Monday, March 28, 2016

Everyday is a party in Ripon… Not really, but we can pretend.

January 18, 2016

Hey hey hey!

So this week is the last week of transfers. That means transfers call come this weekend. I always get so anxious about them. I never know what to expect, so I have just stopped expecting haha. Every transfer so far I have been called to go or be something I was not expecting, so we will see how it goes. We had zone conference this past week and that was really amazing. Three different zones of missionaries came together (Turlock, Modesto North, and the Manteca Zone) to hear president and sister Palmer speak to us. It is always so fun to see all the missionaries and get to know them. And the talks were really inspiring and uplifting. Sister Wilkins and I got so much added strength that we had been praying for to bring back to our area and our companionship. At zone conference president pulled me aside and told me how pleased he was with my companionship and the growth he has seen in sister wilkins is just so incredible. She was a different sister he said, and he is proud of me for following the spirit in helping her realize more fully her potential. It meant so much to me. I felt a lot of pressure all transfer to help my area and my companion in some specific ways that president had expressed he was trusting me to do. It was so comforting and relieving for him to have that conversation with me. The last thing I would want to do is disappoint president and my Heavenly Father, so it was an answer to my prayer for this. I have a sneaky feeling though that the spirit has been trying to tell me this for awhile now and once again I was just being too self critical to listen- imagine that! I am thankful though that Heavenly Father loves me enough to quite clearly, and frankly answer my prayer despite my weaknesses. 

I went on an exchange this past weekend with my oakdale sisters, and sister wilkins stayed to lead the area (which she rocked!!), and I was working up in oakdale. It is so sketchy, I love it! We meet the most interesting people there and there were lots of opportunities for me to speak in Spanish so it was really fun. My bike is currently broke and being fixed, so we drove then walked around most of the day. I will hopefully have my bike back this week. I hate walking- all I think about is how much faster and more time effective biking to this place would be haha. The exchange went really well though, and sister amos and I both learned a lot and got to trust each other more. It is always fun to do exchanges, but nice to be back! I am happy to be back in Ripon with sister wilkins. This past week we have been working hard and having fun together. We have been laughing so much this past week, which is awesome because things were a little stiff you could say in the beginning of the transfer, but we are just pals now. It's awesome. Side note- we are singing a duet in sacrament meeting (assuming transfers go as planned...LOL...) and I am dead scared! Sister wilkins is a vocal performance major so maybe if I lip sing they will just focus on her and all will be swell. Sounds like a plan to me? This week though was fun. An elder gave us these weird jelly beans called "bean boozled". So basically there are different colors of jelly beans, and for each color there are two possible flavors it could be. A delicious flavor and a nasty flavor. For instance the white ones could be coconut or baby wipes. The yellow could be popcorn or moldy cheese. The brown chocolate or canned dog food. So in our dull moments we would bring out the bean boozled box and play. We would just die of laughter at the faces we would make as we ate the bad ones- which by the way really do taste SO BAD. Like I ate a rotten egg one and my stomach hurt the rest of the night, and I didn't even swallow it! So seems ridiculous I know, but it was just what we needed to make our week more lively. 

The work has been good this week. We have gotten really close with an inactive sister from the ward and we are helping her stop smoking! It is amazing to see the changes in her life as she tries to really embrace Christ to help her. Some of the people we are teaching are not really progressing which makes me really sad, but we have seen so many miracles this week. We have set plans to help those people we teach who are struggling. Also we have met a ton of people that we have return appointments with this week. I am so excited and have a lot of faith that some of these people will want to hear about the Gospel. One really cool instance was finding Dorinda. We were looking for a house of a potential investigator, and we could not find it. We must have went up and down the street 5 times. As we got to the end of the street we saw a lady and walking her small daughter home from school so we stopped to talk with them. I felt the spirit so strongly as we talked and we were invited back for this week to teach more. Right after this instance, we found the house we were looking for. We passed by it so many times, but I know that we didn't find that house right away because we needed to meet Dorinda. The spirit is truly directing us, even when in the moment we feel lost and confused. Both of our testimonies grew from it and we hope to keep that perspective this week when days seem like they are just not going our way. The weather this week is kind of cool and rainy, but it is fun that all the oranges are just about ready to pick here. And the lemons! There are orange and lemon trees EVERYWHERE. It is so cool. People always give them to us. It is really cool to see. 

ALSO I GOT AMAZING NEWS! I was doing new member lessons and helping a recent convert family back in Mountain House, the Bollas!!. I got super close with them. I love their family. They told me today that they are getting endowed and sealed together as a family! I am EXPLODING WITH HAPPINESS. They have had such a trial filled road and for them to be so close in their preparation to the temple is so special. I am seeing if I can get permission to be there. It would be really special. We will see what happens I am so excited. 

So today my district is going on a trip to big trees! We have members to take us and we are so excited! It will be so pretty. I am pumped. Last monday I was stuck in down town modesto getting our car fixed in the ghetto for two hours so this monday will be totally awesome!!! 

all my love,
Sister Neeley

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