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