Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another Picture with Alina and Sis. Rodrigues

Alina with Sis. Garcia and Sis. Rodriques

Alina with Sis. Rodriques at Mission Christmas Party

Well, I was transferred! President decided that he wanted two companionships of Sister Training Leaders and so we (me and Sister Garcia) will be "training" two new Sisters to be SLT. I will spend my last transfer opening another area that is called Orquidário, which is right next to Jabaquara. Sister Garcia and I were pretty dang sad to be separated and in the beginning I was VERY sad to spend my last transfer opening a new area (especially one that is just apartment buidings in the center of Santos...) but my companion is really great! Her name is Sister Ñiquen and is from Peru! My first Hispanic companion! Woohoo!!! I realized that really I should nbe grateful to have the opportunity to have to work REALLLY hard my last transfer and give my all, and hey, that way I wont even be able to think about home hahah! 
LOVE YOU ALL!! It was great to see and talk with everyone!

Sister Neal 

Letter from December 19th, 2016

Okay, so this year we have TWO HOURS OF SKYPE!!! Woohhooooo so that means heck yes I wanna talk to and see everyyyyooonnnnnee!!!!! ? I'm pumped! But, yes when it hits 1 hour and 59 min I'm turning it off okay! 

MOM! I dont even feel like I need to tell you about my week or anything because I'm going to talk to you hear in a few days, but just know that this week was amazing because we worked with the members and saw miracles! The missionaries need the members SO MUCH!!! One irmã from the ward invited our investigator over for lunch and just talked to her a ton yesterday and we didnt even know until we talked with the investigator later that night. This RARELY happens, but every time it has happened I've seen people baptized, that arent just baptisms, but true converts that stay firm, because they have the support of someone they know that truly cares about them and can share their life experienes in the Gospel. 
We had the mission conference for Natal as well and it was super fun, and just a ton of work as well, because after receiving my calling as a SLT I feel like I'm just running all the time and organizing things. Yesterday was pretty insane because of this, but I just love it! I've learned to be busy all the time and it's exhausting, but great, because I feel like I'm truly fulfilling my purpose and what Heavenly Father wants from me, which is something I want to continue doing when I get home. 
I love and miss you all and hope all is well.  My call will be a little earlier, because Christmas is also Sunday and transfers, so at 6 oclock we have a meeting in the mission office with President and the assistants. 

Sister Neal 

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016

I died laughing at the pictures mom sent me of everyone goofing around and dancing hahahah good to know nothing has changed at the old Neal homestead! Yes I got the package and loved it!!! I havent opened any of the cards though, I'm just going to open on my birthday and the other one when it gets closer to Christmas. I especially loved that bracelet that says "Forever Family" and totally use it every day! 
This week was good, but insane! After two weeks of not being in our area to work and not going on splits with sisters we ran and taught 30 lessons this week and did 3 splits! hahahaha I thought I was going to die and was soooo tired and then suddenly there was an emergency transfer and we had to go meet up with our new companion to be in a trio! Today there was another emergency transfer and the sister that stayed with us since thursday is going to Caraguatatuba suuuuper far and there was a miscommunication, and long story short she missed the greyhound bus and we'll be waking up bright and early tomorrow to leave for the terminal at 6am to catch the next bus. WHAT A LIFE. But, I'm super great and only have time to think about and focus on the mission, so theres not time for me to ever get trunky or even think about skype hahaha ;) But it will be on the 25th for sure! I don't know what time yet, but it is going to be on the Sunday of Christmas. Life is good, the Gospel is true annnd I don't really know what else to say!  You're the best, Dad! And not just for the money hahahah!!
Are you all participating in the campaign for Christmas about Light the World??? Every day theres a video and things we need to do and so the whole family should be participating daily!!! The other day one of the options was to write a list for your parents about the things they were right about. Sooooo thanks for being right all those times you all didnt let me leave the house in skirts that were too short and for always making two vegetables at dinner. I miss eating so many fruits and vegetables! Maybe I eat more fruit now here, but people in santos dont include vegetables always in their meals and I just love vegetables so much. 
okay, thats about all for now, because I'll be talking to you soon!

Sister Neal 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I have to admit that sometimes I think this calling is going to kill me, but its all good! hahaha! I woke up between 5am and 5:30 every day last week for travel and different things, so I'm pretty dang tired, but I'll probably try to take a one hour nap here quickly before pday ends!  We gave a training about the importance of keeping our commitments as missionaries and how we need to verify that all of our investigators understand what we're asking them to do and that they understand that this isn't just a couple of young kids asking them to do something, but the Savior Jesus Christ offering them their salvation. Ensinar arrependimento e batizar conversos! I was reading that scripture in the Book of Mórmon about not leaving the day of our repentence until the end and I just realized that the scripture isnt just talking about our own repentence, but also the repentence of other people. Its like Jacob 1:19. We have the responibility the share the gospel and teach, because if not, we won't be pure before Christ on the last day. So, we also can't leave the repentence of others until the end as well! If we don't teach them the commandments and show them the way of salvation, that's exactly what we're doing. 

I'm great! But still so exhausted! Hahahah! We went this week to Peruíbe, Praia Grande, Serra do Mar, São Vicente, Santos (so my chapel where we have church here in Jabaquara ahha), Guarujá, and Caraguatatuba!!! It was fun and I love the training we gave about our missionary purpose and teaching people and not lessons, so it was great. Also, it was fun to get to know Presidente and Sister Obata better! They're awesome!  Presidente and Sister Grahl from the CTM visited our mission and went to the last two zone conferences, so it was cool to get to know them too. They're too sweet! 
Something cool I was studying this week is 3 Nephi 12:10 and what it means to make sacrifices for the love of Christ. President Packer said that missionaries have to do contacts, because every missionary needs to learn what it means to be rejected for their love of Christ. I would say that this applies to every member of the church too. We have to share the gospel sometimes because we have to learn what its like to be rejected for our love of Christ. If we haven't had that experience yet, it's something we need to have, to truly understand better our Savior. As Presidente Cabral always said, "Que privilégio!" When youre suffering, you're becoming more like Christ, so What a privilege!!!!!

Love you!!!!! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

NOSSA! This past week was super busy because 11 new missionaries arrived and so we had to give a Training and also we started Zone Conferences!  So every three months there are zone conferences with Presidente & there are 8 zones in the Santos Mission. Presidente and Sister Obata give trainings, the Assistants do a training, and Sister Garcia & I do one as well.  So, this means that we worked in our own area only 2 days the whole week!   This coming week we have 5 more conferences, so its gonna be really busy and we're only going to be working in our own area tuesday and wednesday night!   Saturday the conference is FAR away - out there in Caraguatatuba, so we'll go to church there with Presidente and Sister Obata and they'll drive us back.  This means that we have to work super, super hard these next two days to work with the members and arrange rides and everything perfect so that even though we wont be at church, at least our investigators will be able to attend.  
Also, this week we found a new investigator that has two beautiful kids and she just showed up in the church saying that God touched her heart and she felt that she needed to visit. GOLDEN!!!!!
Life is good and this week has been super busy and pretty tiring,  but I love it!!  hahaha!    

LOVE, Sister Neal
They really do grow wings on their missions!!!

No presents yet!!!


Lots of rain, but does not damper their spirits...


Girls (Missionaries) Just want to have fun!!


Which one should I eat first??


Ready for Christmas


Blue and Brown Eye Missionaries

Alina with Fellow Missionaries and Members


Oh how awesome it is to serve!


Alina with couple and her mission companion Sis. Garcia

Pictures from 11/22/2016

Alina with Sr. Missionaries and fellow Missionaries

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nov. 14, 2016

hahahahah everyone I talk to this week is always like, "Hey youre american! So, how do you feel about Donald Trump being your president? Did you know he is going to build a giant wall so that the mexicans cant cross the border anymore?" What a life!

Did you all know that today we had transfers again? These past 6 weeks have passed by more quickly than ever in my entire mission? Thankfully I'm still in good ol Jabaquara with Sister Garcia and loving life!!! We had two baptisms this week and it was awesome! You would love Barbara. She's only 18, but has a one year old son Miguel (who is the cutest thing in the world and makes me soooo sad sometimes that I cant hold babies!) and is amazing. She's super quiet, but understands EVERYTHING!

Being a STL is great, but hard, especially when I have to correct something, I DONT LIKE HAVING TO CALL SISTERS TO REPENTANCE. Luckily, patience and love are some things that I havent had much difficulty with.  Just courage! hahaha! And its true how important it is to use the scriptures to teach in every situation!  Like, Jacó 1:19 we have to teach doctrine and correct doctrine,  because if we dont, the sins will be upon us! How scary! I have enough sins, I dont need my investigators sins as well hahaha! LOVE YOU MOM & DAD! and thanks so much for everything!

Letter from Nov. 7, 2016

Mom, I don't even remember usually who I write and dont'  write in one week hahahah my mind is in one milion different places! This week we did splits with Ala 1 in São Vicente, and Samambaia. They went really well!

This week we taught a lesson that was a MIRACLE! I talked to a lday at a bus stop last week and she didnt seem super interested, but I bore my testimony for her about the restauration and asked again if she would like to learn more another day. She admitted that she'd given her address to missionaries before but theyd never gone. We marked a lessona and went and WOW! She's legally married (which NEVER HAPPENS), doesnt like coffee, and the best moment of this transfer was when we talked about the first vision and told her to ask God if this was the true church and she started crying. She said that she always went to the Catholic church, but visited other churches and always asked herself what was the truth, the whole truth, and how she could know. We gave her a baptismal date for the 26th and it was one of the most spiritual experiences of the mission.  Please pray for her & that we'll be able to teach and baptise her husband and two children as well. I love being a missionary and the Gospel SO MUCH!

This week was GOOD! But, I am so tired hahahah!! We do splits with another companionship of sisters at least 2 times a week and instead of giving my 100% I try to give like 120% to be a good example and show them how they can improve their work, so come Sunday night meeting with Presidente and the Assistants I'm just whooped, but more motivated than ever before! 
This week we had stake conference in Santos which was cool, but something that has been touching me a lot lately is what 100% obedience means. On the mission you learn to be obediente with everything, every hour, every meal, every lesson, everything! But, its easy to see which missionaries truly learned  this on the mission or not. Its just sad to see people not being obedient and then not being blessed because of it. In all honesty, we dont have any more agency, we already used our agency to choose to come to earth and follow God's plan. Now, we can just choose to be blessed (be 100% obediente) or suffer (break rules, commandments, not do God's will). This is what I've learned. 
Well, I think that was enough of a rant for this week....but its all true okay! hahahah! LOVE YOU and I'll be praying for sure!

Nov. 14, 2016

Yep, she is now teaching the new missionaries

Nov. 14, 2016

Always good to love your companion!

Nov. 14, 2016

Alina with her companion Sis. Garcia

Nov 14, 2016

Zone Conference Meeting at the Mission Home.  President
and Sis. Obata in the center.

Nov 14, 2016

Selfie with Alina's companion Sis. Garcia and new Missionaries

Nov 14, 2016

Nativity Scene outside Catholic Cathedral

Nov. 14, 2016

Baptisms from last week.  Gotta love the little ones

Pictures from Nov 14, 2016

Baptisms from this past week.  Life is good!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cabinets that fell off the wall...YIKES!

Kitchen Cabinets fell off the wall!

Sis. Garcia celebrating her 1 year anniversary on her mission

Sister Neal in Caraguatatuba


Alina on split with Sister Missionary in Caraguatatuba


Visiting Sisters in Caraguatatuba

Letter from 10/31/2016

I love you people!!! And CONGRATS for teaching an investigator in our house! That's so cool!!! And thats the best way for an investigator to stay strong. They just need friendships in the church. The real challenge is to see if you all could do it at least once a week? This can be a challenge for the whole family! Teach an investigator in your house or have someone from your home go with the missionaries to teach someone at least once a week! If all the members in the world at least tried to do this, every ward would see weekly baptisms as well. It's astounding how quickly investigators progress when they see the testimony of a member, because they dont see us missionaries as normal people. Do it! Challenge every one to do it! 30 min-1 hour a week isnt that much time and doing so could save someones eternity.
I dont know what I want! I think honestly I would just like to get money sometime soon to buy material and pay someone to make a couple of skirts and a dress for me. And truly, thats about it! Hahhha! I just want BAPTISMS! THAT is what I want for my birthday and Christmas, so if everyone could make that happen, that would be great!

Letter from 10/24/2016

Life is good! So crazy and I never get to sleep enough, but it is truly amazing! As before, Sister Garcia is just the best and our only problem with obedience together is the fact that we just start talking and lbha blah blah and talking and talking and suddenly we're like, hey we're not even talking to people in the street, let's focus! But, it's amazing because our companion study is great and we work great together.
It's been an adventure being a sister training leader because every Sunday night now we have a meeting with the assistants and President to review alll of the numbers of the week and the splits and talk about literally every missionary in the mission, so we don't even end up having any time to do normal work on Sundays. This week we did splits in Guarujá- Santa Rosa and Enseada, so I got to go back to Enseada! hahahah I saw Izabela and Marcela and they both freaked out and I got so excited to! andnnnnndd MARCELA WAS FINALLY BAPTIZED!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!!!
It's been interesting seeing people do a lot of wrong things in the mission and then know that its my responsibility to correct and teach, because thats just hard for me! I always want to be everyones friend, but I've learned to love and teach the doctrine is the most important thing, because like investigators, the Sisters in the mission CANT BE BLESSED if they're not doing things right.

Letter from 10/17/2016

There are so many hills and small mountains legs are dying! The picture of the doorbells is funny because we passed by this place trying to find a woman SO MANY TIMES and as you can see, many of the doorbells don't even have a house/apartment number to diferentiate. We rang all of the doorbells so many times (for about a week straight) just trying to find someone to open the everyone complained and they wrote our investigators name on her doorbell just because of us:) And the best part? They still complain that we're always ringing the wrong doorbell hahahha! But Michele, the woman that we were trying to find is AMAZING! Long story short: About 8 months ago I was in Areia Branca and I had a dream one night that a recent convert was going to bring a friend to church. It was Sunday morning, so I told my companion that we should ask her when we got to church what friends she had that would be interested in the Gospel, because who knows, maybe I was receiving revelation haha! So around 7:30 am we left our apartment as usual on a Sunday morning going to knock on our investigators doors and accompany them for church. And almost everyone flaked out, ended up sleeping or said they couldnt go to church for some reason or another. We were heading to church when suddenly we heard, "Hey Sister!" It was the recent convert that I'd dreamed about and she was with a friend that was moving to Santos that was staying with her and she wanted to introduce her to the church! I was fairly shocked to say the least and continued to be more and more shocked throughout the day as Michele just embraced EVERYTHING about the church and even decided to pay tithing even though she's not a member. But unfortunately, she was only staying for a week until she could rent her own house  and ended up in another stake, where I sent her address to the missionaries there, but who knows if they ever actually passed by. Fast forward to only 4 months ago when I was at a doctors appt in Santos and suddenly I ran into Michele again in the street! Well, actually she saw me and was so excited. Turns out she'd moved to Jabaquara in the Santos stake. I took down her new address and immediately called for the sisters from Jabaquara to tell them all about her. Alright, now fast forward to two weeks ago when I was transferred to Jabaquara. One day we were looking at the potential investigators list in teh area  book and I saw "Michele- reference from Sister Neal. We tried to find her, but she was never home." Miracle after miracle and guess who we taught this week? MICHELE! She accepted a baptismal date and has some difficulties, and I don't know why, but God wanted me to find this woman. It's amazing and a testimony to me how He prepares who He wants to be in His true church. I love the mission!!!

Sister Neal 

Monday, October 17, 2016

                        Alina and Sister Garcia with the departing Sister Training Missionaries
                                               Alina trying to find the right apartment :)
                                               Lots of hills and stairs to climb....
                                                         Sister Neal loving her mission


Alina with Sis. Garcia and Sisters they are assisting

Alina with her new companion Sis. Garcia as Sister Training Leaders

Monday, October 10, 2016

Letter from 10/10/2016

This week has been crazy since I was called to be a Sister Training Leader and that means planning and giving trainings for all the new trainers, leadership meetings, and planning and going on splits with literally ALL of the Sisters in the mission (around 50) so life is busy. Haha, but I am LOVING it!!!                                                                                                       

Monday I came to Santos from Guarujá and that took a while to organize everything and then leave Sister Gonçalo with her new companion  and met up with Sister Garcia in the mission office at like 5pm. I LOVE SISTER GARCIA! We served in Areia Branca one transfer at the same time (my last transfer when I was with Sister Rodrigues) and I already liked her a lot and now we're just companions and best friends. She has been a SLT for one transfer now (6 weeks) & is HILARIOUS and works hard and is super happy and loves being a missionary, so working together has been just the BEST.  Monday P-day ended at 6pm as normal, but we had to stay in the mission office and prepared the training for the new trainers and that lasted until about 8:30, so we just had barely enough time to arrive home from the office with our things and open our apartment because we're opening an area as well.  The last missionaries that were here were the old Sister training leaders, so the area book was perfect and organized and the house was clean, so I cannot complain!  It's just learning about the area and finding your way around the city that's hard, especially since this area is HUGE and there are like, small mountains that we have to walk up sometimes. My legs are killing! hahaha! But life truly is great and WOW, wasn't conference amazing??? I don't even know what was my favorite part, but last night we watched the womens session and Presidente Uchtdorf killed it. LOVE him and every time I see him it reminds me of Dad!  
Love To Everyone!
Sister Neal

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 3rd, 2016 - A new Change for growth for Alina

Dear Dad, Mom & Everyone!

Yes! Today we had transfers! I trained Sister Gonçalo for her entire training, so 12 weeks or two transfers. I received the transfer call from the Assistants early like 7am today, which is strange since usually it is our district leader that calls, but honestly the moment I saw the assistants number, I already knew. I was called to be a Sister Training Leader, which means me and my companion (Sister Garcia who I already know and LOVE) are in charge of helping all of the sisters in the mission and we do splits with them and give training meetings sometimes and such. Tonight after pday ends (so here in just a couple hours) we have to go to the mission office and prepare a training for the people that were called to train the new missionaries who arrive tomorrow. We do a lot of splits, but we have an area, so I am now in Jabaquara in Santos, the big city! I'm excited, but extremely nervous as well, but all will be fine! Haha I'm excited to be able to serve all the sisters in the mission more as well.

WOW I was really sad to leave Enseada because that place and all of those people truly turned into my family and saying goodbye to some amazing recent-converts was hard. Marcela and Kellnner (Marcela is his mom and Kellnner is like 16) live close to the apt of the missionaries in Enseada and so I was able to say goodbye to them, and it was hard!!  Kellnner cried SO MUCH and just thanked me for everything, for finding them, and all that we taught them and his baptism and everything. It was emotional!  Joel and Magda were like parents to me there in the apartments.  I wanted so much to just hug Joel and say "Thanks Dad!"
  But I know I'm gonna see them again, hopefully sooner than later! But I am good!

Conference was truly amazing! Presidente Uchtdorf pretty much expressed everything I was thinking and feeling as well!  Loved it all!!!   I thought I saw Josh Hancock while I was watching General Conference but afterward was like, no, theres no way that is him. Is he even old enough to go on a mission?  hahahah totally saw him!

LOVE,  Sister Alina Neal

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Letter from September 19th, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 10:26 PM
This week I had one day where I just seemed to notice all of my weaknesses and was just down on myself walking quietly in the street and I thought....this is how people with depression feel every day. It's amazing how we can be kinder and more patient and less likely to judge when we give the other person the benefit of the doubt and try to see ourselves in their shoes. The Savior was mocked, spit upon, beaten, and in the Book of Mormon we read that they even pulled His hair and yet He didn't complain. He called people to repentance for sure! But, He always loved. I would like to see that more in the world. And man! I am almost done with Jesus the Christ and WOW every member of the Church needs to read that book!
It's funny that now I understand spanish better than when I was studying spanish ahhaha the languages are pretty similar, but I still have to concentrate pretty hard to understand what the various Argentines and Mexicans say. This week was pretty good! It has just been difficult this month to baptise people! We've seen some complicated situations and it's been hard to keep up with everyone because this area is HUGE and it's just the two of us now, whereas the past few years this ward has always had two pairs of missionaries. So, we're just here trying to work with two area books and it has been pretty would think I'd be losing weight, but no, still as chunky as ever!
I got that package and shared everything with everyone ahahhaha! I wanna go on a diet, but everyone is constantly stuffing us full of food and brasilians bake cakes like evvverrrryyyyddaaayyy and SO MUCH JUICE. But, I need to lose weight foreals hahahaha.
I would like to start school in spring semester, though I worry, because between that and the hawaii trip I wouldnt have time to find a job, but hey, I'll watch someones house if theyre out of town or do about anything to earn money while I'm home. After being used to being on the move for about 12 hours a day, I cant really imagine sitting at home a ton, just chillaxing. I would like to a little bit for sure hahahah but being a bum just isnt gonna work out.

This week was amazing and full of spiritual experiences that I don't have time to write about because I always use all of my time to individually respond to people! haha sorry! Just know that I love you all and I LOVE my mission!!! Time is passing by too quickly and the privelge to be a respresentative of Jesus Christ is just that, literally a privledge! 

Sister Neal 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ward Mission Leaders Family really watch out for the Missionaries
Sure grateful for that.

Alina and her Companion Sis. Goncalo

Pictures from September 19th, 2016

Another pic this week of her district.  The missionary she is
training is all the way to the left.  They must color coordinate
their dress of the day.

September 12th Picture

Alina's District....Missionaries in her area

Picture from September 12th

Puzzle they use to help teach the Plan of Salvation

Alina with Ward Mission Leaders Family. 
Really loves them.  They are all so kind.