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Thursday, March 8, 2018

DON'T DO DRUGS // March 5, 2018

Hoooollaa Fam! 

So these past week was super fun. I´ll start off by talking about the activity we had last Tuesday. The whole Zone went to Bella Vista and we did a Back To School supply drive. We went around all Tuesday morning asking for donations from the community. It was a success and we got quite a few things. The first house we knocked at, this old lady let us in to escape the heat, and while she was looking for stuff to donate, Elder Dension and I noticed that there was an odd noise coming from her back patio. We looked in the back and saw a huge cage with 24 tweety birds. The old lady went on to explain that not only did she have 24 tweety birds, but she also has 8 grown dogs. It was fun spending the morning with ELder Denison. His older brother served in this mission as well. 

After the activity, we ordered pizza and ate in the church. But there was a little problem because the front gate of the church was locked. So we had to crawl through this small hole in the fence that kids use to get to the soccer field. So there is a picture of that. 

So we did divisions on thursday with another area. I went with  Elder Rubisch from Utah. It was really fun because he is my ¨Grandson¨ because Elder Taylor trained him. It was fun talking with him. He taught me a little about chess. But our one day exchange turned into a 2 day exchange because Elder Hannah and Elder Teves went to Esquina to do an interview. So Friday night, We went to the branch activity where we watched Coco. It was SUPER good. Absolutely loved that movie. It was also really cool because obivously we watched it in spanish and the movie takes place in Mexico so it made a little more sense. But then again I've never seen it in english. 

So there was a freaky situation this week with a family in the branch. They are a family sealed in the temple but a couple of their kids struggle being good, gospel obedient kids. Well, one who expirements with drugs had an episode in which he flipped out at 1am in the morning. He apparently was speaking in tounges and acting really weird. Well the situation didnt get better and Saturday night we did a special FHE with the fam and their kid. The kid was acting really weird and I could feel a weird presence in the air. Well long story short, we had a normal FHE... but turns out that the dad was getting super worried and scared that his son was possessed so he took him to a pastor of a near by church to cast out the spirit in him. It was a weird situation that you usually see in some type of scary movie. So the lesson here is DONT DO DRUGS. and that way you wont be susceptible to evil, unclean spirits... and you´ll live longer. The WoW is true along with all the commandments. And like King Benjamin says, happy people are those that keep all the commandments of God, because they are blessed temporally and spiritually. 

Love you all. I hope you have a great week. 

Greetings from, 
Elder Keicher

Monday, February 26, 2018

I Got Photos // Feb. 26, 2018

Hey fam? 

Another week in Goya! This week was pretty normal. I got a bunch of picture for you guys this time. So I got this camera from hermana Hall who unwisely bought a camera thinking that hers was broken... turns out, she had to put differents in. So she bought a new camera here and then figured out the battery situation. I made a deal with her 2000pesos and my waffle iron and slapchop in return for her camera and an alfajor. So today I am redeeming myself and sending a lot of pictures. 

This week we went to esquina again because they have been having baptisms every week so far this transfer. But it was frustrating because who got baptised what this girl named Carla who I had interviewed 2 months ago but didnt work out because she didnt think that Joseph smith was a prophet. So we had to postpone the baptism and told the elders to teach her a little more deeper. But she ended up get baptized this past weekend. 

So I was talking with Elder Hannah this week. He is a missionary in my Zone and was also in my MTC district. Well we were talking and we are almost 100% positive that Uncle Dee Carter helped him get on his mission. I attatched a picture with him. 

We are going to have an activity this week in Bella Vista. The school year is starting up again so we are going to so a school supply drive and donating everything to the city council or a school. I am pretty excited to do it. There isnt that much to say... I got 3 cards back that I sent for christmas that didnt make it. One to makcenzie, one to Gma & Gpa Keicher and the last to gma karen and gpa ron. So i´ll see if I can resend those this week. 

Well sorry for the short email but enjoy the pics I guess! Love ya!! We are entering week 5 of the transfer,. 

Elder Keicher

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

In Goya Without a Camera // Feb. 19, 2018

Hey Fam how are you doing

Well this week was a lot of fun. This past thursday we had multi zone conference in Corrientes. It was a super trip with the zone. The training by president Patania was super good... one of my favorite multi zone conferences in the mission. Unfortunaly I had to play the piano for the meeting. So I chose two of the 5 songs i knew. it all turned out great and afterwards we went to the mall in corrientes. There we ate McDonalds and you wouldnt believe who I found in the mall. While we were eating our meals, I saw these two incredibly tall black guys walking around the food court. This took me by suprise because here in Argentina, the only black people you see are the dudes striaght from africa selling watches and jewerly in city plazas. So I went up to them and asked where they were from. one dude was from New York and the other from Florida. They are here playing basketball in the argentina basketball league. One told me he had played in puerto rico and china. And the other, this was his 4 year coming to argentina to play. They stay for 8 months and then go home for 4. So we took pictures together... but super weird talking to americans that 1 arnt missionaries, and 2 arnt even members of the church.

The work in our area has kinda stalled since our baptisms... we have a lot of people but this week with multi zone conference and divisions in esquina, we lost a lot of time in our area. So we are going to have to recuperate this week. But we are really excited becuase yesterday they changed the branch presidency and we had a really good branch council last night. There is a lot more drive to get things done and strengthen the branch. So we are excited.
Unfortuntely my camera is broken and today, I am getting my new camera. So from now until june Ill be sending photos home each week.
Well that was my week, pretty basic nothing crazy to relate. No more funerals to report so things are improving. I talked to Elder Freeman at the multizona and we were talking about maxi. Elder freeman is asistant the the president now and he had just gone to ibarreta the week before the accident. It was pretty rough on him too. But yeah. Have a great week.

Love you and happy valentines day
Elder Keicher

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tomorrow is NEVER Guaranteed // Feb. 12, 2018

Well what a week of extremes. I´ll start off with good news. Alan and Luis were able to get baptised this past Saturday. They are brothers of Nahuel that got baptized last week. the baptismal service was great, 34 people showed up and ran fairly smoothly. Church properties finally came this past friday to fix a lot of things that were broken in the church here. the main concern was the microphone which hasnt been working since I got here in the middle of last december. We asked the distict president if he had let properties know about it and he said that he had. Well Last week we sent a text to church properties asking if they knew anything about the broken microphone here in Goya and they said they hadnt recieved any messages from anybody. He thanked us for letting him know and they came the same week and fixed everything! come on! 

 The work in our area looking good. We just had three baptisms in two weeks so we are back at the beginning stages. Luckly we have found a lot of people over the past 2 weeks so we have varias houses to follow up on and see how they are doing and if they are keeping their commitments to read. 

The zone is doing great as well, I almost got to baptize someone in a river because we went to esquina to do a baptismal interview of a kid and I was assigned to do the interview. Usually we ask the investigators who they want to baptism them and the kid said he wanted me to do it. haha I responded telling him that he had to pick one of the two elders that taught him(because esquina doesnt have any preisthood in their area) and he said he still wanted me to baptize him. And in esquina, the church is a rented out store that the church fixed up to be a ´´chapel´´ and so there isnt a baptismal font. SO they do all their baptisms in the Río Paraná. But unfortunetly, it rained all morning, so the baptismal service got postponed til the afternoon and My comp and I had to leave at 11am. So.... it didnt happen,.

So some bad news to share. Saturday night was a pretty rough and sleepless night for me. Saturday night after we got back home from the baptism of Luis and Alan, I recieved a call from Elder Taylor(the elder I trained in Ibarreta). I answered the phone and from the beginning I noticed a weird tone in Elder Taylor´s voice. It was as if he had just been crying. I got all tense and listened as he told me, ¨Elder Keicher, I have some bad news. I just got off the phone with the cousin of Oriana Ayala(member in Ibarreta), she just let me know that Maxi Falcon got hit on his motorcycle by a man under the influence friday night. And today(Saturday) at 3 pm he past away in the hospital¨ 

Maxi Falcon is the son of the branch President in the Ibarreta branch. An area I served in from january 2017 to August 2017. I grew really close to the falcon family in that space of time and worked closely with maxi. He was 17 years old and blessed the sacrament ever Sunday I was there. I honestly didn´t believe Elder Taylor, even though I knew it wasn't a joke. He was a super strong kid and had a strong testimony of the gospel, even though he didn't like to show it sometimes. I remember his dad telling us that he would get in fights a lot at school because others would pick on and  criticize him for being a ¨Mormon¨. But yet, he never wavered and was always positive. I remember so clearly the time when President Falcon and Maxi knocked on our door at 10:45pm after getting back from their yearly temple trip to the Asunsion, Paraguay temple to give us 2 Dominos pizzas they had bought for us (as seen in the picture). He had just gone to a For the Strength of Youth camp in January and was getting ready to serve a mission within the next 2 years. I had even left one of my white shirts still in plastic to have for his mission. 

It was pretty difficult for me to recieve that news. This morning(12deFeb), they had his funural. I called President Patanía Sunday asking him if I could go to the funural but unfortunatly, Being 10 hours away from Ibarreta prohibited that from happening. This came as a wake up call for me. Honestly, in my life I havent experienced many deaths, it is something that I just havent seen. You always hear of people dying every day, from sickness, old age, car accidients,  etc. And to me, I never really took it to heart how fragile life is. To think that Thursday you could be living your normal daily routin, and in the blink of an eye, your funural is that next monday. To me, I had never thought of it like that. We never even imagin that our own death is a possibility right now. If someone where to ask me what I would want my funeral to be like or would make any sort of reference to my death, Immediately with out even processing the question, I would think 60-70 years in the future, with my own kids giving a talk of the ages about how their dad was this and their dad was that. I would imagine one of my life long high school friends relating to a jam packed chapel about how their high school friend Corbin went through his entire life without seeing a single star wars movie or maybe even the time when he got his girlfriends name engraved on his NikeiD cleats, only to break up with her before the first game of the season(true story). These and many other things I would imagine, and I believe we all would think the same way. No one plans on dying young. It´s something so unthinkable that it doesnt even seem possible. But it is. and it happens ever day all over the world. And if we are not ready TODAY, nothing is sure. Tomorrow is NEVER graunteed. Our Father promised us that we would have a chance to come to this earth and recieve a body. But didnt promise a time frame. For that reason, we have to really ask ourselves what we are doing in our life. Am I just trying to ¨Life it up¨ because you ¨only live once¨? or am I trying to follow the steps that will make me happy right now, in 20 years, and even after this life. Because all things idicate that there is a God and that he has a plan for His children. We, as his children, have to follow this plan he has set for us in order to recieve all the blessings he wants to give to us. If I am a rightous father and my child doesnt want to follow the concepts and principles that will help him become successful in his life, even though I love him with all my heart, It is his desicion to listen and do the things I have tried to teach him. The same with our Father in heaven, we just have to humble ourselves enough to sumit to His will. 

27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? 28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
I hope you are all doing well and I hope you are all doing the things you need to do personally to be happy today, tomorrow, and for the eternities. Have a great week (:

Elder Keicher
Argentina Resistencia Mission

[Bridge that broke out side of Esquina]

[The soccer court behind the church]

[This time I insisted on the selfie... sorry]

[Baptism of Alan and Luis]

[Nahuel insisted on the selfie]

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Unexpected Aerial Strike from Crazy Steve // Feb. 5, 2018

Well it has been a complete 2 week turn around here in Goya... but always with a little drama, I mean what is a weekly email from argentina without a little drama. We will start out with the good news. Nahuel Britez got baptised this past Saturday and confirmed Sunday. We found him and his family on the 3rd of January contacting. They have been progessing very fast and Nahuel was the fastest out of his entire family. The mom, Sandra, has to get married so we are working with her on that and Nahuel´s brothers are planned to be baptised next week. Turns out they are a little slower in their ability to learn so we have ti explain things a little more simpler to them. But the mom Sandra has been looking for this message for a long time... but just didnt know she was looking for it. Also, the Zone has made so much improvement. We have been doing a zone tournament to motivate the missionaries to go out and work. We corilate key indicators and obedience with a basic point system. For example, If you find a new investigator=1pt if you wake up on time= 1pt. If you get investigators to church=1pt, etc. And the winner of every weak wins a kilo of ice cream!!! Yeah and the champions of the tranfer will win a free dinner. YEAH!! if you dont want to work to get blessings, you might as well work for food.... It honestly has been a huge difference maker in the productivness of the zone and the numbers show. But now that the issue with missionaries is taken care of, of course another obstical had to take its place. 

**Cue story**

So there is this guy in the branch, his name is Pedro(names have been changed). He is 35 years old and works as a fishermen in which he leaves his family for 3 months out of the year to fish in the mar de argentina. He and his wife has been members of the church for much of their lives and raise their 3 kids in the church. But turns out that Pedro, despite the fact that he seems and looks like a normal guy, has mentle issues and a major case of anger managenment disorder. At least that is what Elder Teves has been telling me for some time. And also turns out that Pedro does not like the other members in Goya... in fact very much dislikes them. And according to the branch president, has caused 3 men and their families to go completely inactive for the way he brutally mistreats, judges, and critizises them. So fast forward to yesturday when I entered into priesthood a little late because we were sending a baptismal record to Resistencia through email, and they were doing a council thing that now they do on the 1st sunday of every month. Well, I sat down and started listening to Pedro, and within 30 seconds Pedro when from talking about sharing the gospel with friends and neighbors, to completely attacking one of the other members of the quorme... Juan. Juan was taken off gaurd and started diffending himself from the unexpected aerial strike from crazy steve.. I mean crazy Pedro. Long story short, Pedro progessed from saying sly, mean, indirect comments, to standing up and yelling at poor juan with a face redder than my 99 VW jetta. Juan stood up, look crazy pedro in the eyes and said, ¨Pedro, you need to see a psychiatrist´´ and walked out. We promptly got up and followed Juan out because he honestly has been struggling the past 2 months and has shown desires of going inactive for the way the members and the leaders treat him. So we went out with him so that he wouldnt feel alone becuase the whole time, The branch president and district president were silent during the whole encounter and didnt do anything. In fact the district president told them to Fix the problem themselves..... hahaha ridiculous, luckly there werent investigators present. But honestly, this branch has a weird feel to it. It is definitly the weakest I´ve been in. Seeing all of the things done incorrectly is frustrating and the way the people here look and critisize each other is incredible. I know it happens in every branch/ward, but I feel like here it is a little stronger. So if there is one thing I would say this week. It would be, Dont be so critical of others. Love them for who they are, accept their imperfections, and try and show them some love and friendship that they are most likely lacking. The 2 greatest commandments, Love God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength. and Love thy neighbor.

But that was my week. We are planning on 2 more baptisms this next week. I hope you all have a great week.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Start from a Clean Slate // Jan. 30, 2018

Well we had transfers (YEA!). I´m sorry if my last email seemed a little down... But this one will be better!! We are going to have 3 baptisms in our area this Saturday of Alan, Nahuel, and Luis. There are 10, 12, and 17 years old brothers. We are teaching their family and those three are ready and able to be baptized. The mom still has to get separated from her ¨spouse¨. Her spouse has 14 kids with 3 different women and they are living together still. But things are kinda rough right now so it is possible that they part ways. The zone had 2 baptisms this past weekend and I did the interview of one of them... his name is Rodrigo and is 37 years old and his family got baptized a year ago but he didn’t because he had a hard heart and was a devote catholic so it was harder for him to be open to the message of the restoration. But the hermanas had been working diligently with him and he received his testimony. It was cool talking to him... the excitement he had. He was going 7 days without smoking when I interviewed him soo he was really had to put his effort and faith into action to be able to be ready. But he was and it was a great baptism. He got baptized with his 8 year old son. Federico unfortunately decided to take a break from our lessons. We had 2 lessons with him this week and in the 2nd he told us that he want to take a break and start going to the Pentecostal church so that he could ¨close some doors¨ with them and then in a month come back and talk to us... kinda weird. The problem with him is that he, along with other evangelical based religions; believe that one true church cant be completely true and that the way to receive the grace of God and be saved is by straight faith. Therefore he doesnt feel a necessity to find the true church of Christ and so he looks for a church that will provide the most benefits and ¨Luxuries¨. But he´ll keep reading the BoM, maybe not with real intent, but he´ll keep reading it. 

(Selfie with elder Poveda as we were sending Elder Evans off in a boat to his new area)

In transfers, there were 6 missionaries that left out of the 14. So I am excited to have the zone start from a clean slate. Elder Hannah came and is now in the zone.. he was in my MTC district so we will most likely end our missions together here. This morning we played uno, but we did it in the way that you had to do something if you lost. One elder had to drink a mouth full of fry sauce, another had to do 50 push-up... kinda fun. I took a pick with an elder from Esquina that had his face drawn on by all of us with a marker. Kinda childish stuff we do to have fun without technology and with alll the rules we have haha. I am excited for this week, even though our leadership council got cancelled this transfer.... no trip to resistencia or McD´s :( but its alright. That was my week... let me know if you want anything from ARG in these last couple months and I will do my best to get them .   Love you all 

(Me with 3 missionaries from Buenos Aires playing Uno this morning.)

Elder Keicher! 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Truth to Be Hard // Jan. 22, 2018

Well this week was filled with a lot of drama that I wont be able to fully express the details of what happened. Well we have had some controversy in the our zone between the elders, and it has been kind of taxing on me and my companion as we have to deal with these matters and usually ends with the missionaries disliking us. It all started with interviews this past week where my comp elder teves and we had to put an informe together of how the zone is doing and how each companionship is working. Our situation is that there are many elders in our zone that don´t work, literally dont work and stay in there apartment for most of the day, and some elders that have filthy mouths and others that just push the boundaries on every solitary rule or norm. So we put everything in an informe and advised president in interviews. Well now, every elder that has been behaving out of line is cold with us now. They continue talking behind our backs and just being very immature. But I have learned a lot from this. I was reading a scripture in the BoM this week that comforted me and helped me stay motivated. 

And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

Obviously, I wouldnt consider these elders ¨the wicked¨ but this scripture made me think of this situation that I am in. Those who dont keep the commandments and do things like they should... when someone corrects them, they take the truth to be hard because it requires change. 

This week we were able to have a couple really good lessons. A couple weeks ago I contacted a guy with an elder in a plaza who was super interested in learning more about the Book of Mormon, and it turned out that he lived in the hermana´s area. So we passed the reference to them. Well this week we talked to him at a branch activity and he told us that he wanted us elders to teach him because he lives by himself with his elderly mother and he doesn't want his neighbors to make assumptions when the sisters come over to teach him. haha so We taught him this week and it turns out that he studied 5 years in a Baptist seminary and was about to become a pastor in a Baptist church. But he ended up turning down the offer because the church leaders told him that he had to break up with his girl friend he had and go live with a girl from their church.... kinda weird and some other things happened and he wasn't able to because pastor. And now he is at ends and has been reading the book of mormon that a member gave to him last month and is super interested. The lesson was one of the funniest lessons that I have had in my mission because the dude is super intelligent and knows a lot about the gospel and so we dont have to dumb down church terms and we can explain things without him getting confused. He is actually progression. His name is Federico so I´ll keep you updated on him. ALso, this week, we were able to find and have our first lesson with Ezequiel, the dude that picked me up from the port of the river when I got transferred here. There is a pic of him in my first week here. He gave me his address because I told him I would make him a Banana bread as a way of saying ¨thanks¨ for picking me up and taking me into town. So I think this week at our next lesson I will have to make that banana bread. But during our first lesson, we started out talking about fishing because he loves to fish. He thought it was crazy that I used to go ICE fishing with dad.... just hard for them to understand cold haha. But then we introduced the BOM and he was super intrigued. So I am hopeful for him! 

But that was my week. This is the last week of the transfer so I will be writing on tuesday next week!