Tuesday, August 30, 2016

started from the bottom now we're here (sister winn & sister neeley's athem)

May 2, 2016


This week the weather was really warming up. Some days were up in the 90s...ugh biking was not as fun on those days. Usually though from what I hear on normal years here in the central valley of CA, by this time of year it is SUPER hot so I am blessed the weather this year is taking its sweet time warming up. I again will just say how excited I am to be here with Sister Winn still this transfer! I know not every companion gets to be your very best friend so I am really soaking it up.

This week was transfer tuesday, and oh boy that day is always so hectic for us. Because we are sister training leaders we have a car, and we are pulled every which way taking the sisters to their new areas. We have a lot of full time biking areas, and if they can't get a member to take them, it is up to us to make it happen. There were tears from some sisters who were unhappy with the changes being made, so it was also an emotionally draining day. But I think by the end of it all everyone was feeling more at peace with this transfer. What made this day even more crazy (but also WAY more fun!!!) was that Sister Pisa was the only sister going home this transfer, so after we got all the sisters to their new areas, we were assigned to stick around with her and be her companion. We have this tradition in our mission where all the departing missionaries on their last day go to downtown Modesto together and street contact for a few hours. So we got to go with them all and street contact with Sister Pisa, she is such a hilarious sister so it was really fun. I love being in downtown Modesto too, there are so many people to meet and talk to. After that we dropped her off at the mission home for the departing missionary dinner and small testimony meeting together at president's home, we went to our own dinner down the road with our investigators Trisha and Robert!

Trisha, Robert, and us all had dinner at our ward missionaries house. It was a really great way for Trisha and Robert to meet and get to know more people in the ward. The lesson after dinner was so powerful. They had read Enos from the Book of Mormon like we invited them to do last lesson and loved it, they felt like they related so much to him. They kept talking about how they felt as they read and prayed. They said they felt like God was really directing their paths and that they felt like the Book of Mormon really was the word of God along with the Bible. We invited them to have May 21st as their baptismal date and they without hesitation accepted. It was so exciting for us. We just love them so much. They are such a honest and sincere couple who need more light in their life. It is truly amazing to see them change as they accept the truth, light, and peace that comes from the Savior. We could not be happier for them! After the lesson we, got to go back to the mission home to spend the night with Sister Pisa! Her plane back to Samoa left the next morning. It was so fun to have a sleep over at President's house, and be with Sister Pisa one last time before she left. She is such a hilarious sister. 

The next day we were again at the mission home (we were there quite a bit this week haha). We had another dinner and lesson with the Lou and Lisa there. They are so sweet! They brought dinner and made me a special little one because I am vegetarian now (surprise in case you didn't know!) AND! At the previous lesson sister winn was joking about how awful my bike seat is so they bought me this new comfy bike seat. They are seriously so sweet, we are such good friends and love teaching them. The lesson went really great. Lou read all of 1Nephi in like three days. They have so many good questions and are really working hard to find their own testimony. We have another dinner and lesson with them at the mission home this week. So excited!

This week we also had another miracle happen!! We got our first media referral! So a media referral is when a person is on the church website (www.mormon.org or www.lds.org or something) and they request missionaries to come visit them and give them a free bible or book of mormon and talk to them. It is really special to have because the media referral means they were touched by the spirit in some way and they are proactive in wanting to know more. It is a self referral...what could be better! We went and met Karen and she was so sweet. She wants to come to church and learn more. We are so excited to start teaching her!

This week I was reading in Alma 26 from the Book of Mormon and I just loved this chapter so much. This week I am taking verse 16 to heart especially:
 16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
I really relate to Ammon when he talks about how he cannot say the smallest part of which he feels. I wish I could express- I even wish I could feel- more gratitude and love for my Savior Jesus Christ than I do. I feel like my heart wants to feel deeper than it does, it can be frustrating to me at times. I sometimes think my feelings about Him are so inadequate compared to all He has done, and continues to do for me individually. One of my all time favorite hymns came to mind when I was pondering these feelings:

 "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me."

I know that I do not understand all that Christ does for me or His love for me, but I am so grateful
that I am continually getting more glimpses of it all as I try and follow Him a little better each day.
I am so thankful for the Book of Mormon especially that has really deepened my love for Jesus
Christ. Everything in it testifies that He lives and because He lives we can too. I really am so
amazed that Jesus Christ loves each of us so perfectly, and every time we reach out for Him,
He is there. He is our perfect friend.

all my love,
Sister Neeley

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