Monday, February 29, 2016

Alina's collage when explaining the gospel

Feb. 29, 2016 Pic - All that walking can get to your toes!! :(

Feb 29, 2016

You better help the missionaries out, because missionaries are the best! I am glad to here that you guys agreed when the missionaries asked if they could use your names when going to contact them, because that is one of my biggest pet peeves when you ask members for references and the members say, "Well you could visit this person, but you're not gonna tell them we sent you right?!?!" Why is everyone so afraid of missionary work???? You would be helping in the work of salvation! Do you want your friends and loved ones to go to the Celestial Kingdom? Wouldn't anyone want to be a part of helping someone get baptized? For sure before the mission I had a lot of the same fears, but now I don't know what I was so afraid of! Tell everyone about the church and send the missionaries to literally every person you know! You never know who is ready or needing it right now, so just send the missionaries and keep on sending! In the world wide training they talked about how a much greater percentage of baptisms come from references from members rather than our own finding as missionaries. Imagine what would happen if every member gave a reference or two every month. So many more of our friends and neighbors would be baptised, thats for sure. Don't be ashamed of the Gospel, people! It's the best thing you have in your life!!!! 
Well thats my rant for today hahahaha way to go for giving references, Dad! Never let the missionaries leave without giving them at least one address, at least one person to visit. They should ask, but if they don't, remind them hahahha! 
Honestly just keep praying for our investigators here, especially Bruno. He is feeling the Spirit so strongly and knows its true but is giving into fears about leaving his old life behind. My district leader (thats in our area too, so he knows all of our investigators that have gone to church) asked if we needed anything (they ask every day so I like to think of fun responses hahaha) and I said it would be great if he could just throw Bruno in the baptisimal font for me. He suggested that we do it in the polluted canal closer to Brunos house, so maybe that'll happen this week. 
THanks and love and miss you TONZ!!!!
Sister Neal 

I totally cried when I saw the pictures of Nahiomi coming home! hahahhaa I cant believe 18 months have already passed for her, and that 6 months have already passed for me! The time on the mission truly flies foreal. I can't wait to come home and actually talk to her! hahahah Looks like you cooked plenty of food the other day. And you thought you were busy when you had only 7 kids in the house at the same time. ;) Its funny because people are always asking me how many kids I want to have (investigators and such) when I say I love children and I usually answer, "Oh, well atleast 5, like 7 maybe" and everyone looks at me and talks about how crazy Americans are, but foreal I MISS HOLDING BABIES SO BAD. Its the worst rule ever!!!! 
Tell Sister Arteaga that I love and miss her so much and tell her to tell Yoselin to write me! 
This week I dont have tons of time, mainly because I have another space bar not working, but thanks for everything and I love that picture of Nahiomis feet! hahhaha Literally all of us!!! 


My feet are good now but they had some issues hahahah
A collage I made and cut into a puzzle to explain how the gospel has many parts

Monday, February 22, 2016

Alina at her Zone Conference 2/2016 Thank goodness for Dr Rich and Dr Babcock :)

Chapel where Alina attends Church in Areia Branca....and 13 year old convert that the Elders Taught.

Letters from 2/22/2016

Yeah, we had no idea that this was happening with emails, so good to know! haha! AH YOU HAVE TO GIVE NAHIOMI A HUG FOR ME AND SEND ME PICTURES AND VIDEOS OF THIS!!! Thats crazy that shes coming home! Man! Time does truly fly! I mean, how crazy is it to think that in less than a year now I'll be home?? Life is good here in the good ol Missão Brasil Santos! I've been truly focusing a lot on following the Spirit and it has been amazing how he fills our lives with inspiration and important moments if we just let him and ask for his help. Missions really are the coolest! Personally I think every boy and girl should serve, but hey thats just me I guess. I realized how much I'd learned about the scriptures last night when we went to teach a pesquisadora and she was there with two friends from church. They all "frequent the Baptist church" and this kid of like 17 anos knew his stuff from the Bible! It was awesome, because he truly had questions about our message (The Restoration) and tried to use the Bible a couple times, but I was like, yes that scripture says that about that, but it is referring to this and those are not the same things and he got all pensativo (pensative, thoughtful? What is the word in english that I'm trying to use here?). Not to be arrogant, but it felt good to actually recognize some scriptures and use others in my teaching. I love the scriptures more and more everyday, foreals! Not much new here, truly! Life is good and I'm happy! I LOVE gettting all those photos you guys send. Also, I love the letters you send me, Dad! They're the best especially since it costs an arm and a leg to print emails, and everyone loves getting a real letter in the mail. Tell Sister Baraclough that I got her letter and thank you! I loved it!!
Keep on keeping on and keeping on sharing the Gospel!!! Wooohooo!!!!

Muito muito muiiiiiiito AMOR,
Sister Neal  

So I didn't even know that email was having problems! hahahaha Sister Cabral didn't say anything to us about it! I received some things, but no pictures of the new furniture and such!!! I wanna see that! I sent out emails too the past couple weeks, so that kinda stinks that maybe nobody got what I sent, but oh well hahahah I don't even remember what I sent in all honesty! Life is good here in Areia Branca, just the usual missionary life ya know. Sister Rodrigues and I are good friends and I'm trying to get better at correcting things that need to be corrected and we do practices and stuff (nobody likes practices, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do hahaha). The area president has said that every dupla of missionaries should baptise every month, so thats been stressful since we arrived here and only had a couple existing investigators to work with and they weren't exactly goldens....but we've been working SO HARD to find new investigators and finally we have one guy, Bruno 23 years old, that we are trying SO HARD to get him baptized this Saturday. Please pray for him that he'll recognize the Spirit answering that this is what he needs to do and that he is ready for baptism. It's good here that a lot of people understand that baptism is an important thing, but its hard too, because lots of times they get scared that they won't continue afterward and such. Also, he's a pretty shy guy so he's afraid of feeling uncomfortable going to church by himself and such, but he really is just great! I don't know why, but in our lessons with him I always feel the Spirit SO strongly and I know he's feeling it too, but has a hard time accepting it. This Sunday the Principles of the Gospel class was about the Spirit and one guy shared an experience about how he was fighting feeling the Spirit and accepting the invitation for baptism for a long time, but finally one day as he was praying with the Elders he felt it in a way that he couldn't deny and was baptised. I hope Bruno was listening to that story and thinking! hahaha!!! 
So, I don't know if you have the right Elder and the wrong name or what, but the Elders that are here with us are Élder Glover and Élder Damasceno. They had the baptism of a 13 year old girl (Sabrina! So cute and awesome!) this Sunday and we never taught her, but she wanted a picture with all of us, so here it is hahahaha! He's more attractive in real life, but also I hope I'm not as fat as I appear in this picture too. Whoops!!! 
My feet are doing fine truly! But if you guys wanted to buy new Dansko black shoes in size 38 for me I would accept them! Just not horribly ugly and not too bulky, cuz thats hard and tiring when you're walking a ton. 
Sister NEAL 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Alina at her Zone Conference Training

Alina's first Trainee, Sis. Rodriquez from Brazil

February 6th - Letter on a Saturday because of Carnaval on 2/8 and 9

Well thats actually not my chapel, so I'm not sure where you're looking! hahaha! Our chapel is on Rua Afonso Schmidt in Areia Branca, São Vicente. Life is going good!  This área is about 3 times the size of Boa Esperança so there's plenty of places to go as well to find new people. We live in an apartment on the fourth floor, so its way up there, but we didnt have to carry our bags hahahah! There are actually two sets of missionaries in this Ward, so we share the área with a set of Elders. They met us at our apartment when we arrived (the mission paid for a taxi) and they carried all of our bags up (including my two GIANT, terribly heavy suitcases), so I will be forever grateful to them ahhahah! Also, its nice because if we don't know where something is they can explain since they've already been here for one transfer together. All in all, life is good! The Bishop here is awesome and wants to help with the work and be involved, so that makes everything easier. Leaving Boa Esperança was sad, though! I said goodbye to Vera (who we baptized last week) and her daughter Raquel (another investigator) and Raquel just cried and cried and cried and cried hahahha I cried a little bit too! It was sad, but I'll be writing them letters to check up on them. I almost cried to saying goodbye to my Ward mission leader hahahha! João was like my brother there in Boa Esperança so it was pretty dang sad leaving him too, but he bought me a book he said I'll love and will be sending that to me one day, so I'll something to remember at least haha!
I got your chocolates and card! DAD YOU ARE TOO MUCH!!!! But I really loved it and shared my candy with all the missionaries that were in the mission office when I was there waiting to meet my greenie. Elder Sharp and Elder Hesselgesser (both Americans) saw and were like, "SEES!!!!" hahahaha everyone loves Sees Chocolates!!!
LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SOOOO MUCH DADDY!!!!!! Until next monday (gonna be more than a week inbetween letters;( )

So, I had to throw out my black Dance-Co shoes because of only one problem. Turns out I walk on the sides of my feet and the sides of the bottoms of my shoes wore down so much (since we walk a lot hahaha) that I had to throw them out because my shoes were automatically leaning to the side and I was constantly almost turning my ankle. But my other shoes are still fine, so we're get! I may have had an in grown toenail, but I took care of that and the toe was bleeding a lot, but its healing now and I put disinfectant and bandage it every morning before going out. It was hurting a lot, but foreals getting better now! hahahah of feet and the mission are a glorious thing! Sister Oliveira is good, but her feet are pretty terrible. Shes working in Santos now and they can only go out for a few hours each day because of the pain, but so far so good. 

So I know this is a surprise that I'm writing on a Saturday, but it was a surprise for us too ahhaha! Carnaval is this Tuesday so we have to stay inside all Monday and Tuesday since Carnaval means  just everyone getting drunk and dancing naked in the streets. Some áreas are worse than others, but literally there are many women that just paint their bodies with glitter paint and dance naked on the parades and such. There are no rules. I'll be reading A LOT this week, so I'm actually pretty excited for that. There was a book in our apartment called Doutrinas de Salvação or Doctrines of Salvation from I think Joseph F. Smith and the one I'm reading is the third of three books and MOM YOU HAVE TO BUY THESE. He talks about the deep doctrine of so much stuff and what I'm reading now talks a lot about the second coming and it is just one of the most interesting and enlightening things ever. I heard that these books are hard to find now, at least in Portuguese, but if you looked on Amazon or somewhere else on the internet Im sure you'll find them. SO GOOD foreals! Mas, tudo bem, estou feliz e vou parar de reclamar porque preciso agir como Cristo agiria......
My companion is good! Shes like 28, so its actually really weird to train her since I feel a little bit like a child, but shes not terrified to talk to people and do contacts in the street, so that makes my job easier. I know I need to correct some things more to help her improve, but thats hard for me to do with someone whos used to being an adult and doing her own thing anyway. She is really nice though and it's been good so far honestly! We also share our área with a set of Elders and so its been really fun eating lunch all together and having them help us find roads when we dont know where we are. Also, they carried all our suitcases up three flights of stairs to our apartment, so I appreciate these guys hahhaha! One of them is an American that kind of looks like a movie star, but I'm getting used to it now, but its like shocking for a minute every time we see them, but its all good hahahaha! 
Its also nice to have lunch with tall Elders because the Irmãs expect them to eat a ton and dont force me to! woohoo!!! Maybe I'll finallly lose some weight!!

LOVE YA!! Tchau!!!!

Sister Neal

Monday, February 1, 2016

Alina's Latest Baptism

Alina Teaching Family of New Convert

February 1, 2016 (Trainer in a new Area)

IVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO TRAIN AND OPEN AN AREA!!!! AHHHH! I'm so terrified and feel competely unqualified, but thats okay, vamos ver, né? I'm going to be working in Areia Branca and I'll meet my new companion tomorrow and I'm sure you'll be seeing plenty of pictures on facebook when we meet and such hahaha!
I LOVE ALL OF THESE FOTOS AND SEEING EVERYONES LIFE! Those children are all just too cute and I always laugh out loud at pictures like those dress up ones hahahhaha. 
That was a zone conference like two months ago I think. Lets just say, I think I remember what I was thinking in that last picture where I'm sticking out my tongue and everyone looks a little disturbed/ticked hahahha! GOOD TIMES ON THE MISH!!!!
I loved the family newsletter by the way! 

BIG NEWS! Turns out I won't spend my entire mission in Boa Esperança. We had regular transfers this week and it turns out I am going to open an area in Areia Branca and also....I'm going to train!!! Seeing as I only have 5 months of the mission and Portuguese under my belt, I am pretty terrified, but I learn to trust in the Lord more and more every day. I loved being with Sister A. Santos, so I'm sad we only had 3 weeks together, but I am pretty pumped to get to know a new area, new zone, new ward, new EVERYTHING. Its funny because I had a feeling this was going to happen, in all honesty I kind of new, but it was still a little shocking and terrifying nonetheless when I found out. 
We had a GREAT baptism this Saturday after teaching repentance and we were able to baptise a convert;) Vera is SO special and it has been an honor to see her grow and see her family there to support her  (who we've also been teaching.) Veras already been studying Preach My Gospel, so shes a keeper! I'm heading to their house soon to tell them I'm leaving and lets just say there will be tears shed. This family has become a little bit like my family here in our area and I'm going to miss all of them so much!