last week. The work is coming slowly here. In a worldwide missionary training a few months ago, Elder Bednar taught us that the real key to know if we are consecrated and giving our all is when we keep working even when the Lord sees fit not to bless us. Obviously our Savior always wants us to be happy and receive blessings but we also have to show our dilligence and be worthy to recieve those blessings. You can never recieve something for nothing, even in the economy of heaven (it looks like some of those `laws of economics` I learned senior year are applicable after all!). 

Elder Gygi

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Transportation via Bikes or Horses

After only a short month and a half I left Moreno and have come to Las Heras! This area is very different from anywhere I have been before in my mission. It is the equivalent of tiny farm town in Montana. Extremely far from any other city. But it is great here. The people are friendly, it's not dangerous, and everyone rides bikes or horses. The town is very pretty with cobblestone streets and a central plaza with the community Catholic Church. Our area also includes the (even smaller and farther away) towns of Villars and Navarro which are both about a 40 minute bus ride from where we live in Las Heras. We are about 4 hours from Buenos Aires Capital. 
My companion is Elder Ramirez, a big guy but very relaxed and funny. He is 19 and has been on the mission for 6 months. He comes from the town of Guaymallen in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, a state that is next to Chile. He is a convert to the church, baptized at 10 years old and he was also the first in his family to listen to the missionaries and be baptized. I am very excited to be with him, my 6th Spanish speaking companion, he also wants help to learn English! 
There is no LDS chapel in our area. Las Heras is a ward but there are not enough members to build a chapel. So the church is renting an apartment we use as the meeting house. This past Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. We were about 25 in attendance in a little room. We took the sacrament and then I was asked to present myself and share my testimony. I felt impressed to share a scripture I had that morning in my personal study, 1 Nefi 13:37:

"And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be."

Bringing forth Zion is what we have been called to do, not just me and Elder Ramirez, but every member. We have the promise of the power and gift of the Holy Ghost to help us in this work, and the greatest promise that we shall be saved and receive peace at the last day. I know this is a promise for every member!

Elder Gygi

Another Transfer!

Traditional Pants Burning at 18 months
So transfers have come again and my short time in Paso Del Rey is up. Tomorrow I will be moving to Las Heras, a small kind of country town in the area of Marcos Paz (where I was before in Loma Grande like 8 months ago!) And my new companion is Elder Ramirez, who is a native from Argentina! I don't know very much about him but it's going to be great! 
We had a very hot week, I hope that summer is coming to an end soon. We did some service on Saturday and helped to paint a school. That was fun and I got very sunburned! (yes mom I did put on sunscreen, I got burnt anyway). 
The other day Elder McDonald and I sat down on a tree in front of a house in the shade to look at our agendas and confirm some plans for the day. While we were looking at our plans, the owner of the house came out and said "Hey you guys are Mormon missionaries right? Why don't you come in and we can talk, it's been a long time since the missionaries came by my house!" So we went and taught a lesson. Her name is E. and she is actually from Ukraine. She is probably 70 years old. Her family moved to Argentina when she was a baby. She tried to teach us some Russian! Heavenly Father always puts us in the place where He needs us. 
I am so grateful that I have made the choice to serve a mission. I love being a missionary because I have daily opportunities to testify of Jesus Christ. I would not change my decision to come here.

Elder Gygí

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rain, Rain, Rain...

Hey everyone! I hope your week was very dry, mine sure wasn't! ··· 3 nonstop days of rain and more is coming this week. I currently have wet socks as I am writing to you. But as President Hinckley said, "Every day in the mission field should be a good day." 
We had a great week of finding new people to teach. I can see that the Lord is blessing the faith of S, our mini missionary. I have learned a lot from him. We returned home after a particularly rainy day (not many people let us in their house either) and S. said, "The Lord really tried us today, but I think we showed him our diligence!" I kept thinking about that. Sometimes the opposition is great because it gives us a chance to show the Lord our faith. If we prove faithful, the blessings will come.

Elder Gygì

Found a military museum

Divisions in Paso del Rey

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jared's Famous!

​Hey family! 
Elder McDonald, Bro. Estche, Elder Gygi
We had a ton of surprises this week! ​On Monday night last week, we got a call from President Robertson informing us that we were going to receive a mini missionary. (That is when a young man is preparing to go on a mission so he comes with us for some time to learn about the mission, but he doesn't have a missionary badge or anything.) We were very excited because there hasn't been a mini missionary in the mission for a few years! We picked him up on Wednesday and he will be living with us for two weeks. His names is Bro. Esteche, he's an Argentine/Italian. He is from a ward like 20 minutes away from our area. It's so fun to have him, it's like training a new missionary. He is very prepared to go on the mission. He works in the temple at BA and loves to talk to everyone about the gospel. I have learned a lot from being with him. 
Something very sad happened this past week. Bishop Cabral, the bishop of the Trujui Ward (another ward in the stake of Moreno where I am serving) was shot and killed. Some men assaulted and shot him and his nephew and robbed their car. The nephew is alive and in the hospital but the bishop passed away. He was called to serve as bishop just three weeks ago. Keep his family in your prayers.
Also attached is a picture of me in the news of the Church! Apparently the picture of our baptism of V. and F. in San Justo got sent to one of the church news writers who put it up on the South America LDS page. All of the members are telling me that I'm famous hahaha.
There is also a picture of me and S. eating pancakes with maple syrup (thanks mom for the maple extract). He had never eaten pancakes before. He liked them, obviously! 
Hope all is well back home! The work keeps going strong down here, there is a lot of work still left to do. I know that many blessing are waiting for all of us.

Elder Gygi

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Agency to Choose

I am sweating as I am writing this! it is so unbelievably hot here. I do not remember last summer being this hot. But as a missionary who brings the Lord's restored gospel to people living in darkness, of what do I have to complain? We have a lot of changes this past week. If you haven't heard, the apostles and prophet have changed the daily schedule for missionaries depending on the culture where you are serving. Our schedule stayed mostly the same but with a few changes. We now do planning in the morning and not in the night (which means we come home at 9, write in journal, eat, and go to bed early!) We have an extra half an hour in the morning to get ready (that's more for the sisters haha) We can choose at what time to do companionship and language study (we will normally put it during the siesta when everyone is sleeping) And we have an extra 2 hours on p-day to do everything! (Before p-day started at 10:30, now at 8:00.) We also do not report as many numbers to church HQ. I know that these changes were inspired to help us work more effectively and be more healthy. Like Pres. Uchtdorf says, simplicity is key.

We have not gotten lost this week, which either means we are improving in our directions or the spirit is leading us more. I think both are true. The hard part about opening a new area is just finding people to teach. When we do not know anyone, it is essential to get rid of fear and open our mouths to talk to absolutely everyone. I have no idea how many cards, pamphlets and Book of Mormons we have given out this week. We have had considerable success. If we want many people to teach, we need to talk to many people too. I was reading about the role of the spirit in finding in Preach My Gospel. I think many missionaries (me included) have felt that in order to speak to someone, the spirit needs to tell us. Many time it is not like that. There are no flashing signs and lights telling us to stop and talk to someone. Many times, the Lord allows us to use our agency to choose. In DyC 58:26 it says:

26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

The Lord does not command in all things, that is why we have agency. As my companion and I have used our agency to stop someone on the street and offer them a card, we have seen miracles. 3 days ago, we saw a young couple sitting in chairs outside of their house just talking. There were 2 empty chairs next to them. I said to Elder McDonald "Look they already have chairs waiting for us!" And we went over and offered to share a short message about how God loves us. They let us sit down and talk. It turns out that the man was not very believing in God but wants to build his faith and learn more. They both accepted a Book of Mormon with an invitation to read and pray about it. If we had not stopped to talk to them, he would still be waiting for the next missionaries to come by. It is by little things that the Lord accomplishes His work.

Elder Gygí

PS I come home in 6 months... I hope to go to Disneyland when I arrive please ºoº

Friday, January 27, 2017

From Trio to Duo

So the trio is now down to two. Elder Barrowes had some things he had to take of back home so now it is just me and Elder Mcdonald! So this is the 3rd white wash I have been in my mission! (that's when both of the missionaries are replaced in an area and two new missionaries come in) Elder Mcdonald and I will be getting lost all over again, but it's not the first time and it certainly will not be the last. 

We are in the ward of Paso Del Rey. The regular attendance on Sundays is about 40 people. The area is a lot more rural than my last one. I am back to dirt streets. We are very happy to be here to help this ward grow. There is a lot of potential in this area. Also Elder Mcdonald and I are the only Americans in the entire zone! He is currently in the mission offices today for a meeting so I am on divisions with Elder Meneses who is from Brazil! It was a little crazy that we got called to zone of Moreno because President hardly ever calls Americans to this zone. But I know we are here for something. 

Jared and Elder Barrowes
These next few weeks are going to be a lot of work. Just walking and finding new people to teach. I am so tired. There's a reason it's called missionary WORK not missionary PLEASURE. But it is the most rewarding work you can do.

Elder Gygì