Monday, April 29, 2013

"Love in my heart for you, Fresno and the Lord"

Dear family,

            We have a few people who are getting ready for baptism in May or are very close to committing to it.  We are very excited and especially myself because I only have 3 weeks to really work with investigators and help people to come to the waters of baptism.  It is not at all about me and that I want to baptize to feel good for me but that really is our purpose as missionaries and it will be tough changing my focus from that to helping missionaries for my extension.  I love to baptize people because I know with out reservation that this is Christ's true church and that as they make covenants with God in His church they can and will change and become happy like never before possible.

            Two of the people that are preparing for baptism are Justin and Allison.  I think I told you about them, they are 18 and 16 and dating each other.  They came to church on Sunday and loved it and plan on coming again the following week.  They are stopping smoking and have given up tea and are really progressing a lot.  Another one of the 4 people we are getting ready for baptism is a 9 year old, Lexi, who comes from a less active family who we are working to reactivate so that Lexi can get baptized and continue to keep the commandments after baptism.  The last person is Bethany and she is 7th day advesntist and has some different views obviously but is very open and desires to know what is true.  She has a kid and is only about 21 and living with her mom so her life is a little down right now but she is a wonderful person and very sincere.

             I love you all so much and it makes me smile to hear of your success and your love for the Lord and each other.  I have the best family in the world and love to know that we can be together forever and not just this life.  I know Christ lives for I feel His love, a real tangible love and cleansing.  I know this is His church because I feel His love as I read the book of Mormon and keep the commandments.  God lives and answers my prayers and I am sure He answers yours too.  Keep being a missionary everyday and although I miss you so much I will see you on June 24th with no regrets and a big smile on my face and love in my heart for you, Fresno and the Lord.

-Love Elder Neeley

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Things are well in CA...

Dear family,

            Things are well in CA and we are finally getting out and doing some work and finding some very prepared people.  We have 2 people preparing to get baptized on the 27th of April and the 30th of April.  The fist one is Noe Flores and he is an amazing man who is having a lot of struggles right now.  We found him biking home from an odd job he picked up because he is unemployed right now.  He is also divorced.  He has been in a low spot and as we came and taught him this last Saturday he really felt the Spirit strongly.  He said a prayer at the end and asked if he should get baptized and afterward we asked him how he felt as we knelt and he began to cry as the Spirit rushed into the room.  He told us the next day at church that when we came by it was the first time in his life he had felt such a warmth and a closeness to God.  He never had felt that before.  We have a lesson with him tonight and the ward is just swallowing him up in love.

          The second man is 18 years old and we are going to pass him off to the YSA Elders and help them in the process.  His name is Clayton Macias and he is amazingly prepared.  He told us he had been lied to his whole life and without any questions he just told us that this is the first time he doesn't feel like some one is lying to him.  He is amazing and so sincere.  I know the Gospel is true cause it makes people want to be better and come closer to God so it MUST be from Him.  I know it is.  I love you all and hope that you continue to have great success.  Ruthe is a stud-ette and is amazing!  Good job in the meet.  Don't forget what is the most important though and that is to love others and help them come to Christ.  Be a missionary ever day!  I love you!!!!!!!!!!!

-Love Elder Neeley

Pics: 1) Me and my trainees and their two trainees (me in the middle and my trainees next to me and theirs next to them.
2) Late night in the office with the vehicle coordinators glasses
3) Me and all my previous companions except for 3.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"It is good to be a missionary..."

Dear family,
           It is good to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I love it so much and would not trade these moments for anything.  The work is a little slower as far as baptisms but we are working with a few people who came to conference but have some catholic and non-denominational roots holding them back from the truth but they are getting closer every time we meet with them.  It is all in the Book of Mormon.  If you read it with just an open mind and heart and have no hidden agendas, you will always know it is true, because it is true.  I know it with all my heart and I am not afraid to share it with anyone cause all I am trying to do is making them happy.  That is the whole purpose of missionary work is to make them REALLY happy.  What could be better.
           One man we are teaching is from Taiwan and his name is Max.  He is 28 years old and just a sponge.  He is really smart and very sincere and I love teaching him.  We have invited him to be baptized but he was baptized recently in a pool and is praying about the concept of there being one true church that we need to belong to.  He understands everything and now it is only a matter of reading and praying and he will know.  I love the Book of Mormon cause if we read it, just like a sunrise, we will feel a little more light flow into our lives until we realize that our life is as bright as the noon day sun.
           Another lady we are teaching is named Jennifer Brooks.  She is a middle aged woman who has 3 sons.  She has been catholic her whole life and started out on fire wanting to be baptized but now her son who is 18 is giving her grief for trying to explore the church.  She has a tough life and has lost a lot of loved ones and has a husband who has a major computer addiction.  She smokes and is not very healthy so we are really focusing on the Book of Mormon and he reading it cause it will literally chage her life.  Not just spiritually but physically as well.  Everything will be different if she will just cosistently read it and we told her that and taught her that concept.  Hopefully she wil keep her commitment.
          This week is transfer week so we will be quite busy moving missionaries around and doing meetings and some trainings.  It is a lot of work but a ton of fun so I always look forward to it.
           I just want you to know that I am working very hard and finishing my mission strong.  I cannot believe that it is coming to an end and most times when it hits me I want to cry cause I love this place.  I love California and all the people here.  I am excited to talk to you and come home to see you and move on with my life but I will miss my mission so much.  I have changed a lot and won't go back so don't expect me to.  I love you all so much and hope that you always know that and that I am praying for you.  Be a missionary every day!
-Love Elder Neeley
ps Ruthe you are doing so amazing and I am proud of you and all you are doing.  Amber I love you a ton and know that you are such a nice and beautiful girl.  Don't you ever forget how pretty you are.  Alex you have turned into an animal!  I love seeing you and how big you are.  Keep getting ready to go to the temple and go on a mission cause it is the BEST!  Eleanor, keep being the wonderful leader you are and the good example to all our family and our siblings.  You are beautiful.  Olivia,  I love you and love your pure and tender heart.  Don't ever stop being nice and incredibly loving like you are.  Each of you need to be eachother's best friend cause if you don't have your best friends at home then what kind of brother, sister, father or mother or family are we.  We are in it for ever not just a few years.  LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Homecoming scheduled for June 24th

Dear family,
      Sorry about not emailing you yesterday but my preparation day got changed to today because of President interviews and I forgot to inform you last week of the change.  I bet the beach was lots of fun and I am glad so many people got to come down and visit cause that is always lot of fun.  I am sorry to Ruthie that I will not make it but I will be cheering her on and praying she can do her best.  I will write her back as well so be looking for that in the mail.  Also I will be coming home June 24th so you can put it on all your calendars.
       Things are going well here in Fresno as it starts to get pretty hot.  I am glad I will not be here for the whole summer cause it gets really hot.  We just had some zone conferences on Saturday and Sunday and had a zone leader/ district leader council on Friday and my companion and myself did a large portion of the training in all the meetings.  I do love seeing all the missionaries around the misson and working with them.  It is such a blessing to see them grow.  This week we have transfer boards starting today and we are going to be figuring out where everyone goes for this next transfer.  This is always a busy week and then next week is only busier getting everyone ready for departure and the new missionaries that are incoming.  It is always a lot of fun.  We are still working in our area as much as we can and we have a couple people we are working with for baptism.  James Dunmore is our number one candidate and he just needs to get better to baptize him but we have been fasting and praying and know that his time is going to come up soon.  We also have another famliy we are working with and the mom smokes which is a big set back but they want to be baptized as well.  Other than that everything is great and I love being a missionary.  We see miracles everyday and find the Lord's prepared children.  I know that this church is Jesus Christ's true church with no doubt in my mind.  I know it cause I feel it and see it everyday work in people's lives and I know this is God's very own work.  Go be a missionary every day!
1) last night with visa waiters at president's house
2) air port the next day at 4 in the morning with the visa waiters (what joy)
3) Elder Wyeth and I.  He is the kindest missionary in the world.  We are up in Turlock after a zone conference
4) My companion.  Isn't he just so endearing haha
-Love Elder Neeley