Monday, January 25, 2016

Alina's E-mail 1/25/2016

The mission conference was cool! The whole theme was that we need to truly focus on teaching repentence and baptise converts. Lots of leaders talked about following the spirit, how to study and all sorts of stuff and it was all from Preach My Gospel, so shows how important that book is since they were all literally quoting it! 
I had a dream the other night that you'll love hearing about. I dreamed that by some mistake with plane tickets or something I went home, like I had 10 months left to serve still but I went home. I was in my house and I was comfortable with my entire family but I was FREAKING out and started crying and just kept saying, "No! I have to go back! You dont understand, the mission changed my life! I have to finish my time! I have to go back!" I woke up from this dream soooo stressed hahahahaha but I realized that I truly do feel this way. It is hard and I'm always so tired, but I'm in love with the people and more importantly I'm in love with this work. We watched that mission broadcast the other day and Elder Dallin H. Oaks said that this is the most important work we can do in this life. That was intense to hear! It made me think about how I'm serving and how I want to serve, how I want to serve my mission like the Savior has commanded and that I'll only feel successful if I'm doing it in the way of the Lord and not MY way. We had an awesome experience with an investigator too. I sent it to Sister Cabral, so it is here in Portuguese, but I don't have time to write it, so you might wanna try and copy and paste it to google translate to see what happened! hahaha 
Depois do treinamento estavamos orando muito para saber quem em nossa área seria pronto para batismo este mes. Oramos e oramos e ficamos pensando sobre Vera, uma Senhora que temos estado ensinado por um tempo com a filha dela. Cada vez que tentamos convidar ela para batismo ela disse que não estava pronta, que ainda não sentia como foi seu tempo e tudo, mas estavamos sentindo que este semana deve ser a semana dela para ser batizada. Este dia durante estudo pessoal eu orei muito que o Espírito me guiaria para saber como ajudar ela perceber que deve ser batizada. Nem lembro a maioria das coisa que eu estudei este dia, mas eu senti que devemos compartilhar algumas escrituras sobre batismo. Fomos lá e falamos come nós sentimos que ela era preparada e como oramos muito para ela. Começamos ler as escrituras e demos a primeira a Vera para ler. Ele leu os 3 versiculos e parou e me olhou com olhos grandes e disse, "Eu li isso ontem. Eu estava olhando meu Livro de Mórmon ontem e de repente parei aqui para ler. Eu li isso ontem!" Era Alma 7:14-16 que fala que devemos entrar as aguas de batismo hoje. Ao fim da lição ela aceitou batismo para dia 30 deste mes e realmente foi uma experiencia muito legal. Estávamos tentando ser mais ousadas e confiar no Espírito e deu certo!!! 
My companion is good and talking with me way more! I love her already and shes funny when she talks and so we're honestly getting along good. My feet and legs and body hurt sometimes, but thats normal honestly. We're walking para caramba, so its natural. 
Glad to hear all is well on the homestead!!!

I wish I could be there for the baptisms and ordinations and all that! So cool! And I love to hear that our ward is growing! My companion is super sweet and we're getting to know each other fast because I'm ridiculous and have no boundaries hahahaha. Her last companion was really shy too so it was hard for both of them to work together, ya know? But we joke, I yell and sing a lot (as you know) and she's talking more during lessons. It's super scary being the senior and knowing your responsible for lots of things, but it's been good! The mission is hard, but it is so awesome and it sounds a little dramatic probably, but I've never been so happy I made a decision in my life. I pray for Brock and Brit and that new baby all the time!!! Everything will turn out okay!!!
I miss and love you tons and no matter how much I like the mission I'm still excited to come home and watch movies with you and just do nothing sometimes hahahaha 

Portuguese Translation of Alina's Experience:

After the training we were praying a lot to know who in our area would be ready for baptism this month. We pray and we pray and we were thinking about Vera, a lady that we've been taught for a time with her daughter. Each time I tried to invite her to baptism she said she wasn't ready, that still didn't feel like it was his time and everything, but we were feeling this week must be the week for her to be baptized. This day for personal study I prayed that the spirit would guide me to know how to help her realize that should be baptized. I don't even remember most of the things that I studied this morning, but I felt I should share some Scriptures on baptism. We went there and we talk about eats we felt that she was ready and as we pray a lot to her. We started reading the Scriptures and gave first to Vera to read. He read the verses 3 and stopped and looked at me with big eyes and said, "I read this yesterday. I was looking at my book of Mormon yesterday and suddenly stopped here to read. I read that yesterday! "it was Soul 7:14 -16 that says that we should enter the water of baptism today. At the end of the lesson she accepted baptism for 30 day of this month and it really was a very cool experience. We were trying to be bolder and trust in the spirit and it worked!

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016

Life is never dull! hahahah Still laughing that mom broke her phone;) 
News for this week! I am now the senior companion here in Boa Esperança with one Sister Santos! She is super sweet and cute, but insanely shy. She doesn't talk much and when she does talk it is very quietly and I have to lean in closely to hear. This is quite the change from Sister Oliveira who is loves to talk and is loud and insane like me. It was hard suddenly going from being with my trainer to trying to help someone else and lead, but it's been good. I've discovered that with more responsibility I've had to truly stop and think sometimes and I've grown more than I ever expected just in the past week. Some serious blessings (miracles, honestly) that have happened is that suddenly I'm understanding people WAY better, even our recent convert Antonio who is from the North east who has a way crazy accent. The Lord is blessing and I am praying A LOT!!! 
In other news, we have a mission conference this wednesday! For the first time in the history of the church the apostles are going to have a World Wide Missionary broadcast. That means that me and all my other friends who are serving in every other part of the world will be watching the same broadcast. I'm not sure whats going to happen, but this is BIG and will probably change the way we work as missionaries. I'm super excited! Also, super excited to see all the other missionaries that I'm friends with as well hahahaha Can't deny that I like socializing. Well that is about all for this week since we have less time now to write emails and I have approximately 5 minutes left until I have to go! 
Life is good, missionary work is hard, but IT IS WORTH IT!!! 

I LOVE AND MISS YA DAD!!! You can come take some of this heat hahahhaha it is hot and I am ridiculously tan and my hair is ridiculously blonde, so its pretty funny.

Até mais!!!
Sister Neal 

I am now THE SENIOR COMPANION WITH A GIRL WHO IS SUPER SHY. Presidente talked to me on the phone and was like, "I gave you this responsibility because I trust you" blah blah and now here I am with barely 5 months on the mission, trying to act like I know what I'm doing and help someone else gain confidence and learn how to be a better missionary...wut. We're still in good ol Boa Esperança and with LMA João, so I know if I have an emotional breakdown he will help us out hahahah! Have I mentioned how improtant it is to have a good ward mission leader???? Sister Oliveira is in Orquidaria in legit Santos the city now and shes good! Shes doing physical therapy and hopefully improving. I miss her TONS, but its been good, because I'm growing now in different ways. I would write more, but we only have 90 minutes now of itnernet time (new rule wahoo!) and so I am rushing a LOT to read and respond to as many as I can! Tell all my siblings that I read their emails and would like to respond more, but didnt have time. THANK YOU EVERYONE! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE reading your emails and seeing the pictures!!!!
LOVE YOU tonssssss Mommy!!!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

January 4th Photo

Guess this is when you have had enough of your

Bishops house with their Ward Mission Leader

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

January 11, 2015

I love the "It is ALL true!" thing a lot!!! Thats something that I think is becoming more and more important, because I'm learning more and more about how many less actives we have in the church and so many of them fall away because of one commandment they don't want to keep or one piece of the doctrine that they don't agree with. My ward here has a frequency of like 70-90 people on a good day and SIX HUNDRED INACTIVES. We still meet new less actives all the time in the street when we're doing contacts and its so sad, because you know exactly that they've been baptized because they get this super guilty look on their faces when we introduce ourselves as missionaries. When I come home from my mission I just want to visit every inactive member we have in our ward and help them come back, because its so sad to think that they're not living to their fullest potential or their fullest capacity for happiness. Also, its even sadder to think about what they're sacrificing for the eternities, because they've been baptized and now aren't following.
One thing I know though is that you and Mom are the best for visiting and home teaching faithfully those members that haven't been going to church for years and never giving up, because as members thats one of our most important roles, taking care of recent converts and less actives. I've already seen how often recent converts become inactive because they're at a really fragile time where they're trying to get used to the church and all the new customs and trying to learn the doctrine and strengthen the testimony they have, but its HARD. You know its hard, because you've had the experience and you had Mom there at least always encouraging you to keep going, keep going to church, remembering the commandments, and such, but so many recent converts get lost because the missionaries that taught them got transferred and suddenly they don't have anyone visiting them and helping them to stay converted. There's always going to be inactives with ridiculous excuses for why they aren't going to church anymore, but we have to give them a chance to come back and feel what they once felt. I loooooove the talk from this last conference I think by Elder Uchdorf where he talked about analyzing if the gospel is "working for us." I truly have a testimony that the gospel is ALWAYS going to work for us and only lead us to happiness if we stay strong and just keep our covenants and continue going to church during the hard times, but its like the scriptures say, if we stop, if we withdraw, if we dont keep the commandments we have NO promisse. Well, thats my insane tangent for the day hahaha You can share this with the blog if you want, maybe it'll inspire someone to go out and visit even just a member they havent seen at church for a couple Sundays and bring them a little joy of the Gospel.
ITS ALL TRUE!!! hahhaha love it!!!! LOVE YOU and I miss you guys so much! I miss the easy life of being at home and dealing with normal struggles, because missions are harrrrrrrrd. I love it and I've never been so happy I made a decision, but it is still very hard haha

Muito amor,
Sister Neal

Almost forgot!!! Two more of the boys from the family of less actives we've been working with got baptized this Sunday! Woohooo!!!! It was awesome:) The other Sister is one of the Sister Training Leaders thats been with us for a few days. I'll explain all in my email to Mom now hahahah LOVE YOU

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January 4, 2016

Some recent excerpts from Alina's E-mails...Enjoy!  January 4, 2016

I love that Rich and Jill and the family is going to be in Carrollton to serve.  They will be so awesome.  A big, spiritually strong family can literally change the ward.  Life is so AWESOME and easier when you have a great Ward Mission Leader.  I told you about ours, Joao, who is only 24 and just got back from his mission in Buenos Aires one year ago.  He's awesome and organizes our baptisms and visits people with us like once a week, so it is SUHWEET! There is no such thing as too many pictures.  I really love pics.  Especially random ones taken throughout the week of fam and the house.  Is Champ still alive?  Nobody mentions him, so I'm a little worried he died and no one wanted to tell me.  (((I did advise Alina that Champ is alive and doing well)))  Write me real letters and send them to me some time.  Missions are awesome and I kind of think now that every girl should serve a mission (HaHA) but you can't go to make other people happy. 
Oh Mom, you would love my funny investigators hahahaha! They all like us because "we act natural and actually get to know them instead of just coming to their houses to teach them."  I think that's a problem here sometimes, we think so much about trying to baptize and forget that a part of loving these people is being their friend.  I love you all so much.
Muito Amor
Sister Neal

Sunday, January 3, 2016

December 25th, 2015

 Alina's District Mission photo at the Mission Christmas Party December 2015