Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mountain House

August 31, 2015

Hello family and people I love!
I love and miss you all. I am really thankful for all your prayers. I know there is true power in prayer and I can use all the power I can get. I am so jealous about the Itchiban dinner Dad made for everyone, no one is as good of cook as mom and dad here so I do miss that part of home for sure. I am also so happy for Aunt June's baptism. It is so exciting Ruthe is out at school!! I pray for her and hope she is doing great! Tell her to write me so I can have her address, I miss her! And tell Alex and Darius goodluck at their first game, they will do great! 

I am about half way through my first transfer. My area is called Mountain House. It was a brand new ward, only about a month old. Mountain House is a pretty small area with lots of really nice big homes (much much much different than most other areas in my mission). A lot of commuting families live here. We bike a good amount because it is so small and we only have limited miles with the car we have. We basically only have a car because all shopping, gas, and the church meetings are held about 15 minutes away from Mountain House. It is so hot here in the days. Like in the 100's. At night it cools down some and gets really really windy. I love my companion Sister Tuatonga. She is tongan but she grew up in Hawaii. She has been on her mission for about a year now. She was apart of the Sacramento mission before this mission, the Modest mission, was created. She is so bold, and so loving. We work really hard together and have a lot of fun. She has such a strong spirit about her and I love working with her. 

With the new ward being created we have been really focusing on searching out the less active and inactive families, while talking with everyone we meet along the way. We are teaching two families currently but this week has much hope for more! Michael is a married to a LDS women and has heard all the gospel lessons a million times he said, but would still be okay with us meeting with him. It has been going amazing. I really connect with him, he teaches a class on water systems and fish so we always have fun talking about that. His wife tells us that she feels like something is different this time with Michael as we teach and we hope to keep up this momentum. Their family is so great and nice. We are also teaching a family of five. Marco and Maria and their three kids. We taught them about the restored Gospel here on earth and they just soaked it in. They are looking for something more for their family. Sister Tuatonga recited the Jospeh Smith's first vision by memory to them and the spirit was so powerful, we were all brought to tears. I can not wait to meet with them again this week.
I also had a really amazing experience this past week. We were trying to talk with some families that were on the ward list but no one knew who they were. All afternoon no one was home, door after door. After one of our last doors was once again not answered, I felt like I needed to stop, so I did. When I looked over apparently Sister Tuatonga felt the same impression because she too was stopped. We looked over and at the park on the sidewalk were two ladies and we both new we needed to go talk to them. We met Olga and Chealsea. Olga is from germany and lives here with her husband and kids. Chealsea is her friend who was babysitting. We talked and got to know them. The conversation led to about how Jesus Christ has changed our lives. It was so uplifting. We asked what church they went to and they said they were just Jesus Followers and expressed how at some churches people teach about Jesus but do not follow what he says. We all prayed together after and made another time to meet this week. I am so excited to meet with them again and to start teaching them about the restored gospel. I know that I met them for a reason and that the spirit led us to them. 

I went on exchanges this week, meaning I swaped mission companions with another set of sister missionaries for the day. I was working with Hermana Porter. It was so fun! We ran into some spanish speaking people and I was able to keep with the conversations and even spoke some too. We met in particular this spanish man who said he was atheist because there were too many bad things in the world for God to exist. I was able to bear my simple but true testimony to him in spanish at the end. It was so awesome. 

We had a really big mission conference this week and Elder Hamula, an apostle of Jesus Christ from the seventy, came to meet with us. It was so enlightening. As a new missionary I felt like I was missing something. This conference helped me focus myself to be the best missionary I can. What hit me the most he talked to us about miracles. If I set goals, pray sincerely, then have faith- God will give me miracles. I need to believe that miracles will happen to me here. If I have a goal to find one more person to teach, I need to pray throughout the day and work as hard as I can to find that one person. As I do those things, I can and should expect miracles to happen. I need to have the attitude of "I won't go home until I find that one person" (of course I will once 9 hits so I obey curfew haha) but you get the attitude. As I have faith and trust in God, miracles will happen and I can bring more people to Christ through the restored gospel. 
Also after the conference I got to selected to have a personal interview with Elder Hamula. We talked about the conference and questions I had. It was really really amazing and powerful. I promised him I would write you mom and dad and let you know that you should be proud of the missionary I am becoming and the hard work and faith I am exercising here in the mission. Elder Hamula really inspired me. His council to the mission motivated me to be the best missionary I can and expect miracles to happen. 

After my first six weeks here (my first transfer) I do not know what will happen. Normally as a new missionary I would stay with my companion for another six weeks to complete the new missionary training program but I am not sure if that will be the plan. There are like 10 sister missionaries in the whole mission right now and next transfer (in like 2 weeks) we will be getting 26 new sister missionaries, some spanish sisters and some english. I do not know what next transfer will bring for me but I do know that no matter what I will work hard and continue to prepare as much as I can now so that I will be ready for whatever God needs me to do. 

I miss you all a lot and I love you. I love the letters I have gotten, they brighten my day more than you know. I think and pray about you daily. 

All my love,
Sister Neeley

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