Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The trial doesn't change, but we can

August 22, 2016


This week has been better for me. My situation has not changed very much with everything going on, but my heart has changed, and so I feel stronger to keep running this stretch of my marathon. I can't exactly put my finger on what moment this changed occurred in the past week for me, but I recognize the peace I feel now and the increase of faith and hope I received. It is funny how answers to our most earnest and desperate prayers can come in such a gentle and quiet way- almost unnoticeable if you aren't actively looking for it. So we are still struggling to teach more lessons in our area right now, and our investigators kind of dropped off the face of the planet this week and our recent converts have been really tied up this week, but we have some people we are slowly working with still. I am just choosing to trust God's will and timing. We are working our hardest and having faith, the rest we turn over to the Lord. There are so many good things happening here despite our lack of lessons, and I have grown so much these past few weeks. Training is continuing to get better and better. I seriously love training, I really do. It is hard but it keeps you so accountable and you just have a special spirit. My companion made huge strides this past week. Our studies are more in depth, our finding is more diligent, and she naturally is taking more leads in lessons and conversations. I am so impressed. We are seeing goals we have made at the beginning of the transfer, become some of our biggest companionship strengths. I have learned so much this transfer, and from her as well. When you hit the point where you start becoming more of friends rather than just companions, everything becomes more fuller and enjoyable. We definitely laughed more this week together- especially when our day just was not good at all, and it made it easier to get through. A little fun and a little sense of humor goes a long way on a hard day. Next week is transfers so I will know if I stay or go. It will be interesting to see what happens. I have been here for 9 months now, but I am only half way done training sister Talbot, so we will see!

Something so special that happened was a girl I taught in the YSA ward Michaela got baptized this weekend. I was really happy for her. And then next weekend another girl sister winn and I found (well she found us haha) and taught in the YSA ward, Ashley, is getting baptized!! She asked me to give the talk on baptism at her baptism and also to play my violin as a special musical number. I am so happy and excited to be apart of her day, I love her so much!! So I am really looking forward to that, and I am so grateful for this opportunity. 

This week I have been just drawn to time after time, Romans chapter 8 from the new testament. It is seriously one of the most beautiful chapters I have ever read, and I don't even understand a tenth of it yet. I feel like some of the books in the new testament are like poems, and you have to really ponder what the metaphor or analogy they are using means. It is so cool that depending on where you are in life, it will mean a different thing to you. The scriptures are such a source of answers and strength to me, and they are so powerful. In studying Romans 8:18,24&25&28,
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I just felt hope. That any suffering or pain we go through is not even comparable to the happiness that God has for us ahead. Everything that happens to us is for our good from such a loving Father in Heaven who wants nothing more than our happiness. I know that is true and that is what I cling to when I am going through hard times. And then at the very end of the chapter, verses 35-39, 
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I was just overwhelmed with a feeling of love and peace. No matter what happens to us on this earth, any worse case scenario you can think of, will not be final for us. We truly do conqueror all through "Him that loved us". I know that there is nothing that can separate any of us from the love Jesus Christ has for every one of us individually- no decision too bad, no life circumstance too hard, not even death. Jesus Christ was sent to us by a loving Father in Heaven, and they love us with a perfect love. We can have faith and peace in struggling times because with that perfect love, is the promise that if we trust Them all things will work together for our eternal happiness. I have such a testimony of that. I know it is true.
all my love, 
sister eleanor neeley
 Sunset in Ripon

ahahahahahahahaha 12 week gets real with us. good times trainingggggggg

My old companion Sister Wilkins and I! I love her!!

Sister Winn and I and Elder Lopez before he went home a few weeks ago

Sister Talbot and I

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