Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tender Mercies can equal free food! :)

So this week's letter will be a bit short (aka medium length because I write so much). Today President Palmer and Sister Palmer took the four sister training leaders (two English, two Spanish) and the two assistants to Big Trees this morning. He felt like we were all dealing with some weighing things and wanted to show how much he appreciated us. It was so amazing. I went before, but it was with a huge crowd of rowdy elders so it was not as good. This time it was quiet and peaceful, and as we walked the trails between the giant redwoods we read out this information booklet. It was pretty cold, at the end it started to even snow, but we had so much fun. I will send pictures next week. It was a really special trip. He took us all out to lunch after. It was cool to get to know everyone on a more individual basis. I really loved to be out in the mountains again and to be in such a scenic setting.

This week rushed by. We went on two exchanges and a split. I left for both exchanges so I feel like I was barely in my area at all. I was up in Ione with sister smith, which was so fun. It is such a small little place way out in the hills. Sister smith is such a cute, fun sister. It was a great exchange. The mission joke for Ione is that it has a population of 7,000....4,000 of them are state prisoners. Yes. There is a state prison there. The prison population out numbers the town population haha. It is a good place though. Really small town. I also worked in Mountain House with sister lynn this week! My old area! It was awesome to be there again. I love that ward so much. I did a lot of growing there. We also did a split in Stockton which is always an interesting time. There really are so many people there who are willing to talk to us. I hope I serve there so bad. I would love to be in the city. 

We love our new ward mission leader!! We have an action plan of how to work with our ward better and we are so excited. I just know as we get them on board, more miracles will start happening here. We really have some meaningful relationships forming here with the ward. It took longer than I anticipated, but I know it was all apart of God's timing. Easter sunday we were taken good care of. We had a big dinner at the Woods and they gave us Easter baskets and everything. It was a wonderful Sunday. The General Women's broadcast was on Saturday and it was SO GOOD. If you missed it you should watch it online. It was so uplifting to hear. Lindsey came and she loved it as well. She is so excited for her first general conference this coming weekend- as am I!

One cool thing that happened this week was that we didn't have a dinner one night so we went out to this really good Thai place. As we went to pay the bill, the waiter told us our bill was taken care of. We looked around for someone we knew, but there was no one. The waiter pointed to a man in the corner. We went over to talk to him and he said "I don't know if you remember me but you stopped and talked to me on the street an couple weeks ago, and I really appreciate what you are doing. I hope you enjoy your stay in Ripon." We were both in awe and thanked him so much. We remembered talking to him. He was not interested in our message, he didn't even believe in God he told us, but he felt something I guess. He is a good man, and he showed us Christ like love that day. It made us feel really good. That has never happened to me before. Most days we feel unwanted or unnoticed, but our light shines farther than we know.

So this week I found a really beautiful scripture in 2 Corinthians. It says,"
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new .  ". I love the concept of being new. I love that because Christ lives I can be made new. He died for me, but more importantly He lives for me and because He lives I know that I can overcome all things.
All my love
Sister Neeley

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