Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 13, 2015

This is a quick message from Alina's Companion regarding her birthday!!
HIIIIIII DAD! hahahahahahahahaha I'm sister Oliveira, your doughter's companion! 

I'm sending you this email to show you her happiness last friday! hahahahahaha it was a GREAT day! She had 4 parties! and we ate a lot of cake. A LOT. I miss that day HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 30, 2015

 Life is good here in Brazil as to be expected, just raining a lot and sometimes really hot, so you never know what its going to be like when you wake up!                                                                                                                                             I never thought this would happen, but literally in every dream I have now I'm a missionary. It just takes over all you think about so much that sometimes you cant sleep at night thinking about what you need to do to help your investigators and then you dream about teaching them, so all in all we never truly take a break from missionary work hahaha. Presidente talked about working harder to get references last week at zone conference and said we should be waking up in the morning with an address in our hands, so maybe I'm working my way there hahahha.
YOUR EMAIL MADE ME SO HUNGRY, probably because we have nothing like any of that here. We just eat a lot of rice and beans (literally every day) or noodles with a tomato sauce, chicken beef, stuff like that. I do love this thing called Feijoada that you should learn to make cuz it is gooooood;)                      
         Lets just talk about how embarrassing it is that I teared up a little when I read that UofL won the football game hahaha!  Another embarrasssing thing, I totally forgot about Thanksgiving! The week before I thought about it a little bit and then suddenly this past friday we were talking with a member from church and she mentioned that it was black friday. I was like, "What? No its not, because that would mean yesterday was.....oh. Thanksgiving happened." I'm loving all the pictures! For sures makes me wish I was back at home for things like that! But, you are so right, that I feel like it was maybe only a couple months ago that I was spending Thanksgiving at Kenzie's house out in Utah. One year later and here I am in a small interenet house in Santos, Brasil with no air conditioning and a ten year old boy next to me playing video games and yelling and being overall a little obnoxious hahaha. Beau better stay out in Utah just so I have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving two years from now! (WOW two years are going to pass before I see another American Thanksgiving or Christmas!) 
I also forgot about Mockingjay part two! MAN I WANNA SEE THAT MOVIE! But the promise of watching it on a huge screen in a dark basement makes it all worth it hahahah Already pumped for that! 
Life is pretty good here! I am getting ahold of the language and sometimes I just stop and think "wow I am having a conversation in Portuguese right now and I actually understand what everyone is saying. This is strange. Four months ago this all just sounded like gibberish." Of course I'm still not fluent, but itll happen eventually! With one of our recent converts (Antonio, the darker guy) I foreals have almost no idea what he is saying half the time because he is from the North East of Brasil, or the Norteaste (nor-teas-tchee) and they have a different accent there and his accent is strrrooonnngg hahaha.                                                                                                                             Since I am the only American within miles nobody thought about Thanksgiving and I forgot, soooo nada hahaha
LINDSAY IS GOING TO MERIDA MEXICO ON MARCH 23rd!!!! How exciting is that! Just me and all my best friends serving in different countries hahaha it is awesome.  Life is good! 
Hope this week is delightful for everyone! LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Alina Letter - 11/23/15

This was a GOOD WEEK!!!! Two of our investigators were baptized! Woohoo!!!! We've been teaching Antonio (the man nearest to me in the photo) for about 2 months, but we only started teaching Fabio (the blonde guy in the middle. Everyone jokingly calls him my "tio" or uncle because he's blonde with blue eyes just like me hahhaa) 3 weeks ago! They are both AWESOME! It has been an amazing experience to see them grow and see how coming to know the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is changing their lives. It has been fun seeing their progress from the first day we met them on the street or in their home to know after they've both worked so hard to quit smoking and are now sharing the gospel with their family and friends already. 
This week: a dog peed on me (literally on me), theres been both a lot of rain and a lot of sun, annnndddd ummm I cant think of anything else right now, but I only have 4 minutes left on the computer so it is probably the strees of that affecting me hahahha 
Much love to everyone! 

Sister Alina Neal 

Pictures below are Alina's current District in her current area, her and her companion and her most recent baptism:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Alina's Letter - 11/16/15

First of all, I hope everyone had a delightful week! 

Second, I keep forgetting to give everyone who has asked my address, so here it finally is! Write me letters and I will of course try my hardest to respond:)

Sister Alina Neal
Av. Dona Ana Costa
414- Sala 24-25- Gonzaga 
BRAZIL 11060-002

Hi Dad.  I loved hearing about stake conference and man, honestly wish I could have been there! Sounds like youre on your way to becoming a 70, be careful;) Our stake conference was good and Presidente e Sister Cabral spoke as well about keeping the sabbath day holy. Also, presidente talked about how simple salvation truly is. He listed off the things we have to do to gain salvação and it included things just like reading your scriptures every day, praying morning and night, and etc. It reminded me of the time you said you had never been in a disciplinary counsel withh someone who was truly doing these things every day. You probably dont remember saying that because this was at least probably a couple years ago, but I never forgot it because it stuck with me the importance of doing the basics every day. You and mom have always been great examples of that, especially with trying to go to the Temple every week too. I think the basics are what build a strong foundation for a testimony and only then when we're doing those things are we going to learn to truly love the gospel and want to learn more and more. It reminds me of one investigator that we have right now, Fabio. I love Fabio! He was going to the baptist church next to us, but one day talked with us on the street and wanted to learn more. He is a GOLDEN. He still has to stop smoking, but he LOVES the Book of Mormon and is reading it every day. After like the first week he told us, "I know that this book is the word of God." And now he is truly preparing for baptsm! He loves talking about the gospel and seriously would go to church every day if we had meetings that often I think hahahha Antonio, the other investigar that you saw a picture of, is finally parando de fumar (stoppíng smoking, stopping to smoke, literally I am having amoment right now where I cant remember how to phrase this in english ahhahaa) and hopefully will finally be baptized! I have faith!!!
So, I hear that you communicate with the mission office all the time! Dad! What are you doing?! hahahah Presidente Cabral told me that you're more involved with the Santos mission than I am!!! hahahaha oh Father.....What a life! WLOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!

This week was good and had both terrible rain and really hot sun. One night we were at the house of an investigator and it started to storm really badly with wind that was knocking over things and Fabio (the man we are teaching) wouldn't let us leave because it was so bad. Luckily, it calmed down and he and his cute, elderly mother drove us home. The next day we saw saw trees down and things, so I am pretty grateful we did'nt have to walk home in that. 

The next day was SUPER SUNNY and I have some hilarious, sister missionary tanlines. My favorite tan lines are on my feet because my toes are just super white compared to the top of my feet and it's hilarious. 

Unfortunately, this is all I have time to send today, but know that life is good! And I love Brasil! Woo!

Sister Neal 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Alina Letter - 11/9/15

So I wasnt transferred today! Woo hoo! Sister Oliveira and I are both staying here this transfer, but we are going to get a third companion. I already know that trios are hard, so it is a little stressful, but it is so good so that I'll have another person to go out and teach with when Sister Oliveira has to stay in and not walk because of her feet. They are a little better but sometimes she just wakes up with tons of pain. She met with the podiatrist that the mission chooses in the main city of Santos, so he is good and he sees all the missionaries so he understands the mission life. Pretty much it is something wrong with the shape or something of her feet that make it so they become inflamed when walking a lot. And the problem with this is that we walk... ALOOOT. He pretty much said that truly she needs to stay in the house for two weeks, take this pain medication and do a month of physical therapy so they're trying to figure it out. She is afraid because she really doesn’t want to go home, but the doctor said that if she doesn’t take care of it it will become a chronic problem where she will always have pain when walking for the rest of her life soooooo it is hard, but I am still really happy that we'll be together for Christmas:) woohooo! If you all send another package please send some of those twisty crayons where you turn the plastic thing and it comes up because she really loves mine hahahaha
Lucas, the less active who has come back with his family and who is preparing for a mission, went out with us after church on Sunday to teach lessons and man, that kid was just waiting for someone to invite him back! He was awesome and said some great things in our lessons!

Also, the word of wisdom and the law of chastity are so important! Honestly, it isn’t a lack of testimony or the Spirit that keeps people from being baptized most of the time, it is their inability to follow one of these two things and truly have a conversion and make it to baptism.

All is well here and I honestly am really healthy other than the fact that I am not eating super healthy, which I hate! Salads aren’t really a thing here! 
How are the missionaries in our ward doing? Did all their baptisms come through? Please make friends with the recent converts, because missionaries NEED MEMBERS TO HELP THE CONVERTS STAY IN THE CHURCH AND HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE. This is literally the hardest thing ever, because technically after baptism the ward is supposed to take over teaching and helping, because as missionaries we just dont have the time, but it doesnt always happen. Man!