Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"I can't change the world, but I can be one less gangster"

April 4, 2016


This week things are warming up, both in our area and temperature wise. It is starting to get very hot. Too hot for me haha, but I will survive...I just won't look super pretty while doing it. Biking with a sweaty helmet hair is not my favorite thing to do. We already look very..what's the word... outlandish? weird? awkward? riding on our bikes in skirts, so the sweaty hair isn't much of a difference. People stare at us all the time, but sister winn and I tell ourselves they are just noticing the light of Christ in us. That one is always good for a laugh as we are biking. Wednesday will be 90 degrees someone said. I am very excited for all the fruit stands popping up. Here in the central valley people grow so many things. There are farms and orchards and vineyards everywhere. The fresh fruit and vegetable stands are so delicious.

As we worked with our sisters this week it was a little stressful because we had to miss some exchanges in order to be with other sisters who needed us right then. Re-scheduling them is sort of a nightmare, but it will be done and work out so I am trying not to be a stress case about it. The sisters are so understanding and flexible with us, but I never want anyone to feel they are overlooked or not a priority for us. I am trying my best to be there for each sister. We did go on one of our planned exchanges. I got to work in sycamore ward which is down in Tracy. I love working in Tracy, that is close to where I was trained. It was a great exchange.

Sister winn and I got to wrestle chickens and pet horses this week. We do service for this lady we met by talking to her on the street and she has a farm. She is so sweet and genuine. I am learning a ton about caring for horses. We know all of them by name now and their personalities. Wrestling the chicken part was not as fun for me, but I learned about. She had to dust her chickens so that they did not get some kind of parasite in them. So basically we had to catch the hen or the rooster (which has these sharp claw things sticking off the back of their legs) hold them upside down so they fall asleep (they knock right out) and sprinkle this medication on them. We looked crazy trying to chase after these chickens. It was hilarious. So that was a good time. I prefer petting the horses to chasing chickens, but I am glad I got to serve her either way haha.

One tender mercy this week was that we found this sweet old (like really old) man to teach this week. His wife and kids have passed away already. As he told us all about it he got weepy. He is pretty lonely. It broke my heart. I bore my testimony to him that I know families are meant to be together forever, and that through Jesus Christ, and temples they can be. He accepted our invitation to read the Book of Mormon and for us to meet with him again. We are really praying hard that he can find the comfort he is seeking through Jesus Christ and His restored Gospel. A funny thing that happened this week was that we stopped to talk to this guy on the street and as we chatted we found out he loves going to different churches. We asked why do you love to go to church? His response was prime, he said "there are too many gangsters in America. I can't change the world but I can be one less gangster." True. very true haha. He said we wanted to come to our church with us, so we pray he does and that he was not just trying to flirt with us haha.

General conference was so amazing and inspiring. I try and stop myself and really ponder on how special general conference is. We get to hear directly from the Prophet and Apostles of Jesus Christ and His church.They give us council and direction specific to our day and time. It is such a remarkable experience. I wish I could watch it over and over again. I am so excited to study the talks given in the ensign magazine next month. 

This week I am really focusing on Helaman 3:35. I love the qualities that they had grown from praying and fasting. Their humility was stronger, their faith was firmer in Christ, their souls were filled with peace and consolation. I want to have those same traits, and I can. It is simple. It is by praying sincerely and really yielding my heart to God. Simple but hard to do. I know giving my heart to God is a life long process but I know the more I pray and talk with Him, the easier it will be for me to feel His perfect love, and trust His perfect plan for me. I am learning more everyday, His plans are far greater than my plans.

I love you and thank you for all the prayers. 

all my love,
Sister Neeley

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