Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Things in Fresno are warm and fantastic"

Dear family,

          Things in Fresno are warm and fantastic.  The work has been a little slower and with higher goals and expectations we have seemed to be seeing more difficulties and problems arise in the work.  We just taught one of our investigators and her family the "Stop Smoking Lesson".  It was awesome and we taught it in a members house and the Spirit was there and she is going to stop.  It really it a fantastic lesson of 15 steps each day for one week and it always works if they follow it to a T.  I just got off the phone 2 seconds ago with a man from our ward who came to the mission office to get an account on his tithing but no one speaks spanish so Sister Mauro (the secretary) called me to translate and let her know what was going on haha.  It was cool and we ended up helping him be able to get in contact with the people that could actually help him.  Our other really good investigator Enrique came to church and he is just doing awesome and we have a FHE with him tonight in a members home.  We hope to set a date tonight.

                 In other news I am still in Echo ward and I LOVE it here and it is funny mom talked about me not extending cause I was really thinking about talking to President now to get an extension on my mission rather than wait to the end.  Do you really not want me to do that?  Cause I do.  But anyway Easter here was the same with easter eggs and stuff but instead of ham it was tamales and rice and  beans which I love.  I will spend my birthday and Mother's Day here in Echo and the transfer will be the Wednesday following that so I will know what I am doing and where I will be when we are on the phone.  I will be done training Elder Hafen in the 12 week program so the is the possibility for change and I will do and go where ever the Lord wants but if it doesn't matter too much to Him I would stay in Echo doing what I do now cause I love it.  The members are amazed at how long I have been here and I have their trust and friendship as a missionary so I hope I stay here.  They are like my giant mexican/slightly central and south american family haha.

                 I did infact send pictures so I don't know why they are not there but I promise I did send them.  Also Eleanor, Grandma told me you are excited for BYU with me and so am I but that is a little ways off so I am not really going to think about it so I can stay focused but it will be fun and I love you a ton.  Make sure on your end that you study hard and get good grades so you can get accepted!

                Dad thank you for sharing that story with me.  I never knew that and I want to hear all sorts of stories from your mission.  I really do love them and I love you and your awesome example of work, love and obedience that you put before me.  I love you all and pray that you are being missionaries and promise you all the help of heaven as you just go out and try to share the Gospel through any means of example, teaching, or inviting.  You will see miracles.  I told our Zone in some recent training I gave that we hold the same power of Elijah to call down fire from heaven so let's do it.  Let's call down fire from heaven and stop just saying we believe in miracles in this day and age and lets actually believe.  Let's actually perform and witness miracles through His help accompanied with our BEST effort.

                 I love you all and pray for you daily.  I know all is well and I hope that you all continue being as amazing examples of Christ that you are being now.  LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter

Dear family,
               Happy Easter to all of you!  I am sure the beach was great for those of you who went and I enjoyed my Easter here sharing the Gospel and eating the Easter candy that you sent me.  Thanks again for that, it is delicious.  In other news we have some baptisms coming up this month but they are not as solid as the ones we have had in the past so we need to work even harder and help these people to recognize the Spirit and make those commitments that will bring them closer to Christ and recieving eternal life.  One lady is named Alejandra and she smokes and has an ex husband who still kind of lives there with her and their kids and he (the ex husband) hates us and doesn't want us around.  She is awesome and wants to be baptized and so do her kids but there are some large obstacles in her path.  The wonderful thing is that there is nothing in the world greater and that has more power than the Atonement of Christ.  There is no obstacle too big to be swallowed up by that infinite loving sacrifice.

              As well we are teaching a man named Enrique and he is amazing.  He came to General Conference with his son and then the next time we came to his house he had been reading through the Book of Mormon as well as on and watching the Saturday Conference in Spanish that he missed.  He is a "searcher" as we like to say here in the California Fresno Mission.  His only hold up is he just feels like he hasn't gotten the answer he is looking for yet.  He said "I am looking for something and I haven't found it yet but I know it is in that book (pointing to the Book of Mormon).

              I hope that you are all still being missionaries every single day.  Pray every day to have people put in your path and to know how you can invite them to feel the Spirit.  Reach out to all around you and follow the Holy Ghost.  You ALL know a "searcher", now just go and be a "finder".  I can't wait to talk to you on Mother's Day/my birthday andl I hope you all have great missionary experiences to share with me because I am going to ask you.  Repent and do better everyday.  I love you so much and thank you for all that you do for me and the awesome support that you are to me.  I pray for you and love you dearly.
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley

"Have much to learn, you do, young Elder"

April 2, 2012

Dear family,
           Things in Fresno are going well and we had our two other baptisms of Jenny and Iridian so all 4 total were baptize this week and they are so happy and doing so well.  They came and watched conference as well as one lady who is going to be baptized on April 22nd with her kids and another man and his son came who are investigating but don't have a baptismal date set yet.  We are going to set it with him tomorrow.  His name is Enrique and his son's name is Enrique as well.  The lady who has a date set is named Alejandra.

            I really liked the letter that you sent me Mom.  Don't feel bad that you can't write me all the time because I know you are busy and more importantly I know you love me and that this 2 years is going by faster that I could have imagined.  We have another transfer this Wednesday and I am staying here in the Echo ward for atleast one more transfer which will be about til my birthday and Mother's day (which I will be calling home for so I hope you are all excited for that again!!).  I am still in the training process of Elder Hafen of Idaho Falls.  He is a great missionary but as Uncle Keith would say "He still has much to learn young Elder."  He works very hard and I enjoy being his companion.

           Also General Conference was awesome!  I thought every talk was so good and I learned a ton.  I really can't wait for the Ensign to come out with all the messages in it.  I hope you all took a lot away and hope that you will be putting it in to practice imediately.  They talked so much about families and parenting and I am sure you all learned a ton because I did.

           I am sure the beach will be lots of fun and I hope you send pictures as mine are going to be on their way.  That is crazy too that the family reunion will be coming up again so soon.  You will have to get me another shirt from that one that I can wear every week to sports like I do with the one I have.

           Uncle Keith that is pretty crazy as well that you are being released cause you have been there for a LONG time and I loved having you as my Scout master.  I think my Dad should be the name you submit to the Bishop for the next scout master haha.  I am sure that there are other callings and service in store for you ahead.

            Well I hope all is going well as you indicated it is and I hope you are all being missionaries every single day.  There are so many people prepared that you know and don't know.  They need you and I hope dearly you never pass up the opportunities and that you are seeking the opportunities.  The Lord will bless you to know what to say and what to do and you will find yourself doing and saying things you thought were beyond you.  I love you all so dearly and appreciate all you do for me and all the prayers you offer for me.  I never want this missionary experience to end and yet it seems to comes faster every week.  I thank you for everything and love you so much!
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley 

Brighter Days in Fresno

March 26th, 2012

Dear family,
             It is so awesome to hear from and it seems that our family is always up to something fun and an exciting.  Either you are having way more fun now that I am gone or I just never got a snapshot of everyone's life like this before haha.  I am absolutely loving it here in Fresno and to answer your question Dad I may never get transferred at this rate and I hope I never do.  I love this ward and they really like me too.  I hope I just keep being a trainer here til the end of my mission and I think that it is a good possibility.  I may move in responsibility but I just know I am wherever the Lord needs me MOST.  I am sure I could do a lot of different things but I am exactly where I need to be and I know that is true.

            We just had a baptism of Maria Salmeron and Maggy Rosales who are sisters.  I told you about them.  We had their baptism and it was great!  They were very excited and they are just awesome members and we are going to go look at the temple and talk about baptisms for the dead and sealings and get them to go there ASAP.  As well will and going to let them know that March 25 2013 we will all be going to the temple together.  This Saturday we are going to baptize their other sister Jenny and Maria's daughter Iridian and we are going to have that between General Conference sessions.  We are very excited and are just trying to work our hardest and be obedient and humble.  It is tough to do everything but we do our best to do it.

              To answer some other questions, I will be making pictures and sending them to you and I am sorry that I am slow on it cause I know that I need to keep up with you all at home as well as doing all my mission responsibilities so I will do better.  By the way tell Ruthe she is awesome and please take Alex to New York cause I know that he would love it and there are few sweeter memories than those I have just one on one with you Dad and I know Alex will cherish that time with you for years to come as I do.  Also I am not fat at all still and like I said I still work out hard in the morning.  I have been using the same belt the whole time and my pants still would hang a little without the belt.  I am not dying or anything but I am certainly not fat.  I never bike.  Our are just is huge and I don't really enjoy it but I know that we meet a lot of people through doing it.  I need to bike more.

               That is so awesome that you are going to London to speak at a Conference with President Jordan cause that is an experience you will never forget and will really impact those missionaries.  Fast and pray may days (Alma 5:46) while preparing what you will say because this training that they will recieve from you is going to impact them and directly how they work.  You will know what to say cause you are awesome at speaking and you are a fantastic missionary.  I love you all so dearly and pray the best upon all of you and hope so much that you are being the BEST missionaries you can be.  Always keep inviting your friends and sharing in anyway possible.  I love you and am always praying for you.  Thanks for all you do and for the letters and support you give me.
-Love your son/brother/grandson/nephew/cousin/uncle/friend Elder Neeley