Hello everyone I love!
I love you and miss you so much. I got the two Halloween packages that mom sent me! They were so great! It really made my day. I am happy to know Ruthe is doing well and I am praying for fast healing. I sent her a get well card, I hope she gets it. I have been out almost three months, on the 29th it will be 3! It doesn't feel like 3 months. Time is flying by. I am happy to hear the boys are in playoffs. I miss football season! I wish I could see them play. I am SO excited to hear the family did family history for family night and that alex and olivia submitted names for the temple. That is so cool! I am jealous I can not go to the temple for a year and a half while on my mission. I will not take the temple for granted once I get home. Anthony's birthday is November 10th. He will be 21. If everyone will send him a happy birthday card in the mail that would make him so happy I bet!!! His address is:
Elder Anthony James DiNuzzo
Indonesia Jakarta MIssion
Jalan Senopati 115
Remember that you need extra extra stamps to send a letter to Indonesia, like 6 or 7 but you can check at the post office.
This week has been a little tough. I have been sick for awhile and it just has been getting worse. At a zone conference I saw president palmer and he told me to call sister palmer, his wife about how I am feeling. Long story short they called in some antibiotics for me because they think I have/had bronchitis. I am starting to feel better and things are good. I have to still see a doctor wednesday just to be checked out though in Modesto. My companion and I are frustrated we have to go all the way to Modesto and use up all that time, but after this it should be all behind us! I am really thankful to be gaining energy back and my voice back haha. The weather here is still pretty hot compared to home but some nights it gets pretty chilly. I think the colder weather is starting to set in which I am totally okay with. I hate sweating as we ride on our bike to apartments. When it gets cold I might take my words back haha, but for now I am thankful for it! I like serving in Mountain House for the most part. There are a lot of diverse people here. We run into people who do not speak English every day. There are a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern, but a little bit of Hispanic too mixed in. It is cool to learn about their cultures and their stories of why they chose to move to the United States. Some of the stories are very amazing and make me thankful for life I have been able to live here. A cool realization I have been slowly having is that being myself is the best way to do missionary work. Seems like a no brainer when I write it out like that... but in real life here on the mission I feel like it is all too easy to make talking to people on the street and teaching them overly complicated. I feel like at times because I am a missionary I have to know everything or be a certain kind of way, but when I just push away those pressures and be myself I am more comfortable and my testifying is more powerful. I am a missionary of the Lord, that is ALSO a unique person with unique experiences and a unique personality. As I play on those truths, I find that talking to people isn't scary at all and that they too are real people with real experiences and we connect.
A funny story I wanted to say was that one afternoon my companion and I were trying to contact a member's referral. As we parked our bikes some high school boys playing basketball on the street yelled over to us and wanted to talk. They came over and it turns out two of the boys were the sons of two inactive part-member families that hermana arevalo and I have been trying to meet with! We talked about the church and what they thought of it, it was a really good conversation. Afterwards they said they would come to church maybe. I decided to challenge them to a game of horse. If I won, they would have to come to church. If the boy won they didn't have to (although they still should). No bragging but... I him- twice. Then beat the other boy as well. It was fun way to get to know the boys and connect with them. They didn't end up coming sadly but we feel like we made some progress, and as we continue to work with each of their families that it will be a better experience for us. And hopefully as they start to come to church again they will bring their friends as well.
Sue and her family is supposed to be baptized on Saturday. I love their family so much and watching them grow and change as they come to know the truth of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon has been an amazing experience. Their dad found out though who lives in another town and is not supportive so we now are on hold about what the boys will decide to do. It was heartbreaking to hear, but God has a reason for everything. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ would help their family in so many ways, I am praying for their dad to have his heart softened and for the boys to remember the truths that they felt in their personal prayers. We are teaching some other new families as well and I am excited to get to know and love them just as I have with Sue's family.
I love you and I pray for you all at home! Remember to send all letters and packages to the mission home for me! The problem has been resolved and I get my mail when it is sent to the mission home. By next monday I will know where I will be for my third transfer which is so exciting! I can not believe it is already here! Have a great week I love you.
all my love,
Sister Neeley xoxoxo