Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Companion from Idaho

Dear family,
            We confirmed Alma Contreras yesterday after a fantastic stak conference.  President Gelwix and a member of the 70, Elder Haney, spoke and it was amazing.  I wish so bad that I would have listened to all the talks of all the conferences I have watched in my life because I have come to realize that the messages are inspired and have something specifically for me.  The Church is true!  We didn't have the other baptism of Anabelly but we are still working with her and she will be baptized soon.  We found another family of 4 who also seem very solid and we are excited for them.  They are the friend of a recent convert and they came on a church tour and the Spirit was strong and one said they would get baptized. 

            I have my new companion now and his name is Elder Hafen.  He is from Idaho Falls and he is awesome.  He works very hard and is very humble.  His spanish is not too bad at all for being brand new and we get along just fine.  My spanish I think has gotten really good and I would consider myself fluent in Spanish.  I really love to speak the language especially now that it isn't something I have to think about but just comes naturally.

            I also just wanted to share something about the stake conference that President Gelwix and Elder Haney of the 70 talked about.  They talked about inviting people and inviting and inviting and inviting haha.  Elder Haney said that we just need to do what we are already good at.  The Lord wants to use our talents as we have them to spread the Gospel.  He said we need to do 2 things and that is pretty much it, and they are: 1)make our house a temple, just like the celestial room i.e. clean, read scriptures every day(personal and family) and say prayers every day(personal and family) and 2)we just need to invite our friends over for dinner and then invite them again for dinner and keep doing it.  Mom you are VERY good at cooking and the Lord wants to use that talent.  Just keep cooking and invite our neighbors and friends.  Invite the Hansens and invite them again!  They WILL feel the Spirit and eventually will ask questions and open up to the Gospel without even us as members "pushing" it upon them.

           I absolutely love my mission and I LOVE being a missionary.  I think I did a pretty good job as a younger kid being an example to my friends of the Gospel but I regret so much not INVITING my friends to do more things.  I don't mean going up and saying "hey (name) do you want to get baptized?", although that would be good I don't even mean that.  I just wish I would have taken every opportunity to invite all my friends AND acquaintances(sorry for spelling) to come to mutual or to dinner or scouts or church or a church dance, anything!  I just wish I would have and I plead that EVERYONE in our family and especially the youth will not pass up one opportunity to invite their friends to do something.  They want the Gospel and they KNOW it is true.  Their testimony though is covered by forgetfullness of the veil and sin, tradition and fear.  You just need to invite them to do something where they will feel the Spirit, who will remind them of their testimony of this Gospel.  Please go out this week and every single member of our family and invite atleast one person to do something to feel the Spirit.  I love you all and promise as a representative of Christ that you will feel the Savior's love in your life as you do so and you will, through effort, help others to come to the Gospel and have the same happiness we have.  Please everyone send me an email and tell me how your invitations went.  I love you all so much and greatful everyday to know we can and will live together forever through honoring our convenants.  I pray for you always and am greatful for the letters, prayers, and love that you all offer me.  I LOVE YOU!!!!     P.S. Grandma I have gotten your letters and I love them and appreciate them.  Tambien Tio Keith te amo y que bueno que ustedes bautizaron en los rios y el mar.  Esta es una cosa que yo quiero hacer pero no pienso que es posible para mi en mi mision. Te amo!
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Still Going Strong

Dear family,
       This week we had the baptism of Alma Contreras.  It was a very spiritual experience for all who attended.  It was a little stressful coming up to it though because she wanted to be baptized in the stake center by the temple rather than our stake center so we didn't have keys to the building.  Then the program wouldn't print right so we were later than we should have been so the font was not filled when we started and we had to get giant serving bowls from the kitchen and fill them in the shower in the men's restroom and throw the water in the font.  It is funny looking back at it and everything turned out well but it was a little stressful haha.

        We had transfers again and I will still be staying in the Echo ward (the ward where I started my mission) and I will be training again so I will be here for atleast 12 more weeks.  I will find out thursday who my companion is and he is either form Chile, Texas or Idaho and they all speak spanish well as far as I know.  I am really excited to find out and will let you know next week!  Elder Worthen my companion is going down south in the mission and will be in a spanish/english area.  He is a great missionary and I will miss him a ton but like I said I am really glad to train again and help out another missionary love their mission as much as  I do.  We said bye to some families and we got some great pictures I will try to send but I need to get them from Elder Worthen cause something is wrong with my camera and it is broken right now.

       Also tell David Jordan congratulations and that is so awesome that he is going to London.  We will definitely need to go visit it him when I get back and no I do not have a passport so we will need to get one of those.

        That is also really amazing that you all did the half marathon together and that you all finished it.  I wish I could have been there for that.  Tell Alex I said good job and that he has ran further than I ever have for a straight period of time haha.  I love you all so much and appreciate your prayers and the support you give me.  I keep you all in my prayers ever day.

         How is the missionary work going in the ward and in your lives personally? Are you all praying to know who you can share the Gospel with.  The Lord will tell you as you ask Him, I promise you that.  I love it here and my mission and I miss you a ton but I will be very sad to leave this place when that day finally comes.  I'm sure Mom doesn't want to hear that but it is true.  I love missionary work and all the people that have come into my life through it and the blessings of happiness it has brought others.  LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Short and Sweet from Stevie

Dear family,
           Sorry but this will have to be a shorter email because I don't have quite as much time this week.  Being a district leader is great and I love working with these missionaries.  We have transfer calls this Saturday so I will let you know next week if I am still in the Echo ward (my only ward my whole mission) or if I am getting moved.
           Thank you so much for your personal emails and I am sorry I cannot respond back to all of them this week.  I am really excited for all of you to do that marathon and hope you all do really well and are safe.  I got some time to write some more letters and one to Victoria so don't worry haha.
          The work is going really well and we have a baptism on the 19th and the 25th.  I will send pictures.  I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Keeping the Faith

Dear family,
        The camcorder charger is in the mail as of today and is on way to your house and from there you can give it to the Weeks family.  Give them my apology and let them know I am reeeeeeeeally sorry.

         This past week has had some really great stuff and some not so great things happen.  We were able to set a baptismal goal with a lady named America (yes like the United States of...) and she just needs to get married but she is awesome and really interested we are excited for her.  There are two other people that are going to get baptized this month of Feburary and they are both really great too.  They are named Alma, a 60 year old single lady, and Anabelly, a 17 year old who is going through so really tough times and has a boyfriend(problem).  But they are both also really solid.  Also this past Thursday a man from Salt Lake came to the mission and he is from the missionary department of the MTC and he went out for the night with us to have dinner and visit people and it went really well.  The next day he and another brother from Salt Lake who went out with some other missionaries gave us training on different ways to be a better missionary and it was great.

         They bad news this week is that the Santiesteban family were so close to accepting a baptismal date and the daughters want to but the parents just aren't ready yet.  They said they want to keep coming to church and said we can stop by if we want but they just don't know when they are going to be ready.  They have told us they know it is true and they have explained how they can feel the Spirit at church and when they read and when we are there but they said that they aren't ready and it is just really hard because we love them.  We really just love them and they know it and are not accepting it.  I know the Lord has a plan though and they will be baptized.  This is just a trial and I know that there is always a trial for the greatest of blessings.  Satan always works harder it seems on those really big steps we take and the amount of potential we have to do good.  I have a testimony it will all work out through faith and hope which are both principles of action.  I really do love this work and it is the best thing that I could be doing and I am more greatful everyday to be here.

           The weather here is in the high 60's during the day and 40's at night.  They said that this is a dryer and warmer summer than usual so maybe it will cool down a little as more rain comes.  There is a huge difference in the shade and when the sun is actually out.  Also that is great that you are all doing that marathon.  You will need to let me know how that goes.  Also I am writing people back today because I do want to and I am making more time for it.  I have wrote a letter to Matt and have more to go after this email.  I hope you are all still taking every opportunity you get to share the gospel and to work your hardest to be missionaries every day.  Pray every night to know who you can reach out to and the Lord will show you who in you life you can share the Gospel with.   I love you all so much and you are all great examples to me.  I pray for you all every night and I love you and miss you and appreciate all you do for me!  Love you soooooooo much!!
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley