Monday, April 24, 2017

Chau Elder Sureda

Hello All!

I hope this week was a good one and that everyone is enjoying the weather warming up a little bit!! It is starting to get a little cooler here as we get into Fall and sweater weather! 

This past week was good, but not too many new things have happened in regards to the work here in Zárate, or any new stories..We had to go to Capital a couple times last week for the meeting with President Nelson, and also for zone interviews, so that takes up pretty much a whole day in traveling since we are so far away. Next week is transfers again. Elder Sureda finishes his mission and will go home on Monday. 

Something that I have been doing that I have enjoyed a lot is the challenge that President Nelson gave us in General study every reference of Christ in the topical guide! I have focused my studies, and plan to do this the rest of my mission on Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The first reference that I was studying a lot last week was "Advocate". In spanish it is "abogado" and the english translation is lawyer. But we know that Christ is also our Judge, Redeemer, and Savior. This being said, we can put it all together and realize that Jesus Christ is our Savior, Redeemer, Lawyer and Judge! He is everything! That is why it is only through Him that we can be saved. That is why through his atoning sacrifice we can not only repent of our sins and receive forgiveness, but we can also receive power to overcome weaknesses and to serve with all of our heart, might, mind and strength. I was thinking a lot in how personally He knows all of us being our Savior, Redeemer, Lawyer and Judge! For example, He has felt every single suffering and pain we have gone through, we are going through, and will go through in this life. He knows us and our weaknesses, because He has experienced it all, and has descended below all things! Why? So that we can be redeemed through His grace and sacrifice! Think about how personal that is that He suffered for your pains and afflictions personally.

Now, He is our advocate to the Father, but He also is our judge! He "pleads the cause to the Father." I tried to imagine this process. He is watching us closely and any act of obedience He goes straight to Heavenly Father to plead our case and show that we are trying. And after all this, Christ will ultimately be our judge, and all that He did for us, and all that He suffered for us will be taken accounted for, and He will still be pleading our case, always pleading our case! He is perfect, and will always be just, but He will plead our case to the Father as we do our best to be obedient to His laws and His gospel.

I then read about the way we can know that we know our Savior and I thought the answer was perfect in 1 John 2:1-3

And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

We will know that we know Christ if we obey His commandments. It is such a simple answer. If we truly love Christ, we will do all we can to follow Him, and as it says in 2 Nephi 31, we cannot follow Christ unless we are willing to keep His commandments!

I know Christ lives, that He is our advocate, and through our obedience we can truly come to know Him, and become converted to His gospel, experiment the mighty change of heart, and change our lives forever. I testify of this and know it to be true with all my heart, because I can testify that I know my Savior, a knowledge that has changed my life forever!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Yeoman
 Proselyting in Vicente Lope (President Smith's neighborhood)
Elder Sureda and I after training our last companionship of the night!
After church on Sunday
The magnet that I made to give to converts and members to remember me
forever on their fridge! haha! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Baptism and President Russell M. Nelson

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a great week and a happy Easter! How blessed we are to know that Jesus Christ lives, loves us, and through Him we can live eternally with our families! 

This past week was very special! We had a baptism which was amazing, and is an amazing story! Her name is Monica, and we have been teaching her for about a month. She is a single mom that lives with her 2 daughters, one has 7, the other has 11 years. She is awesome. From day 1 she always kept her commitments and she was always super excited to learn about the Gospel! But Tuesday of last week, we went to her house and we talked about baptism, and prior to this she was not very convinced at all that she should be baptized. We talked about the importance of baptism and she began to cry and she told us a story. She said "Last weekend, my grandson was in the hospital, because he burned himself in a fire, and I was just praying that all would be okay, and all of the sudden I began to hear your voices and I remembered all that you guys have taught me, and the scriptures, and that I needed to be baptized, and in that moment, I knew I needed to be baptized!" I was shocked, I just told her wow in all my time here in Argentina, I have never taught someone that recieved their answer in that way..I was blown away! I thought it was incredible that she recognized that as her answer, and she said "I don't even feel like I need to pray to know that I need to get baptized because the Lord already gave me my answer, When can I get baptized?" I was like, well we actually are planning on this Saturday...She said "Perfect! I'm ready." And she was baptized, and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and has entered in through the door of repentance and baptism. It was an incredible service!

After her baptism, we had what is called a "Capilla Abierta," which is like an open house is what it is in english, I think. My comp and I got stationed at the baptismal font, because I mean, that's home :). We challenged almost every single person that walked through the door to be baptized, and almost all of them accepted, but there are a lot of course that don't live in our area, so we will see how it all goes! It was very special bearing testimony of the forgiving power of the Lord, and His gospel. There are pictures that go with it! It was a great activity!

I have accepted the challenge that President Nelson gave us in conference to study every single reference to the Savior in the scriptures. He said that after he did that, "he was a changed man." And honestly, that is just incredible because I met him and I feel like he is perfect! Looking him in the eyes you see something different about him, and all the apostles I am sure, they are on another level.

That being said, we had a meeting with him yesterday, for that reason I am writing you all today. I loved all the talks, but the ones that stood out to me the most were the ones by President Nelson and his wife. I will start with Sister Nelson.

She said 3 things that I will never forget-

1. In these 2 years, you are receiving a training to be a disciple for the rest of your life.
2. A mission is obedience training.
3. What do you know that you never want to forget?

I have dwelled a lot upon these 3 things, and realize that for me they are all intertwined and related! The mission is indeed a training on obedience so that I may learn what the Lord really expects of me, and how I can be a true disciple the rest of my life. And one thing I never want to forget is that. The knowledge that has changed my life forever for obedience and knowing what it is that the Lord expects of me as His disciple...for my whole entire life!

Now, I want to talk about President Nelson´s talk..I realized a lot of things..First off, I want to say sorry for falling asleep in seminary a lot my freshman year to Sister Carper and Sister Wiscombe, because he explained to us the lineage from Abraham to Ephraim like he was reading scripture, with all the meanings of every name, tribe, and how they came to be, everything! It was super intense and I was left in awe! He explained to us that the Abrahamic covenant and promise was given to him for his obedience and willingness to follow the Lord and sacrifice his son. And then explained everything, using Hebrew terms and explaining in such a simple way, and I was thinking..okay this is so impressive that he knows all of this perfectly, but what is he coming to?

At the very end of his talk, he explained that the root of Ephraim meant "gathering" in Hebrew, and that we, sitting in the room with him are the elect, preserved for 4000 years to fulfill a prophecy that was made 4000 years ago, being foreordained to labor in the most important time in all of the history of the world.

1 Nephi 15:18-

18 Wherefore, our father hath not spoken of our seed alone, but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter days; which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

He said, "you guys have no idea how special you are", and left us with an apostolic blessing, and finished his talk.

I was sitting there flabbergasted...I was without words. It was incredible. It is hard for me to explain in an email, but the point is that we are the elect of the Lord, and much more is expected of us!

I know that Christ lives, that he died, was resurrected, and is at the head of this church! 

I love you all!

Elder Yeoman

Elder Sureda and I traveling to the meeting with President Nelson
Office Elders reunited (Elders Stagg and Lyon)
Early morning before traveling to Buenos Aires
Monica's Baptism Day on Saturday, April 15th

Monica's Baptism with Elder Sureda
Open House after the baptism on Saturday

Easter Sunday with Hernan and Elder Sureda 
Our Easter gifts from Hernan (big chocolate eggs)
Elder Twitchell

Monday, April 10, 2017

Answers to Prayers

Hello Everyone!! I hope you all had a great week!!

All of you that know me well are thinking that my subject is because Carolina won the National Championship, which I am happy about, but that is not the reason I put that as the subject 😀.

This week was a very good week. My companion and I are working super hard and we found a ton of new investigators this week that we will be working with and helping them to progress to be baptized. I wanted to share a couple experiences I had this week - 

A big miracle that we saw this week was that we were riding bikes in the street on our way to visit someone and we said a prayer to know where we had to go to find a family that was ready to hear the Gospel. We stopped to knock doors, and we found a family that we are now teaching that 2 of the children have baptismal dates, and the parents are going to get married! The mother of the family was about to be baptized 11 years before, but then her family moved and she was unable to continue. Now they are super excited to learn the message of the Gospel and progress towards an eternal family! A couple things caught my attention with this.. the fact that I am way better at recognizing miracles than I was at the start of my mission, the power of prayer, and that the Lord is very conscious of the needs of all of us. This is no coincidence that the mother had listened to the missionaries 11 years ago and was at the point of being baptized, but then moved, and now, 11 years later has another opportunity to hear the Gospel and accept the most important message that she will ever hear in her life!

We continue to work very hard to find new investigators every day! The other day, one of our progressing investigators told us that she did not want us to come back ever again because she was offended that we would not enter into her house without a man being there. She told us she didn't want to keep going with the appointments. That was an interesting experience because it was because of our obedience that she did not want to meet with us anymore. I was out there pulling out my white bible (what missionaries call our book of rules) and everything trying to explain to her why and our rules. But she was already set on her decision. Sadly she is not ready at this time, and she had a big family that we were starting to teach. But it was okay because we did everything and we were obedient. Afterwards, we decided to visit a couple old investigators near her house and we found a young married couple that showed lots of interest, and an old investigator that wants to come back to church! There are always blessings prepared for those that are obedient and strive to do the Lord´s will.

I know that Christ lives, and that every emptiness or pain that we can feel sometimes in our lives can be healed and filled through the power of His atonement, something I am grateful for every single day of my life!

I hope that we can all turn our hearts a little closer to Christ this week, and strive to come to know Him better as we celebrate His resurrection Sunday on Easter! He was lifted on the cross so that He could lift all unto the Father in the last day. I am so grateful for His sacrifice, and the opportunity I have to testify of Him every single day as His representative!

In the hardest days, hardest trials, and hardest times, we can always testify of Christ and feel of His love and peace! 

I love you all! Have a great week and Happy Easter!!

Elder Yeoman

Selfie with Brother Maru from San Pedro and my companion
Elder Sureda!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Conference and Birthday!

Hello Everyone!
First off, thank you to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday. It was an incredible one and I am so grateful for all of your love and support! I can't believe I am 20 already, and how fast the time goes... but hey, that's out of my control!

I do not have much more time, but I just wanted to share a few thoughts I had this past weekend. The first being how incredibly blessed we are to be able to hear from the prophet and apostles of God. Who I know are called of Him and recieve direct revelation to guide us in our day, through our trials and hardships, and who truly love us and look for the revelation of the Lord in all things.

One thing that stood out to me was this quote, by Elder Holland that says "Come as you are, but don't plan to stay as you are." This made me think a lot about the past 20 months of my life, and how much this period of time has truly changed me...not just my behavior, but my nature and my heart. I was called to represent my Savior 2 years ago, but I know He never intended on me being the same person now that I was back then. And I am so grateful for the person He has made me into, because Christ can make us into so much more than we could ever make of ourselves, if only we follow Him and strive to be His disciples!

I loved the quote that was repeated about 5 times that says "Don't worry, all things will work together for your good if you stand uprightly and follow Christ." It is that simple! As we strive to follow Christ, of course we will have trials and hardships, but His promise is that all things will work together for our good. I believe and testify of that! 

I was reading in Jesus the Chrst the other day, and something caught my attention. I don't remember exactly what it said, but something like this; "Servants of the Lord cannot forget that they are servants, and must be willing to serve and suffer a little bit of what He did". I loved that, and I know that as disciples of Christ, we have to have that disposition.

And I loved President Monson's talk. He spoke one time that I heard, and it was about the Book of Mormon! He said read it and study it daily! Those are words right out of the mouth of Jesus Christ, that goes without explanation. We must read and study it every day, and as we do so we will have more power to overcome our daily struggles, and the wonderful guidance of the spirit...and if we don't, we won't. I hope that we can all take this special message to heart!!

I am always taken back by the "sure" witness of the apostles! I of course don't know for sure what that is, because they don't talk about it, but I feel the spirit very strongly as they testify!

I know this is the church of Christ, and that we have a prophet to lead and guide us, and that as we do the small and simple things constantly, we will become what He needs us to become!

I love this Gospel, and I love my Savior with all my heart!

Have a great week!

Elder Yeoman

I was spoiled on my birthday! So many cakes!!!

Red Ties! We didn't even plan that! LOL! 
Conference Sunday and my Birthday!! 
General Conference Saturday with Elder Sureda and Hernan Lopez
It was Awesome to get an early birthday surprise visit all the
way from Derqui from the Majorana Family on Friday!

My Birthday Cake from the Majoranas!