Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cherishing Every Moment

June 10, 2013
Dear family,
              Things are awesome and I am just cherishing every single day that I keep getting to be a missionary.  Thank you all again for letting me do this extension because I have learned even so much more just in these weeks being here.  I am very excited to see you and I really feel like the Lord wanted me to be here cause as I get closer to finishing I really feel ready to go home.  Not in a bad way but I feel like my service is really coming to an end in my heart.  I will keep being a missionary when I get home but there is just this feeling from the Spirit that my time is at hand you could say.
              I am with a companionship right now that is a little tougher but they are really good at heart they just need some direction.  It is so sad to see when missionaries have so much talent and just lack desire.  What I have been doing is just showing all the missionaries how good their missions can be for 1, 2 or 3 days and telling them that their 2 years can be just like that.  I love my service to the Saviour and I have changed so much and learned so much from these 2 plus years.
              I got to go out with Jordan Koford for a day and it was so much fun!  He came and we went to the temple on Tuesday and then on Wednesday we went out and saw some people and talked to everyone.  We saw one of my converts from echo and had an amazing lesson with her and she is coming back to church now and we were able to set a date with another family from echo who has a nine year old who isn't baptized.  They want me to baptize her and so the Saturday before I leave I am going to baptize her and a missionary that I trained is going to confirm her the next day.  It was amazing and I am so thankful to have been with my first companion again for a day.  I think he sent you some pictures or called mom or something.  Anyway it was amazing!
           I love you all so much.  Keep being a missionary every single day!
-Love Elder Neeley

Elder Goettman

June 3, 2013

Dear family,
          The coolest miracles happened this week!  I was with Elder Goettman as his companion for 2 days and we were having a blast together.  We went to teach this lady and her 4 kids that had a date for baptism on the 1st of June but she said she wasn't ready so the Elders were writing her off for the her date on the 1st.  So Elder Goettman and I went to go teach her on Friday night, May 31st the day before her baptism and it was awesome.  We talked about  the Spirit and the answers she has gotten from God as she has read, prayed, met with us and came to church and then we read from Doctrine and Convenants 6:22 and 23 and told her that she was like Oliver Cowdery.  She agreed and realized that God had been answering her the whole time and she needed to not question the overwhelming feelings she had received.  Elder Goettman committed her to pray right there and ask if she needed to be baptized and she did and knew she needed to.  Then I asked her if she wanted to get baptized tomorrow (June 1st) and she said yes.  Elder Goettman's face was awesome.  The next day they spent getting everything ready cause they weren't planning it and every thing worked out great and they got baptized on the 1st.
          I love beinga missionary and love this extra time I have.  I thank you as my parents and family for you grace and love to let me stay here.  I know it is hard but I really do appreciate it and know for sure that I am supposed to still be here and that the Lord has lots of work to do.  The first picture is me and Elder Goettman after our 2 days together and the other is me on a bike on the back of a car rack cause I thought it would be cool to ride a floating bike.  I still am working out, I weigh about 170 and am about 6' 4''.  I can still run fast too.  I love you all and keep you in my prayers and my fasts and I think of you often.  Keep being a missionary every day!
-Love Elder Neeley

Time is Flying By

May 27, 2013

Dear family,

             Things are a lot of fun right now traveling and I love that I am still a missionary.  I have been able to just see miracles as I have been serving around the mission these past few days.  I was with one missionary that told me he has been in a big slump and just got a new companion so he was worried about how to get out of it and he fasted and prayed for Heavenly Father to help him get on track again.  I then got sent up here to Modesto not know about any of that because no one knew about it except this missionary and Father.  We worked our tails off and got the area moving forward and got their companionship started off right with exact obedience and hard work of talking to everyone and doing everything in our power to baptize everyone.  He said for the first time in a while he has felt like just dropping on his bed to sleep when he got home cause we worked so hard.  I know that the Lord has lots for me to do here and I love being an instrument in His hands to bless the missionaries lives.  We just follow the normal schedule and I do what ever they are doing for those few days and I train them on all the things they need to do to be more successful and I help them feel successful and that they have so much potential to offer.  It is great just to see the impact this traveling around has on the missionaries.  I love you all so much and can't wait to see you.  Time is flying by!  Be a missionary everyday and I will see what we can do about the flight but I don't know if they can change it but I will see.  LOVE YOU!!!!!

-Love Elder Neeley


May 21, 2013
Dear family,
           My mission is winding down and it is just heart breaking for me to leave all these people.  It has really set in now leaving my area of Clovis 2 and finishing my time as assisntant to the president.  I won't be working with a lot of missionaries and members and investigators that I have grown to love so much.  Life moves on though and I am excited at the same time to move on with life and do more and to see you all soon.
          I get in Monday night at 10:00pm so I will need to get released the next day and any time that works for President Carter is fine with me.  As for my traveling in the mission I will be with a lot of different companionships but as I move from one to another the zone leaders will most likely transport me so I won't be alone ever.  I am excited to go help all these missionaries and go up and down the mission.
          We only had one baptism on Sunday because Justin and Allison had to push their baptism again because her mom won't let her be baptized.  Even though it was only one, it was a GREAT baptism and will be the last of my mission.  The girl's name is Lexi Sjodin and I love the Sjodin family so much.  I got the opportunity to work with this family as they came back to activity and baptized Lexi.  Brother Sjodin already made plans for me to come back and go to the beach with his family and hang out haha.  They are wonderful.
          Anyway I am very up and down as I am so happy and full of joy but will miss with all my heart this hallowed ground where I have come to really know my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and His true church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I apologize that I forgot my cable but I got some great pictures lately of the baptism and fun stuff so I promise pictures for next week.  I love you all and continue to pray for you and I am thankful for your prayers too.  Keep being a missionary every day!
-Love Elder Neeley

40 minute phone call

May 13, 2013

Dear family,

              It was really good to talk to all of you yesterday and hear how things are going.  I love you all so much and loved those 40 minutes of talking although it did go by pretty fast.  I can't wait to see you all and I know that these extra 30 days will be tough to wait out for you but I know that they will make a huge impact on myself, these missionaries which also leads to helping God's children out here in Fresno and generations to come.  In short I know these extra days will be beneficial for God's Kingdom here on earth, not because of what I can do but what He can do with me in 30 days.  I promise you I will be working my very hardest so that it won't be a waste of time and that the extra time away from you will be worth it.

             We have 3 baptisms coming up this weekend on Sunday.  We have that 9 year old girl who is very excited and the 2 teenagers who didn't come to church so we had to push their baptism back to Sunday.  We also have transfer boards this week (when we figure out where the Lord wants everyone to go for the next transfer) so a lot of our time will be spent doing that.  Then next week we have all the farewell stuff and I stop being an assistant to the president one week from today! Crazy!  I really do love doing it and would do it my whole mission but it will be nice to have a change of pace and get out and work all day every day.

            Don't forget about the temple day to be set up please!  I love you all and continue to pray for you everyday.  Keep being a missionary everyday!

-Love Elder Neeley

Friday, May 10, 2013

"Call Me Maybe" (on 2pm on Mother's Day)

May 6th, 2013

Dear family,

           My phone number to call me on is 559-270-2898.  I know you know but don't text it and only call it on the time we designate which if it is ok with you we can do the call at 2pm my time which should be 5pm your time.  We get out of church at 12 and have mcm after so 2 would be really safe. 

           Out here in our ward and stake they have been doing a huge push on genealogy and with that, indexing.  That makes me really happy to hear that you are feeling that need to work on our genealogy because I know that I will definitely be doing that when I get home.  I too feel like that is something I needed to be doing  before my mission and will being doing it after.  You are such wonderful example me as a father.  Also since you were talking about the temple that reminded me that I would really really really really really like to go to the Columbus OH temple this summer with our whole family to do baptisms and confirmations. Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!  If you could set aside just one day right now that we can all go that would make my day.  We will love it so much and it will bring us so much closer together.

          Right now we are still getting Justin and Allison ready for baptism on the 13th and they are doing so well with not smoking and not drinking tea!  We are really excited for them and really just need to get them fellowship so they love the classes at church.  Also the other 9 year old, Lexi Sjodin, is doing well and their family is really getting their life in order and the dad has stopped drinking for almost a month now and has stopped coffee for about 3 weeks.  We are finding several other people too and getting them ready for June to be baptized.  One of them is named Asher and he is the boyfriend of a member and is only checking it out for her but he is really inquisitive and I think that he will come around with time.  He is currently atheist but comes to church and learns from us right now because of his girlfriend but we explained that if he ever wants to know that it needs to come from him and his sincere desire.

           Congratulations to all on your amazing achievements!  You are all really the best family anyone could ask for and I love to know that we will be together literally forever through our obedience and the grace of God and His Son's Atonement.  I love you all a ton!  Go be a missionary every day please!

-Love Elder Neeley

Monday, April 29, 2013

"Love in my heart for you, Fresno and the Lord"

Dear family,

            We have a few people who are getting ready for baptism in May or are very close to committing to it.  We are very excited and especially myself because I only have 3 weeks to really work with investigators and help people to come to the waters of baptism.  It is not at all about me and that I want to baptize to feel good for me but that really is our purpose as missionaries and it will be tough changing my focus from that to helping missionaries for my extension.  I love to baptize people because I know with out reservation that this is Christ's true church and that as they make covenants with God in His church they can and will change and become happy like never before possible.

            Two of the people that are preparing for baptism are Justin and Allison.  I think I told you about them, they are 18 and 16 and dating each other.  They came to church on Sunday and loved it and plan on coming again the following week.  They are stopping smoking and have given up tea and are really progressing a lot.  Another one of the 4 people we are getting ready for baptism is a 9 year old, Lexi, who comes from a less active family who we are working to reactivate so that Lexi can get baptized and continue to keep the commandments after baptism.  The last person is Bethany and she is 7th day advesntist and has some different views obviously but is very open and desires to know what is true.  She has a kid and is only about 21 and living with her mom so her life is a little down right now but she is a wonderful person and very sincere.

             I love you all so much and it makes me smile to hear of your success and your love for the Lord and each other.  I have the best family in the world and love to know that we can be together forever and not just this life.  I know Christ lives for I feel His love, a real tangible love and cleansing.  I know this is His church because I feel His love as I read the book of Mormon and keep the commandments.  God lives and answers my prayers and I am sure He answers yours too.  Keep being a missionary everyday and although I miss you so much I will see you on June 24th with no regrets and a big smile on my face and love in my heart for you, Fresno and the Lord.

-Love Elder Neeley