Things are going really well here in the mission and I know that the Lord's hand is really pushing this work forward and as a missionary I just need to be obedient and worth so I don't get in the way of it. I have kind of realized a new point of view on our Heavenly Father and how He works. Often we think that He ceases to work or bless us based on our disobedience or that He works miracles based on our faithfulness and worthiness but really it is not. I think that by realized what kind of person our Heavenly Father is we realize He is perfect and loving and therefore will not withdraw Himself or the Spirit but we move away from Him. He is constantly desiring to bless us and constantly desiring to guide us and the only time He doesn't is if we, on our end impede His power in our lives. I know that He will ALWAYS put people in my path on a daily basis that are ready to hear the Gospel. Whether the miracle occurs of them recieving the invitation to be baptized depends on us and our faithfulness to trust Him and our worthiness to have the Spirit.
It is interesting because people believe that we, as Latter Day Saints, don't rely or acknowledge the Saviour's Atonement but we think that it is by our own power that we enter into the Kingdom of God but that is not true. It is the same principle that God always wants to bless us. The Atonment is necessary and is always there for us and Christ wants us to access it. It will never fail and will never be shaken but WE must access it through our works and desires. The Atonement saves us but only if we choose to use the healing power that it delivers us. It is like we know that we must eat so we don't starve and physically die and the food is what is necessary to save us but if we don't eat the food, what good is it that someone sacrificed their time to make this gift for us. We must constantly purify ourselves so that the power of God and the Atonement flows through us, not so that we help it along, but just so that we don't impede its ability to work in our lives and the lives we touch. So be worthy of it and watch the Lord send miracles through your lives as I will in mine.
To answer your question Dad I only go to the Temple every 3 transfers or 4 and a half months so it is WAY longer of a wait than what I was used to before my mission which is sad but I savor it a lot more when I get to go.
Also in other news, Sixto did not get baptized because he wasn't able to overcome his problems like we thought he did so we will be working with him but we expect him to be baptized in the coming weeks. Thank you all so much for your prayers for our investigators and I know and promise you that they are in fact helping this work here and these specific sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.
Yesterday we set a baptismal date with a family of 4 for the 20th of November! It was awesome and the mother is the exact Joseph Smith story minus being a prophet and other stuff like that. She has been searching and desiring the truth and she finally found it. We met her Saturday at 5pm and didn't have a man with us so we could not go inside but she insisted on us teaching her in the doorstep. So we had a 15-20 minutes lesson with her at the door and invited her to our Halloween party which started at 6pm that night which was in about 40 minutes from when we met her. Her and her family accepted and came and they want to go to church on Sundays and the daughter already has friends and is going to Mutual with the young women and men and it is just such a miracle. The Lord prepares people constantly and we must be worthy in order to have the Spirit and then listen to the Spirit when we have it.
Everything is going so well here and I love this work. Things are still always crazy and busy on Preparation Days so I will try to hand-write back to you all who wrote me but just be patient and they will come. I am sorry if they all don't get back right away but I still love you all so much and appreciate the love, support, letters and prayers that you offer me and the people I work with. I love you SO much and keep you in my prayers.
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley