Saturday, July 23, 2011

Almost Done with the MTC!

Dear Family!!!
     The time in the MTC has flown by and I am excited to say that I have 6 days left until Fresno!!!!! I have learned so much in the MTC and made so many new friends.  There a lot of people that went to BYU that are going back after ward and I think we will be really good friends and one of them is named Elder Scott Holmes.  He is hilarious and he is the same way as I am, in the sense he is very competetive and very funny.  This has truly been the best time of my life just being able to serve the Lord and get ready for the real thing out in California.  I love spanish and I am excited everytime I am able to really get my point across and speak with ease with others that speak spanish well.  Elder Koford leaves on the same day as me and I will miss him a ton.  Me and him have made quite the tag team and I have been spoiled with the fact that I have my best friend for my companion.  I think that it will may be a little shock having someone new in the field for the first time but I don't worry about making friends or getting along with them because it has never been too much of a challenge.  But I literally cannot wait to just get out in the field because I know it will the best and I just want to show all these people this great truth and happiness that we all have in our lives through the gospel.  I love this work so much!!!  We have had some really good firesides too and I am so pumped for the work.

       I am also glad to hear that you have been getting to the temple Dad.  I just have realized how truly important it is and just wouldn't want any of our family to miss that opportunity.  I am so very proud of my parents though.  You both show me what kind of a person and what kind of missionary I want to be.  I love you both so much and very greatful for you.  I love my whole family so much and keep each of you in my prayers.  You all are the motivation that keeps me going and makes me want to share this message with others because I know I can live for ever with all of you after this life as a family through the temple and I want all the people in Fresno to have the same joy I do from this gift.  I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!  I am sad I will miss the family reunion but I am even more happy though that you all are able to get together and share this time because I know that it will be so much fun and such a blessing to see everyone.  Tell everyone I say hi but give Ryan a big hug for me and did he ever get my letter and my happy birthday.  I miss you all so much but would not trade this opportunity and this gift for the world.  I know this is THE mos important thing I could do right now in my life and this will shape the rest of my life.

     Grandma I am sorry that you didn't get my letter last week but  I will personally forward this one to you just in case but I love you so much and am greatful for all your letters and emails.  You are the best, gram-cracka! I love you and hope you enjoy the time down at the beach with the family and I am sure you will.  Jaeson I am also greatful for you letter too.  It is funny because my dad just sent me the same thing about being a marathon not a sprint and I will apply and remeber that advice because I am excited for the field but I know I cannot burn out.  The people at the end of my mission need me just as much as the people at the end of my mission.  I love you all so much and I know this church is true.  I know the Christ knows me just like all of you but even better. He died for the world but he died for all of us individually.  This is the greatest work in the world and I am greatful to be in it.  Stay close and I love you all so much and hope all is going well.  Sarah thanks again for the blog and the pics from the party and Jacob because they were SO adorable!! I love you all so much.  Also thanks to all who wrote me individual letters because I loved them and have sent individual letters back to all of you.  I hope the little kids got their temple pictures and hung them up in their rooms where they will see it every single day because it is so important to keep you goals set with the temple in mind.  Love you all!!!!!!!!!!
Love your son/brother/cousin/nephew/grandson/uncle/friend,
Elder Neeley

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More Pictures from the MTC

Still the ladies man?

Elder Neeley at the Provo Temple 

Make like a tree . . . 

Slumber Party

More Temple Time

Keep up the good work, Stevie!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

3 Weeks in the MTC!

Dear Family,
  Only three weeks in the MTC and I feel like my spanish is doing pretty well and I can't wait to get to the field, but like you said Dad I am trying to finish strong and do as much and more than I have already so I can be as prepared as possible for Fresno.  I am glad to hear all is well at home and I am glad everyone has got to spend some time together at home.  I bet that has been really enjoyable.  I am said that I will miss all the beach fun and the family reunion but I am more than happy to serve and I know this is where I need to be without a shadow of a doubt.  I did tell my friends though that you bought a jet ski right after I left and they laughed and said that my family could finally start having fun now that I am gone hahaha.  But I'm just kidding that is really cool and it sounds like you will all have a blast at the beach.  Dad, I am glad to hear the golf is going better but even when you were "off" you still kick my butt so to me it was always good but I am glad to hear you are doing well and get some time to yourself but I am sure it will be a little loney and quiet without the rest of the family.  That is also so cool that you and Art got to go to the Yankees game for the 4th cause I bet that was a ton of fun.

       The MTC is really going well though.  I love serving the Elders and Sisters around me and I feel like I am able to learn so much through being a leader.  I am able to help others but I am pretty convinced that it is me who is learning and being helped the most.  I love this work out here and know it is truly the Lord's.  We get to hear a fireside every Sunday night and a devotional every Tuesday and we got to here this lady named Jenny Oaks Baker play the violin for us and give us a talk and she is Elder Oaks grand daughter and she went to Juliard and it was way good.  The best part though was she had three little girls all less than 10 play the piano, cello, and violin for us and they played I am a Child of God and is was so good and we gave them a standing ovation after and it was very cool.  We also got a special devotional on Saturday to celebrate Indepenence Day (and yes I know it was July 2nd on that day) but they had this huge awesome devotional and then we got to watch the fireworks at stadium of fire and eat ice cream and stay out late.  So ya that sounds lame but it was pretty vigilantous for a bunch of missionaries.  But it has been awesome here.  I keep seeing people I know from BYU and it is awesome to see so many friends rolling forth the gospel with you.

   By the way I sent Ryan a letter to you all so you could send it to him and I hope that you did for me.  Also I know his birthday was the 2nd so please tell him that I say happy birthday and I love him a ton and miss him.  Don't forget! please call him right now as you read this......... Did you call him?  Ok awesome you are the best!

     But I love you all so much and am so happy to be a missionary!  I love it and feel the spirit so strong all the time and I love it.  This is truly the Lord's Church and if it was not I would not be here.  I know that it is true with all my heart and I love it and I know the Lord is blessing me with the ability to love others and I can see it everyday more and more as I just get to know people and talk to them.  But I love you all and hope all is well and I know the Lord is blessing you and me everyday.  I am so greatful for all the individual letters and will respond today because it is P-Day!!!! Ruth I just got yours yesterday and I loved it and will be sending you a letter today.  Sarah also please send me back my SD card for my camera when you can.  Also in other news the temple is closed for the rest of this month so we just have an extra 3 hours of personal time so I will probably just write more or read some more scriptures but I love you all so much and can't wait to hear from you again.  Thanks again grandma for the package and I understand that it is tough to send stuff and that certain things are harder now but I am glad my sisters are willing to help.  I love you and am greatful just to hear from you in my emails.

  I love you all and pray for each of you every night and I miss you.  I know this Church is true and many lives will be blessed and saved for the eternities because of it.  Be good:)
     -Love your son/brother/nephew/grandson/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley
Les amo ustedes con todo mi corazon

Pictures from the MTC

Before entering the MTC

Sharing all the Beaver love 

MTC Classroom

The Fresno Gang

You need clean teeth to do the Lord's work...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stevie's MTC Adventures Continue...

Dear family,
The MTC is just rolling on by and I am loving it.  I learn so much everyday and learn so much about my self especially and how I can be a better leader, missionary and just a better person trying to follow Christ and it is wonderful.  I am very greatful for the care package from grandma and the rest of my floor was very greatful for it too and they all send their regards to "the best baker" they know haha, so thank you a ton grandma and thanks Dad for dropping them off and I am sorry they did not let you just drop off the package at the MTC.  I found out you can't do that right after I emailed you last week.  I am glad that President Gelix got to talk to you.  I'm sure that was a wonderful experience because he is a wonderful man.  I got several opportunities to speak and visit with him one on one and in groups and he is just a sensational man and I know he and his wife will be fantastic for my mission.  I am also very greatful for your words about staying focused and not losing our forward momentum in our mortal responsibility because that has been a new theme that Elder Koford and I are presenting to the district leaders for each district.  We have found that even when being obedient one can still lose their passion in the work and so we are trying to relight the fires in our zone by reminding the missionaries of their purpose and allowing them to gain love for the people they serve and through that love giving everything we have.  I have truly realized that what you said is exactly right Dad, I can't stop going forward because it is only up or back and no neutral position.  Through the unconditional love of Christ, that is charity, it is impossible not want to work your hardest to bring sons and daughters of God unto salvation.  That is why we are trying to find that love in each missionary and why I am striving to have it in my life and I strongly encourage all to pray for this gift every night.  

Dad I am so greatful for you and mom because you have both given me so much but have always been the BEST examples of charity to me.  You would give anything to anyone and I have seen it and learned from it and now am trying to apply it in a greater work than I have ever done, so thank you so much for that.  I hope that Alex's wedding was good and that you got to visit a lot with everyone while out here.  I love you all so very much and am so greatful for every individual member of my family and pray for each of you by name every night because of my love for you.  This life is hard but family is what makes it fun and I have the best family ever.  Two years pales in comparison to the eternity we will spend together through our righteousness.  I am so greatful for every example that each of my family members are to me and I love you all.  I am doing well and my testimony grows everyday.  

I know this church is true and I know that through my own experiences and being able to be surrounded with a district and zone of missionaries that care so much about this gospel and strive to be their very best.  I have become very good friends with one missionary in my district name Elder Heaps and he is a hoot! I love him and know that we will be good friends for a long time.  He also wants me to say hi to the family for him so, Hi!  Once again I love you and know the Lord is blessing me and you all.  I am so greatful for you mom and dad and I miss you all but am doing just fine out here.  Thanks for all the letters, goodie boxes and sacrifices that you have all made for me.  I love you and this is the true Church of Christ on the earth.
-With much love from your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!