December 19th, 2016
God's plan for the Mountain House area continues to keep rolling on, not always (usually) in the way that I hoped for, but I feel such a special spirit witness to me that I am apart of something bigger than I am aware of here. I know that Heavenly Father works by small and simple means, and I am grateful and humbled that He trusts me and Sister Kitahara to have to patience, endurance, and faith to help those small things happen. This week we got back in touch with the Japanese Couple from awhile ago. It is always fun to see Sister Kitahara be able to speak her native language with people. They made us Japanese lunch and I can now say I officially mastered chopsticks! Sister Kitahara always eats with them even at the apartment, and I have been trying to as well. I finally have it down haha. They are Buddhist and we had such a powerful lesson about how every religion has truth in it. We were able to teach them the plan of salvation and help them recognize similar truths between the plan and what they believe. They have been brought up believing in reincarnation which has so much truth to it- like that the point of this life is to progress and grow, that what we do here in this life matters, that we lived before we were here on earth, and so much more. It was a really cool lesson and we all felt the spirit testify of truth in it. We also got a referral from some other missionaries this week which was such a miracle! It is this cute little family from Kenya. They have lived in Salt Lake City before and have been to the temple there, and also have been to the San Diego temple. They said they love the temples and feel drawn to them. We are going back to teach them on Wednesday, we are very anxious and excited. Another miracle was that we got reconnected with a woman from our ward who we haven't seen for awhile. Her husband and daughter are not members, and they are in a tough place. She told us they are looking for some kind of change to help their family as they all grow and was interested in coming back to church. We are excited to keep close with them and help them find some more peace, through Jesus Christ.
This week we served at the senior center memory care facility again, and it was (as always) such a powerful part of my week. On Sunday I got an early Christmas gift. I was sitting in relief society and someone came and got me telling me that a couple was asking for me outside. I had no idea who it could be. As Sister Kitahara and I came out, it was Trisha and Robert from the Ripon ward!! They came to stop by really quick and give us a little Christmas gift. It was so sweet of them, I felt so loved and special. I am so grateful for their friendship and their loving hearts. I was so surprised and it was such a tender mercy to me. I love them!
I am following along with the Light the World still and it continues to pull me closer and closer to Jesus Christ. I feel like I am getting to know Him better each day by focusing on His personal attributes. On the 13th this week the topic was Jesus Christ showed humility and so can you. Trying to learn more about this, I was lead to study the three accounts in the New Testament of when Jesus Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane and praying to God to let the cup pass (Matt 26, Mark 14, & Luke 22). It was such a powerful study, and I really recommend it for everyone. I was really inspired how Jesus Christ had so much humility to willingly to go through any trial the Father would give Him- even the most agonizing trial the world has and will ever know- because Jesus trusted that Heavenly Father's will is always for our best interest. That Heavenly Father loves us with a perfect love and that He will not have us suffer things that are not for our growth and happiness ahead. That is a really hard pill to swallow, it takes humility. It takes a lot of humility to trust that Heavenly Father's will is a better path than our own. I feel like it is especially hard when what we pray for, and want in life, is a really righteous desire- and our prayers are so sincere, but we don't get it. We don't get the answer we hoped for, we don't get the relief we prayed for. But we can be like Jesus Christ and trust that Heavenly Father's plan is bigger than what we can see with our understanding. I felt Heavenly Father's love so strong as I read. I know He is aware of me and each of us. I know He cares about our suffering, and that He has a plan for each of us. I trust that plan, even in the hard times when I don't understand. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ who walks with me when I do have to go through something hard, and for His perfect example of humility and trust.
all my love,
Sister Eleanor Neeley