Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sister Allen aka my twin!

November 9, 2015

Everyone I love :)

So this week has been full of lots of change even though I am still in Mountain House. My new companion Sister Allen is just amazing and we work so well together (as well as have so much fun together). She is from Virginia and has been out on her mission for about 13 months. We are like the same person, it is kind of hilarious. I am really excited for this transfer with her. I am learning so much from her already, she is an amazing sister missionary and knows how to have fun as well. Hermana Arevalo (the missionary I was training last transfer) is doing awesome in Modesto and is also serving as a sister training leader- and it is only her 2nd transfer! She is just so great. Being a sister training leader is very time consuming I am finding out which can be stressful sometimes. Sister Allen and I serve all of the English sisters in the whole mission. We go on exchanges at least once with each companionship and then more as that is multiple exchanges a week. Plus there are some extra meetings we are needed to attend and such. Basically what I am trying to show is that we have much less time to work in my area than I am used to and it can be hard to balance. We are promised though that when we are working with the other sisters, God is working in our area and I have already seen that promise come to pass just in our first week of the transfer. I really really love working so closely with all the sisters though. I LOVE it. The opportunity I have to serve with them and really help them has blessed me and helped me grow more than anything. 

One lesson I am really learning through this calling already is following the spirit exactly and immediately. When we have a prompting about a sister we stop what we are doing and we go see her. We have had an amazing experience following a prompting this week. We both could not get a certain sister off our mind so we went to visit her for nightly planning and it turns out they were in need of some comfort and guidance that night. I was shocked out how directly the spirit was working through us. As I strive to be even more obedient with Sister Allen and willing to follow the spirit every single time, I know that Heavenly Father will trust us more and more with direct promptings of how we can serve our sisters here. One last thing I will say about this new calling is that I am so grateful of how close I get to work with President and Sister Palmer. I am only understanding a small, small bit of how much work, care, prayer, and love they put into the missionaries- particularly the sister missionaries. It motivates me to do the same, to sacrifice more, and to love even more. They just radiate love and the light of Christ. I pray I can help convey that love and light to all the sisters.

This week with Sister Allen working in our area has been just the greatest. We had one downfall...literally...we crashed on the bikes but it was funny to laugh it off. I had some gnarly bruises but that's all. We now a have a car so that we can travel around to the different sisters, but we bike still everywhere when we work in Mountain House because bikes are better than cars for missionary work. It is fun to be in an area so long that people really start to be familiar with me. Not just ward members but the community as well. We frequently get waved to and chat with neighbors which feels really good to me, it feels like we belong and aren't just those two weird girls who ride their bikes in long skirts (not my words). There are lots of punk teenage kids here as well, who are familiar with us now.. familiar enough to chase us as we bike by. They are funny, and hey at least they aren't dogs.

So our area is just exploding with potential and I haven't been the best at keeping you all update on who I am teaching so I will try to briefly because these people are changing my life as I help them change theirs. They are so amazing. David is the husband of a woman who has been inactive for over 30 years, DeAnne. She took a long time to warm up to us- a long time. I have been knocking on her door like once a week since I got here, so like 3 months. She would be too busy and shew us away and say come back next week... so little to her surprise we always did come back the next week. Finally one day, her husband David answered instead and we talked with him on the porch and bore our testimony to him and at the time it seemed of little impact but something we said touched his heart. We have been teaching him ever since and he is just the most sincere person I think I have ever met. DeAnne too. She is so sweet as we got to know her more. She came to church last sunday and it was the best sunday. DeAnne shared her perspective in relief society of how she felt about us coming to teach her and David and I needed to hear that. I sometimes am oblivious to just how great the impact of our message is to people, but DeAnne reminded me sunday and it was a huge confirmation to me that this really is the Lord's work and I am apart of it. I am so grateful to be apart of it. As for Sue and her boys...they still have not contacted us or other sisters she became friends with from the ward. I continue to pray for her daily and have faith she will remember the spirit she felt and desire to have that again some day. It is still hard for me though. Looking back on my time with her, I tend to get very critical of myself but I trust that this is all part of a bigger plan for her and her family. Monique is another woman we are helping and the changes in her life are so amazing. She is a strong woman of really great faith. Watching her sacrifice in order to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through a modern day prophet and to be an even better mother for her girls has touched my heart. There are other families and individuals who are touching my life daily here and I have had so many experiences that just confirm in my heart that I am here in Mountain House for a specific reason and that I really am being a instrument for God as I live obediently and follow the spirit. 

Just with changes in policy of the church that have been going on, I would just like to end with my testimony of modern day prophets. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet called directly of God. I know that his council and words are not just an opinion or his idea, but it is revelation given by God. I do not know the full picture of how things work here on earth, no one does, but Heavenly Father. I trust in His love and trust that He guides us through a prophet. I know that sometimes a few pieces of the puzzle do not always seem to fit together in our heads, but I trust in my personal testimony that the full puzzel (The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ) is true. It is okay for us not know how it all fits. Whenever I doubt, I know I can kneel in sincere prayer and ask if Thomas S. Monson is His prophet and if this is His true church, and He will answer me because I am His daughter and I matter to Him.

I love you so much, thank for you all the prayers!
all my love,
Sister Neeley

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