Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

                                              Alina taking a personal selfie.  Said they
                                              really do use the iron sometimes.  Makes a
                                                     great shelf.

March 28, 2016

                                                    Alina at her apartment outside

March 28, 2016

I love all these pictures!!!! Life is good and this week was GREAT! I'm going to write a group email, so sorry this is so short, but you'll read about my life with the group at least hahha LOVE YOU DAD! I wrote you and mom a letter today so hopefully youll get that soon:)

Life on the mish! 
Selfie with our apartment hahhaa as you can see, we dont 
iron very much, but the ironing board is still useful 

                           Alina with her first companion and her companions new missionary
                                    Alina with her companion and convert Danielle

March 28, 2016

This was an amazing week foreals! On Saturday we had the baptism of Danielle, the amazing 25 year old girl that I met a few weeks ago when we were running down the street to go home. It was my most Spiritual baptism thus far and one of the best experiences of my mission too. I'll never forget the look on her face as she left the water, walking up those 4 steps toward me. She had this dazed look on her face and I just grabbed her into a super wet hug hahahha. I already had some tears in my eyes and I asked her, "How do you feel?!" She tried to explain and just started crying and I hugged her again. I felt the same way and teared up a lot as I watched her be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost the next morning at church. She's truly someone really special and I can't wait to return to Santos, Brasil one day to see her get married in the temple or leave for a mission! She is so special and someone I've connected with a lot.
Also we had a great mission conference this week and a lot more spiritual experiences as we talked about Christ and all he truly did for us. Our objective in this life isn't just to follow Christ, it is to turn our will over to Him and become like Him. When we were baptized we promised to take His name upon us, so we've already made the choice, already used our agency. Now, we just have to recognize what is right and DO IT. Presidente and Sister Cabral really are awesome! 
I hope everyone had an amazing week and ate as much as I did this Easter;)
Love you all!!!!

Sister Alina Neal 

Monday, March 21, 2016

I just love Elder Holland! This is funny because last night I was thinking about how much I would like to bring him to visit investigators with us. How could you say no to Elder Holland?!?! You just cant!!! I am super excited for General Conference next week too! hahahaha Dad you just got to know so many famous people this week!!!
Danielle, the girl that I talked about last week is AMAZING! SHES GOING TO BE BAPTISED THIS WEEK! After 8 days she said to us, "I truly feel that I should be baptized. Do you all think I'm ready?" She is truly one of those people that is an elite of the Lord like it talks about in Douctrine and Covenants! I love her and I KNOW one day shes going to marry a cute RM in the Temple and man I wanna come back for that!!!
Bruno just continues to be a sad story and truly he just doesn't have the desire to change. We did everything possible, but he finds more and more excuses every day about why he can't be baptized and why he can't keep the commandments. The worst part is that he said to us that he knows one day he is going to regret not being baptized. Pretty much we dont visit him much anymore and its super sad, but we tried so much and so hard and teaching Dani now, I've learned the difference between teaching people who are truly prepared and people that you have to push in the baptismal font. It is sad though to see how people use their agency for the worst sometimes. All we can do is pray sometimes!!!
Life is good here honestly! Oh! I wanted to ask your advice on a situation where theres an 17 year old boy whos been going to our ward here for a while and whom we thought was a member until the other day when we found out that his parents wont let him be baptized. He's of age now where he could anyway soon, but he really doesnt want to go against their wishes and its the type of situatioon where they would kick him out of the house and cut all ties and missionaries have tried and tried and his dad usually doesnt even listen, just goes to the room and locks the door....but they've never talked with Sisters so I'm hoping to make a difference here hahahha. They're SUPER catholic so this is the problem. I'm hoping to just be super friendly so that they'll at least listen a little to us and let their son be baptized, because he is AMAZING and truly has the strongest testimony!

Bahhahahah STILL laughing about Brittany's comment about mental illnesses! Eh, maybe it could be a good idea? hahahha love it! 
Dad got a personal email back from Elder Holland??? What???? Does this mean we're going to be mentioned in general conference? Did he share my mountain analogy with Elder Holland? Am I going to be famous? ;-) jkjkkjk
LIFE IS GOOD AND I LOVE AREIA BRANCA SO MUUUCCHHH!!! Truly, I just love this ward and I like this area a lot and I just kinda wanna stay here for the rest of my mission, but I know thats probably not an option! I gave a talk on how obedience to the commandments brings true happiness on Sunday and I loved studying for it. I based it off the first presidency message from Elder Eyring in the January Liahona. Too good!!! Tell Baylie congrats for me and make sure to send pics! Honestly in the mission I've become even more of a romantic than I already was, its terrible hahahah all this constantly talking about eternal families and temples and such and I'm just ready to get married as soon as I get home! hahahhaha
LOVE AND MISS YOU AND I AM HEALTHY AND GOOOOD!!!!! And spiritually SO GOOD!!! I'm pretty dang pumped for General Conference! Woohoo!!!


Monday, March 14, 2016

hahahaha I love that this story is becoming famous! Maybe with all these prayers Bruno will finally be baptised! We're trying! This week was a little hard, because I think I got sick with some sinus crud too! It has been raining a ton here, but the worst the flooding has been is up to our calves but thats actually fairly common here, so no worries. Nobody has been rafting down the street in Kayaks like they were in São Paulo! hahahaha I love Brasil!!! The other day my throat started to hurt and by the end of the night I had a horrible headache and as we were walking home in the rain I had a pretty intense fever happening and felt super week and achey. I never get a fever, so of course I was terrified that I had Dengue, but after sleeping that night I was better and now I just have some sinus pressure happening, so I dont know, but I'm good now! 
ALSO WE HAVE A NEW INVESTIGATOR DANIELI THAT I LOVE SO MUCH. She's 25 and literally if I wasn't a member she'd be me. Her story is also a miracle. A couple of weeks ago we were rushing to get home before 9 and so we were walking super fast down the street passing people and such and suddenly something stopped me in my tracks in front of a girl. I've never felt such a strong feeling before that I had to talk to someone in the street. I was walking so quickly and it felt honestly like someone pushed me to stop and talk to this girl. I thought she'd be afraid of me, because it happened all of a sudden. I was rushing down the street one second and the other second I was saying, "Oi! Tudo bem? Somos missionárias..." She was super receptive and was like "Yes! Come visit and talk to me!" I remember as we walked (ran haha) the rest of the way home I talked to Sister Rodrigues about how strange it was that I felt that I had to stop and talk to this girl. Fast forward a little bit later and now we're teaching Danieli, a girl who at the beginning of the week wasn't sure she believed in God and now has already gone to two church activities, Church, and is reading the Book of Mormon, all of the pamphlets and talks about how much she wants to believe. She wants an answer, a strong feeling in her heart and wants it to be true, but shes also a little bit of a skeptical person and always has a TON of questions, which I actually love. Its amazing, because all of her doubts and questions are things that I've personally struggled with and had to search to understand through doctrine and prayer. Today we had transfers and I am SO HAPPY to be able to stay here in Areia Branca to continue teaching and BAPTISE her! Tenho fé!!! I love life, I LOVE the mission and I ADORE this true Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Alina's Update March 7, 2016

Life is good and we've been finding some great new investigators this week! The only hard part is one of our investigators Bruno and truly his fear to let go of the life he was living and take harder, but more rewarding path of the Gospel. We were talking about the law of chastity with him (for the second time) and he said something like, "but its just so hard!" and he'd been complaining a little bit and acting like a child and I was just so mad hahahah! You know I'm not someone who gets angry often, but I was just so annoyed with the way he knew everything was true and just didn't want to put in the work to live it and I just got super serious and he could tell by my face that I was kind of ticked. I said, "Bruno, in life there are two roads. You can do the uphill climb and it's going to be hard. You're going to have to work constantly, but you're going to arrive at the top of the mountain with only happiness, seeing all you accomplished and seeing all the dangerous things you avoided with a clearer perspective. Or. You can take the road downhill and it's going to be easy. You're just going to have fun all the time and it is a path that doesn't take very long, but at the end you're at the bottom left with nothing, only able to look up and see all that you missed and it's going to be even harder to arrive at the top once you've realized what you've done. Only two roads, Bruno, but it's your choice." He started thinking a lot after that one and said, " made me think a little bit there." So I'm just praying that he finally works through these things and gets baptized already!!!! Life is good overall though and I'm happy!!!!

Sister Neal

My companion took this photo when we were walking down a reeeaallllly big hill (mountain kind of) that we had to climb to get to lunch.
My companion told me to pose hahahaha 

Thanks for your prayers! I'm trying to stay healthy, but WOW Brazilians like to fill you up with food and after you're so full you could throw up they say, "I hope you saved room for dessert!" hahahah but foreals this is why I'm a little chunky!!! 
SO GLAD YOU GUYS ARE ALIVE AND WELL!!!! Please don't die while I'm gone because that would be too traumatizing for me. Woohoo Mom! Way to be a missionary!!! I love that you told him to find a nice Mormon girl to marry hahaha I pretty much do the same thing with any male investigator when we talk about the Temple. I LOVE talking about the temple and eternal marriage with people, its pretty much the best hahha!!!
Does this mean I get the queen bed???? Did it fit in my room?  How is my room? Life is good here, with not much new stuff! Just one of the women in the ward had a dream that me and Elder Glover were in a horse drawn chariot together, so that was pretty entertaining when she told us (luckily just me and my companion, she didn't tell the elders) hahahha we laughed A LOT about that one. Keep praying for the investigators, especially Bruno, José, Gilmara, and Serigo e Paula and their boys Pedro e Thiago. 

much love,
Sister Neal