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