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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Experience Like None Other... 1/15/18

Well what can I say... Time continues to go by, experiences continue to pile up, and the tempurate seems to keep raising. I have been doing a lot of reflecting reciently on the last year and a half. It´s truely is an experience like none other to do this and honestly is kinda crazy to think that Im entering into the home stretch of it all. Outside of the religous things and the rewards that one gets when he dedicates all his time and energy serving God and teaching others about our Savior, When you just look at it without that perspective, it seems completely insane what thoundsand of young men and women are doing around the world. Leaving their families and their promising studies and careers, packing 2 large suitcases and living out of them for 18 months to 2 years, many times in a foreign country speaking a foreign language... idk it doesnt make any sense to me why one would do it without that perspective. Obviously, every missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter saints leaves with their own reasons and motives.... but I promise that every Elder or Sister out there serving, asks themselves why they do it all.And they all have to look deep inside and decide that they are doing it for the right reasons. For members of the church, it is what is expected, We see missionaries all the time in the street and in our wards and we dont think much of it...and it has become common ground that i dont think that many understand the true sacrifice that it takes to wake-up everyday, put on the tag, and work. Here, over there, and in every part of the world, there are members of the church that dont appriciate what missionaries do. Even outside of the context of missioanries, even the local leaders of the church go underappreciated for all they have to do and are called to do. I now understand why it is a commandment to ¨Sustain the leaders of the church¨. I think the perspective will go full circle at the end of this great journey. 

This past week, we had divisions. I was with Elder Potts and worked a little with him. We also went to Esquina because there was going to be a baptism. I was assigned to interview the investigator and when we got to the house, the missionary from esquina that I was with told me as we were knocking on the door, that they hadnt taught Tithing yet and that we would have to teach tithing before the interview..... WHAT! I thought he was kidding me. really? well, we started the lesson, taught tithing and then went to interview her. She hadnt had a clue that she needed to be interviewed and wasnt prepared, and didnt know what the questions were. To keep the story short... she got super nervious, and ended up calling off the baptism. I was pretty dissapointed in the elders for not having her prepared enough or ready for us... and we lost saturday and sunday cause we had to travel to esquina just for the baptism of an investigator that wasnt ready to be baptised... 

We had an activity in the church friday evening, it was a water activity and there was a bunch of memebers and investigators there. I got soaked!! We didnt have investigators make it to church but there is a lot of potential right now in our area. We returned for a 2nd lesson to a family and the 25 year old daughter had read everything and more that we left to read. She was asking questioned and was super interested in the message. Her name is Eli Vigarosa. 

But that was my week. We have interviews with president tonight and then a little training with him tomorrow in the morning. He came to Goya so we didnt have to travel. He brought us new mattresses! I hope you all have a great week. I lost my cabel to charge my camera.... SO I dont have picture SORRY! I will look for a new cabel! 

Elder Corbin Keicher

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Things Are Picking Up ... 1/8/2018

Well, here we are, another week has passed. This week we have seen a lot of progress. I will start with the success of an activity we did in an area 2 hours from Goya in an area called Esquina. There in Esquina, it´s not even a branch, its a group. The area got reopened to missionary work a year ago. The average church attendance in the past 6 months has been 7-8 people ever sunday. So we decided to try and help out Esquina. We organized an activity with the entire zone of 14 missionaries(8elders and 6 sisters) and Friday morning everyone showed up to the rent churched building at 8:20am. We sat down assigned areas for each companionship and we went out and worked from 9-12pm. The success was incredible. in 3 hours, us 14 missionaries had 18 lessions adn found 22 new investigators for esquina. I personally was with ElderLundgreen from Newbraska and at 9: 45am we contacted into a single 45 year old man who was just sitting in his house watching ¨Vikings¨ on Netfilx. He let us into his house and at first we got to know him and then taught lesson one and even used his TV to watch a short video relating the first vision. After working, we had a BBQ in the church with the members and investigators of Esquina until 4pm. Us missioaries sang 2 hymns for the 24 people that showed up and even had a mini testominy meeting with the missionaries. Yesterday, 22 people ended up attending the church in Esquina. So, it definetly was a help. Elder Teves and I have picked up the pace in our area and this week we found 11 new investigators to teach. We are excited to work hard with these news and help them progress. 

We started divisions with Esquina wednesday afternoon and I had to go to esquina. So I didnt find out about the passing of Thomas s Monson until Thursday evening. Finding that out made me feel super isolated but made me feel at peace, knowing that he is now in paradis and with his wife again. 

Well That was my week. I loved what was said this morning in our district meeting. It comes from Elder Poveda, our district leader from buenos aires he stated, ¨recieving a testimony comes from a  manifestation of the holy ghost that helps one come to know the truthfulness and reality of a gospel princle. Being converted comes from the disciplineand faith to live in accordance of such gospel principle. Testimony is knowing, Conversion is doing.¨ I love you all and hope you have agreat week! Get better! 

Elder Keicher

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Stagnant....For Now // 1/2/18

This whole Christmas and new years has made these past 8 days feel SO weird. This past week, we spent 2 days in Resistencia for a leadership training. Usually it is just one day, but after the training with Patania, we had to turn in the traveling funds for our zone for the months of October and November and they were so messed up... missing receipts and didnt have any of the costs written down. SO we were figuring that out til 6pm and ending up missing our bus back to Goya. SO we had to stay a second night in resistencia and catch a bus in the morning. We stayed with Elder Taylor and his companion. Elder Taylor is the missionary I trained in Ibarreta for 2 transfers. It was cool hearing and talking to him. In the leadership conference, president patania got a little mad with the missionaries saying that there are missionaries that are comparing him to president Franco. and he goes, ¨It´s true, I am not president franco. Pres Franco does pres franco things and I do pres Patania things.¨ I mean, there are definitely differences in the way that they go about the work, but neither of the two are wrong or better than the other. Just each one has their own set of skills and method of doing things. I think this has to do with the way we support and sustain our   leaders. The bishops, stake presidents, mission presidents, and over all leaders of the church are your typical member/priesthood holder trying their best to fulfil the calling they have been assigned. Somethings were changed with our ZL duties. President Patanía has now counseled us to have interviews with the companionships of our zones and report more to president how missionaries are working and behaving. And now we can give suggestions about transfers and mission callings for the missionaries in our zone. So it will be a little different now.

The work here in Goya is... well... stagnant for now. These past two weeks I think we have had 3 solid full days of work with the holiday schedule and the 2 day trip to resi. So it is a little discouraging for me to come to a new area where there isnt any progressing investigators. Just have to start from ch. 9 of PMG and keep working. 

For new years, we did another argentine BBQ on the roof patio of one of the elders apartments in our zone in Goya. We watched ¨God´s not dead¨ again and enjoyed the fireworks at midnight from our roof top. It was pretty low key. Then yesterday, monday, President told us we couldnt leave our apartments, so we were inside all day. One of the most boring days of the mission honestly. But today was a little better and I hope that this week we can just get down to business and start to see some things move here. In the middle of my writing time here in the church, the power went out... so that´s why I´m sending this off now. We just had district meeting and now im finishing this letter. The videos on dropbox were hilarious. Looks like new years was a lot of fun! I hope everyone can get better from their colds too! Love you all and hope you all have a great week! 


E´Corbin Keicher

ps- Left the camera in the apartment were we spent newyears.... sorry ):

Roof Top Grilling - 12/26/17

Hey Fam, It was great seeing and talking to you yesturday. For sure the best one oput of the three that we have had. Im happy that everyone is doing great and is happy. For me, after the call got done at 1:30am our time... Elder Evans and I waited for a taxi for 30 mintues but not one came... so we had to walk 6 blocks back to the apartment. Today we had P-Day and honestly slept for a good part of it in the afternoon to catch up on sleep. 

Well this week was super fun. There was a christmas party that the 2 branches did here which was really fun. It was super simple, We watched a 5 minute video on the birth of Christ and then a choir sang Away in a manger. THen we just ate barbque and talked to the members. I attatched a photo of the party. Christmas eve we spent with 2 other companionships. President gaev permision for districts to get together and spend christmas eve and christmas together... so we all got together in the apartment of elders Potts and Lundgreen because they live on the 3rd and top floor of their complex which has a roof balcony. SO we cooked the BBQ on the roof and played X-mas music and enjoyed a tranquilo christmas eve... Like I said we also watched ¨Gods Not Dead¨ and ¨Gods Not Dead 2¨ cause they are approved. They were actually a really goood movies. I would recommend them. But I really enjoyed my christmas this year.. a lot better than last years. 
It was also fun to spend time with Elder Potts again. I dont know if you remember but I trained him in his first transfer, and it was a really difficult transfer for me. But now a year later... he is a much better missionary and has changed a lot. He is actually a district leader now... 

But anyway, We have a couple people we are teaching here. One is a family that was going toget married and baptised this past week.. but their blood results came back positive and they have a type of blood infection... so they have to get that treated before they can get married. The couple is Jorgelina and Matias. 
The Ortiz Family ffrom reconquista got Baptised Saturday!! Well, Luciana and Antonella got baptised.. Eugenio couldnt get baptised yet because president has to run a couple things over with the church officials of some of his past transgressions(problems with the Pregunta 4 of the baptiosmal interview). So well see what happens in the next couple weeks with that. 

Tomorrow we leave for Resistencia and thursday is out mission leadership conference. So im pretty excited for that and to see some missionaries. But I hope you all have a great week, and a happy newyear! Talk to you sll next week! 

Elder Corbin Keicher

Friday, December 22, 2017

I'm On A Boat - 12/18/17

Hey Fam!! Well I have moved on to a new phase in my mission. Friday night I got a call from Elder Slade, the secretary of the mission and let me know that I would bne leaving Reconquista and going to Goya Corrientes. I was super shocked... I honestly didnt believe it for a little. But here I am in Goya. I was a little bummed to leave reconquista because there are 5 for sure baptisms that will happen this transfer with people I have been teaching since I got there but I am super excited to be here cause my new comp is ELder Teves. This dude is SO cool. He is one of the few guys in the mission that I would like to meet up with again and keep in contact. I got to know him a little 2 transfers ago when he was in the REconquista zone but then was emergancy transfered to be a zone leader in Goya. Well one tranfer after, I get transfered to be his comp. He is from Buenos Aires and is such a genuine guy. He is super well known in the mission for being a super successsful missionary and very carasmatic. Also, Goya is a super cool town. It is basically the same size as Reconquista, but is alot more anciently buit. The streets are a lot more crowded and the buildings are older. I am really excited to be here for christmas. 

This week we were unable to have our #lighttheworld event because it rained. So they suspended it for this next saturday in which the Ortiz Family will be baptised. And in this mission, it is just impossible to ask for permission to go to a baptism in another zone because zones here are super far apart. For example, Reconquista and Goya are 3 hours apart in boat and 9 hours apart in bus. But I will get pictures of the event and the baptism next week. But it was bittersweet saying bye to my good friends in reconwuista. Julio Ponce was probably one on my best friends that I gained there. He is just a really educated guy who knows how to treat people. He will be a very influencial leaderr in the church in reconquista and I am excited for his future. He is a member of one year who will be getting his endowments this next week. It is a interesting story becuase his whole family got baptised together and now him and his daughter are the only ones left active while his wife and other kids go to another evangelical church. Super strong and faithful. 

With transfers, I got a call from the asistents that they were going to do a test with me. Like I said, it is 9 hours from recon to Gya, But there is also a Boat that goes crosses the Rio Paraná taking mainly semi trucks and other vehicals. And is only 3 hours compared to the bus option. So at 6am I got on a boat and crossed the river. It was super fun. But funny story when I got off the boat in Goya, There wasnt any body there to pick me up. I got off and then sat in an empty dirt parking lot for 2 hours alone waiting for some missionary from goya to come pick me up and take me into goya(because the dock is 5 miles away from the actualy city). So there I was and then at 10:30am a car came and a guy got out and asked me if I had saw a certain girl get off the boat, Which I had and told him that she got in another car and left for Goya. He then offered to take me into goya, And I accepted because I felt like it would be a perfect oppurtunity to let a stranger have a good experience helping/serving a mormon missionary. I got into Eziquiel´s car(that was his name) and we talked all the way to goya. While I was in the car, I realized that it mightve been a stupid idea to get into a starngers car, but it turned out to be a really nice experience and I learned that his 91 year old grandmoother was having surgery that afternoon. I got his address and passed it to the sisters that work in the area of where he lives. 

But I am super happy to be here... I am thinking it muight be my last area. TOday I got my trunky papers, which is a document the mission sends us in which we have to inform them what air port we want to be sent to(I put cancun) , the email of mom & dad, and stuff like that. So it is just a sign of the times. But I am super excited to get some real work done here in Goya with ELder Teves. I will let you all go for now. But know tha tI love yall. 

Corbin Keicher

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Walked 45 Minutes to Church - 12/11/17

Hey Fam! This is the last week of the transfer. I`m not sure what will happen.. really anything Could happen, so we`ll just have to wait and see. This past week a lot happened. We continue planning our #LightTheWorld event in downtown Reconquista where we will have a little concert made up of our choir singing christmas carols. Then the second half will consisto videos and speakers that talk about the LightTheWorld inititive and about Christ. But we have to coordínate the rounds, projector, screen, ballons(cause we are going to launch 100 hilium ballons), and other stuff. But we are in the radio and posting stuff all over so we are going to have a lot of people there. 

We also had emergancy tranfers in our zone with Elder Carro. He got sent to resistencia and Elder Albuqueque(from sao paolo) replaced him in our zone. So we were dealing with that earlier in the week. I took a Photo with elder carro in the bus terminal and then a Photo with  a taxi driver, who is an inactive member, who let us put a #iluminaelmundo flier in his taxi. Like I explained last week, elder carro has a torn acl so the emergancy transfer was for that. Not sure of much longer he will be in the misión… but not too much longer. 

We also had a baptism this week! Woah… it was of Agustina who is 13 years old. It was a good bautismal service, and now she is ready to go to the temple with the rest of the branch after christmas. The Ortiz Family is doing Amazing. They definatly are having their trails and are having their faith tested, but they are still super excited for the 23rd. We had a lesson with Luciana(the mom) and Agustina(daughter) where we were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we talked about baptismo, Agustina told us she wanted to get baptised on the 5th of feb because that is her birthday. Haha it made me laugh… and Luciana told us that she is down to 2 cigerrets a day right now…. So we explained the importance of getting baptised together as a family. We then explained the potencial they will have to be able to go to the temple next christmas as a family to get sealed if they all get baptised together. They loved that idea, and continue strong, they even made it to church Sunday despite the fact that they dont have a form of transportation but they still walked 45 minutes to church as a family in 90 degree heat! Please keep this family in your prayers… 

But we have a christmas conference with half the misión tomorrow in Resi and then this weekend the LightTheWorld event. Should be an eventful week for the misión. But that is it from me this week. I hope you all are feeling the spirit, not just of christmas but of Christ. I would invite you to really set apart some time from the crazy locura of chrstmas time to sit down and reflect on Christ. Watch some inspired videos on mormon channel, listen to some inspired talks from His prophets and apostals, and to read from inspired words given to ancient prophets of God about Him and why he is so important for you… I love you all and hope you all have a great week! 

Corbin Keicher


ps- difficult day with the ciber so no photos this week :(

Tremendo golpe en la cara - 11/28/17

Well that week flew by and here i am again writting another letter. 
A lot of things happened this week. I will start off with the progress of the work in our area. We putting most of our focus on 2 young families and an older couple right now. The family that is progressing the most is the Ortiz family. We starting teaching them 4 weeks ago. Their family consists of Luciana(mom45), Eugenio(dad45), Antonella(daughter13), and Luciano(son17). There the family that, last week, we found out were married. Well, Tuesday and thursday we had great lessons with them and challenged them to a baptismal date for the 16 of december. Then Saturday night we had branch council with the branch leaders. Julio Ponce(a member as of a year) got sustained as the elders quorm president and I can already tell that he is going to make a huge difference in the branch. He is very well known throughout all of reconquista, and is very educated. I am excited for him because he and his whole family got baptised a year ago. And now his wife and older kids have left the church and are now attending an evagenlical church. But he comes ever Sunday and will be going through the temple this christmas. Such a good example for the branch here. But Anyway, Branch council got done at 7:45, and Elder Oliva wanted to get his hair cut because every single barber shop in Argenitna is closed Mondays, so while we were at the barber shop, I got a call from Brother Casafu(friend of Eugenio Ortiz) telling me that Eugenio was invloved in a bad motorcycle accident and that he was in the hosptal. Luckly Julio Ponce and the branch president were still in the chruch so I called them and they headed over to the hospital. He got all his teeth knocked out and bad cuts to his face. He wasnt wearing a heltmet and basically rearended the back of a car. But despite having 10 stitches put into his face and the pain he was in the next day(Sunday) He was in Chruch with his wife and daughter. He is a guy that was characterised to us as a heavy drinker just a worldly man. But in these4 weeks, his wife has told us that he has changed SO much. The preisthood herein the branch has really taken him under their wing and are supporting him. This morning, we sacrificed the morning of our p-day to go and visit him and see how he was recovering. We taught him ether 12:6.  

6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witnessuntil after the trial of your faith.

And then we talked about the word of wisdom and challenged them to start living the WoW. So we will be following up with them. But it got me thinking, if I wouldve been in a accident like that, Would i have still gone to church the next day? BUt anyway, thats how the Ortiz family is doing. Their baptism is planned for the 1st week of the next transfer so not sure if I will be here for it but that doesnt really matter. 

Along with the Ortiz family, the Duarte Family came to church Sunday... but only stayed for the 1st hour. We have been struggling with them. They have been visiting with the missionaries since Febrero and are not really progressing. The husband(Fabian) doesnt have a testmony of the Gospel or restoration, just of the missionaries and the branch BBQ´s and the wife Mercedes does have a testimoney of the gospel and the church... and the missionaies but they have some things they have to work through in order to get baptised. For one, they have to get married. Before with elder Souzze, they said that they wanted to have a steady job and finish their house before they got baptised... well now they have a steady job and their house is almost done..... still with no action on their part to get married. We are goping to give them one last chance before dropping them. We are inviting married members to come with us to lessons and try to show them how marriage, and the restord gospel will bless their family... but it is still up to them and they have to use their agency. SO we are still waiting on them. 

Thats the update on the work here in Recopnquista for now. I am doing well. I am excited for Multi-Zona conferece tomorrow in Resi. Then This Weekend we have district conference. President Patania is coming down to preside and to hold interviews for us missioanries and for the members that are planning on going to the temple in Buenos Aires this christmas. For District conference, I was put in charge of directing the choir. So these past 3 weeks I have been coordinating the songs that the choir will sing. So that has been fun... but i dont really know how to direct a choir so I ve been kinda winging it. 

But i hope that the turkey was yummy and that spencers first Car Rental scene from Planes Trains and Automobils didnt scare him off. But Im sure he should be used to the Keicher shananagins by now.. Have a great week . Love ya 

E´ Corbin Keicher