Monday, February 18, 2013

Playing Catch

February 11, 2013

Dear family,

           Things are going well here in California and it is getting warmer on and off.  Last week it was consistently in the 70's in the middle of the day and cooled down to about 40 at night.  It has been cooler this week but spring seems to be right around the corner here.  I do enjoy the warmth but I miss the snow.

           We have two people getting ready for baptism right now for the weekend of the 23rd of February.  The first is Dessere Luna, a 9 year old girl whose grandma and brother are members, and Kiana Lopez, who is a 17 year old friend of a member.  Dessere has a pretty cool story of how we found her.  Me and my companion were walking down the street tracting a little bit in this neighborhood and a young boy came out with a baseball glove and a baseball.  I saw him and had a quick memory of my previous area of how I started playing catch with a young boy and he and his sister ended up being baptized in that area and their mom is still investigating.  I thought of that and didn't think we would baptize this boy but had an impression from the Holy Ghost in a way that wasn't profound but just a thought of "it would be fun to play catch with this kid".  So with my previous experience being brought to my remembrance and this impression I gave my scriptures to my companion and we started playing catch.  Then the grandma of this young man came out and said to the boy that she wanted to talk to us.  We thought we were in big trouble.  The grandma upon meeting her told us that she had been searching for missionaries for months as she moved to this area last October and couldn't find the church.  She and her grandson, the boy we played catch with, were baptized 2 years ago in LA and her 9 year old grand daughter had not been baptized yet.  They all came to church yesterday and the 9 year old daughter, Dessere, is going to be baptized on the 23 of Feb!  It was a miracle that the Holy Ghost guided us there in that way.  The story has really nothing to do with me so I am truly sorry if it came off that way but it is really about how the Lord knew this lady among the billions of people on the Earth and He answered her prayers to find the church and get her grand daughter baptized.  The Holy Ghost led us as an answer to her prayers.  I know God is real.  That doesn't just happen.  We don't always just play with kids on the street but I know that God knows Anne Luna, the grandma, and He sent us to her.  It is all about Him.

             Kiana is the other and she is awesome and very excited for baptism.  Her parents are separated and non-practicing catholics and are supportive of her in her decisions.  She will also be baptized that weekend and has been coming to church and loving it and she feels and recognizes the Spirit so easily that it is amazing.  The work is going well and we have several other families we are working with.

             We have new missionaries who are waiting for their visas coming in tomorrow and there will be 8 and 1 reassignment from another mission permanently to ours.  Then on Weds. they will meet their trainers so we have a meeting for that and then the new missionaries who have been here for 3 weeks now have a meeting on Thursday to see how things are going for them and their trainers.  Then Friday we will start transfer boards as far as the leadership and next week all week is transfer board and then transfer week.  These next three weeks are going to be crazy.  I am excited for Elder Goettman to get here finally!

          My teeth are getting whiter from this whitening and in 2 weeks I will get my teeth prepped for the vaneers.  I will send pictures of my teeth in about 3 weeks when they are all complete and they should look great.  I love you all so much and love being a missionary.  There is nothing greater in my life so far, maybe only second to us being sealed as a family.  I love this work and it is true.  God is real and Jesus is really His Son and I know it is true from personal experiences and the Holy Ghost confirming it to me.  This is His church and the Book of Mormon is really true.  No doubts about it.  If you actually read it for yourself with no motives other than to learn, you will come to Christ even more and will feel it is true.  I feel it every time.  I love you and pray for you.  Be a missionary every day!!!!!!!!

-Love Elder Neeley

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