The weather has been rainy and chilly here this week, which is good as always because of the drought. The rain here though is nothing compared to the rain in PA. We don't get thunderstorms or down pours at all out here. Which I am grateful for because we only have bikes. This week was probably our most exciting week here in Mountain House. A lot of things finally came together and we were able to teach a lot of people. We are teaching the wife of an inactive member and she is so awesome. We love the Funkhousers. We got to teach her twice this past week and each time the spirit was really strong. She really is looking for spiritual structure to have for her kids as they grow up and spiritual healing for herself, as we all are. She didn't make it to church like we were all planning but we are excited to keep getting to know her and love her more. We also were able to catch up with Lindy this week! We met her tracking a few weeks ago and were finally able to sit down with her. She is such a sweet person, so busy with being a single mom, work, and going back to school for nursing but she has so much faith. Both are reading the Book of Mormon right now and praying about it to ask God if is really is His word so we are really happy. We were also able to teach a few first lessons to some different people who decided they weren't really interested, but it was a great start to help prepare their hearts to accept Jesus Christ's Gospel later down the road in their lives. We kept our heads up. One lady was so kind to us, she just moved here from India and had a little difficulty speaking english with us but the spirit was there strong. We were able to talk about all the similarities from her Hindu religion and Jesus Christ's restored Gospel. We all felt uplifted and more connected to one another after the lesson, it was a great experience for me.
We got to do some service this week too. We helped out Monique who we have been teaching with fixing some things in her house with her. She is really dedicated to running marathons and travels all over to do different races and this past week we were all just working away and she made the comment about why she doesn't commit herself to Christ like she does with her marathons. It really opened up for a great conversation and one we have been praying to have. We are excited to keep teaching her this week as that new question is pondering in her heart. And we also got to help a family move that I knew last year when I was here! They are just moving to another house with in Mountain House. We actually taught them a little last year my very first transfer but lost contact after a while. It was very exciting to get back in touch with them. We aren't teaching them or anything, but we are continuing to build our friendship and serve each other. They are just the sweetest family and we really love them. We helped them move for a few hours and then they overheard our dinner appointment fell thru so they cooked this really great dinner for us just to be so kind. So this week was filled with great opportunities for us and we are so grateful for such a powerful week.
I have really relied on prayer more than I ever have in my life as I have been on my mission, and particularly the past few weeks. I think I am understanding just the beginning of how powerful it can be. A quote by President Uchtdorf that always comes to my mind about prayer is, "He who created the stars- knows you...& and He knows your name." That truth is life changing to me and all those I get to share it with. The title "Heavenly Father" has caused me to really ponder lately, what does that mean to me? And for me, it means that I have a Father in Heaven that loves me with a perfect love. He created me and just like any father would want, He wants to hear from me often. He cares about what I care about and He hurts when I hurt. He wants me to be happy and come to Him for help with my problems. I can't count the times I have knelt down to pray with a heavy heart and got up feeling a little bit more lighter- or at least more hopeful that I will feel lighter all in His time. A favorite verse of mine from the Book Mormon says, "...look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause...oh all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever (Jacob 3:1-2). He really will console us in our afflictions, and He really does plead our cause if we only will lift our heads up to Him in prayer. I can never be grateful enough for the power of prayer in my life, and I hope I can always do things to increase my sacred relationship with my Father in Heaven.
Happy Halloween and have a great week!
all my love,
sister eleanor neeley