Monday, April 25, 2016

Alina's Letter to Mom:
(Read to the end...crazy how small this world is)_ :)
Yeah life is just crazy as always here too! hahahah!
I lead music every once in a while, but something really cool we did yesterday that I actually loved was teach about the restoration to a less active and instead of reciting the first vision I sang "Manha Maravilhosa" oh how lovely was the morning, radiant beamed the sun above.... and so that was actually really cool and I still loooove to sing and miss having lots of opportunites to do it and to learn new music and such. 
!) My investigators are still dificult and still smoking and still not married, so somethings gotta give here....
2) theyre really nice! They are Sister Garcia and Sister Costas, both brasilians and super nice! 
3) So there are 4 Ap, Elder Sharpe, Elder Arvidson, Elder Veneziano, and Elder Cerqueira, and 4 Sister trianing leaders, Sister Alvez is the new one and Sister Henrique lima was my friend that went home recently that was one too. Then there are like 9 zone in the mission and yes, Elder Lindsey is one of them. Elder McFarland was a zone leader for a long time too, but ended his mission being our district leader. Funny story, we met his dad outside the mission office last monday when he was waiting to pick him up! hahahhaa so random! Oh hi, you speak enlish and youre elder mcfarlands dad! Also, he knows the Strouds and were really good friends with them in Georgia! Small world!!!
LOVE and miss you and so pumped to talk with you all soon WOOHHOOO!!!!

April 25, 2016

I believe this is a letter Alina received from Danielle who recently joined the church....

Bom dia !!! Sister, Amiga Neal ( já posso te chamar de amiga neh ! ) 
Arrumei meu pc e fui fuçar um pouco o facebook e entrei no seu rsrsr  linda modelo moderna rsrsrsr, vi um textão em inglês, até aí tudo bem, porém  um Danielle em maiúsculo me chamou a atenção comecei a ler e chorei, fiquei realmente emocionada. Vocês surgiram na minha vida do nada e esse *nada* hoje faz parte de um tudo, me sinto privilegiada por ter vocês em minha vida. Sei que estou no começo da minha jornada e não é fácil, Perseverar está sendo um verdadeiro desafio, mas vejo que vocês não desistiram de mim, Obrigada de coração.As visitas dos outros missionários realmente me fizeram bem. Temos um pouco mais de tempo e muito a aprender, fiquei mto feliz por poder ter vcs mais um tempo me ensinando e compartilhando nossas histórias. Sei que foi Deus que colocou vocês na minha vida e sou grata por isso. Me desculpe por ter sido relapsa esses tempos. to de volta. ( queria ter escrito em inglês mas não rolou kkkkkk )

Good Morning !!! Sister, Neal Amiga (since I can call you friend neh!)I packed my pc and I poke around a bit facebook and entered your rsrsr beautiful modern model rsrsrsr saw a textão in English, so far so good, but one Danielle capitalized caught my attention started reading and I cried, I was really thrilled. You came into my life of nothing and that * nothing * is now part of all, I feel privileged to have you in my life. I know I'm at the beginning of my journey and not easy, Endure being a real challenge, but I see that you did not give me, Thank you for coração.As visits from other missionaries really did me good. We have a little more time and a lot to learn, I mto happy to have you guys one more time teaching me and sharing our stories. I know it was God who put you in my life and I am grateful for that. I'm sorry for being lax those times. I'm back. (I wanted to have written in English but not rolled kkkkkk)

Monday, April 18, 2016

                               Again, the spray painted wall that says I love you forever....
                                             Youth in her Ward where she is serving
                                Young family who is finally going to get married. 
                             Means "I love you forever:......I guess she really does love all of us. 
                               By the way, she DID NOT do the spray painting. :)))

Alina love's Sister Lima. She goes home tomorrow 4/19.

                       Another picture with Sis. Lima.  Anyone tell the difference in hair color.

Alina with Sister Henrique Lima

                           Alina spending some time with her BFF Missionary Training Buddy.
                                       Sister Henrique Lima.....goes home on 4/19/2016
So neither I nor Sister Rodrigues were transferred! hyahahhaaha third transfer together in the same area. This is like Boa Esperança all over again, I think I'll end up only having worked in like 4 areas during my entire mission. Or maybe its because theres always less actives and investigators saying, "We're praying so hard that you won't leave!!!" Looks like prayer works people because no one ever stays with the same companion for more than two transfers and this is the second time its happened with me! But I'm happy because I truly love it here and I feel wayyyy too comfortable and at home here, so I thought for sure I'd be transferred. But the big news is that both of the Elders that were here with us were transferred and they're sending two more Sisters! Four Sisters in one ward only! They're going to open the area, meaning that its going to be a Sister Garcia (I dont know who she is) and shes going to arrive tomorrow with sua filha, a newbie that shes gonna train, aka the same thing I did with Sister Rodrigues here. So we shall see how it goes! 
Why are these boys such dipsticks? Has anyone already sat down and said that theyre going down a road that leads to just a cruddy life and that they'll never find happiness if they keep acting like this? Thats pretty much what we do with any investigator that isnt keeping the commandments hahaha! 
Life is good and I'm good! I'm good on shoes, but the black ones you all sent are a little small, so I dont knowwhat to do or if I should just start using them andthey'll loosen up. We'll see!
I dont know when we'll be calling, but we'll talk with the ward members and such this week and figure it out! 

Sister Neal 

Also, for Mothers day I need you to creat a Skype account for me, because I dont even have one hahhaaha! So just create one and, I'm not sure how it works, but add my skype as a friend on your skype (or however it is) and send me the user name and password for my skype and all should go well on Mothers Day. I dont know where were gonna talk or at what time so this week we'll be figuring it out!!! 
All is well here in Brasil just sooo hooootttt! And so many people that are ready for baptism, but have to get married and are waiting for documents, or permission from parents/their 18th birthday and blahhhhhhhhhh! I need to start praying and fasting for more miracles! I know that I'm here in Areia Branca for a THIRD TRANSFER for a reason, so I need to get to steppin to realize all the work we've been building up for two transfers here. oohhhhh life!
Also read Alma 32!!! Its the best and the other day I fully understood what he was saying about the seed and the tree being our testimonies! So many times we leave our testimony to the side, because like a tree it looks fine and all grown and such, but we stop watering and nourishing it (stop doing even the small things like praying and missionary work) and somebody when a storm comes by or the hot sun scortches the tree is going to fall and die and its not because it wasnt a good tree it is because WE didnt care for it properly! Love it!!!! 
From what I've learned on the mission, if you're relaxing you're probably not doing the work of the Lord hahahhaha Keep on pulling the cart, Dad!!! 
LOVE YOU DAAAADDDD!!!!! Good luck with your bicycle and take care of yourself!
Sister Neal 

(I kept getting small e-mails as she was thinking of all the things going on that week.  :)))  Pictures above)

She also gave me that pink skirt, what a PAL

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 1:06 PM, Alina Neal <> wrote:
WE had splits with the Sister Training Leaders, aka I hung out for the day with Sister Henrique Lima, one of my bffs in the mission hahahah She goes home tomorrow ah! 

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 1:05 PM, Alina Neal <> wrote:
This means "I love you always and forever" LOVE YOU GUYS 

A less active lady that we reactivated and we're now teaching her "husband" live in guy for like 7 years on or off, but hes actually really good and they're gonna get married now WOOHOO!!! LOVE THEM! 
Some kids from the ward 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

                                   Think the sun is changing the color of her hair?  WOW...
                                             I was wondering if she had Supergirl eyes...
    We believe she is reading something in the class, but concerned about the Sister on her right:)
                                    Seems pretty intent as she listens to instruction given
                                          Alina with Sister Rodrigues at a Mission Trng

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Letter to Dad:

Transfers are next Monday, because this transfer is only 5 weeks and the next one too in preparation for the new presidente coming in (Step-dad Obata as some Elders said the other day ahahhahaha) so that there isn't a transfer the same week he arrives. ahhaha That would be too much! But, WOW two transfers in Areia Branca have almost passed and it feels like I've only been here a couple weeks! I seriously love this área and I already know I'm going to cry a bit saying goodbye to Danielle and some other peeps. I think I'm going to be trasnferred just because I'm way too comfortable here. If you're confortable you're not learning and you're not progressing, so we shall see. Who knows, maybe I'll stay here and train again!
I WOULD LOVE SOME COLDER WEATHER. Not gonna lie, it took a while, but now I just sun screen, on my face at least, every day. This sun is horrible and sometimes its so hot you just feel like you're gonna die in the street. It just makes you feel lazy honestly and I do my hair every day and it just gets completely sweaty and disgusting within an hour, so why I'm even putting in the effort, I don't know! It's "Autumn" now here, but this autumn is more like the hottest summer I've ever experienced. Everyone says last winter they only pulled out the coats one day, so that's comforting. We have one investigator who lives in the favela (like the ghetto, but not exactly. You need to google search to see what a favela really is. We don't have it in the US.) and so there's just all sorts of iniquity, drug selling, and horrible, loud music happening all the time and she said to us that the sun here is a preparation for Hell. She said it so seriously that I actually just died laughing hahahahhaahha!
I didn't even realize that mothers day is coming so soon!!! Where does the time go??? Suddenly I'm just going to be arriving home crying because of the cold. Gonna be good!
Hope all is well with you all!!! Life here is good!
Love and misss you tonnnzzz
Sister Neal

Letter to Mom:

HI MOM!!! I got his email last week but it was the last thing I read and I didn't have time to respond, but I loved it! SO EXCITED to get his real letter! Woohoo!!! We just bought these dresses in little shops here, like if you look there's Always some kind of dress that Works well and is long enough. I'm in love with that blue dress, not gonna lie! I do exercises in the morning, but WOW I need to get better. I stretch and do sit ups and stuff, but it isn't doing much for me. We tried setting the alarm for 6am every morning last week to have time to go running, but every morning we woke up and said, nope, until 6:30 hahahah I TRIED. I didn't leave my bed, but I tried. Oh man mom, I don't think I'm like super chunky but for sures have gained weight, but the members during lunch or Always like, "Eat more! Eat more! You all walk so much and you're Young! You need to eat more!" There are days where after leaving from lunch to go proselyting I have to sit down for a few minutes because of the weight in my stomach and pain. NEVER FORCE THE MISSIONARIES TO EAT A LOT because it doesn't mean they don't like your food, they're just NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS WHO AREN'T SUPER HUNGRY SOMETIMES. But, we're trying to eat less and not offend any irmãs in the process hahaha oh LIFE!
What did Marcelo tell you about the orphange? Thats super interesting!
We had a great zone conference with presdient where we talked about that conference "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts" and really what stuck with me is that repentance is a key part of everything we teach. It doesn't matter if we're talking about the Restoration or Tithing, we have to teach repentance and help the investigators realize that they NEED to repent. I loved how much they talked about repentence and the Atonement in Conference. Man, general conference is TOO GOOD!!!!
I loooove youuuuu mooooommm!! One day we will visit my mission and you can meet all these nice women who fed me so much and try to be my mom since I'm far from home;)
Much love,
Sister Neal

Monday, April 4, 2016

                                        All the Missionaries in the Sao Vicente Stake Brazil
                                      Alina with her companion and ward friends

                                 Alina with her mission companion Sis. Rodrigues on Easter
                                      Alina with fellow missionaries at General Conference
Alina with fellow missionaries and new convert Danielle
                                                 Watching General Conference

Answers to questions I asked Alina; (Dad)

1) Sister Rodrigues was baptized when she was like 9 years old with her mom and brother, but they went inactive quickly and she returned to the church by herself about 4 or five years ago, so shes the only active member in her family! Its been good, because she has experiences and understands the perspective of some things of investigators that I dont get. 
2) We watch all of them of course!!! I looooove conference! Too good foreals! I'll never forget how Presidente Uchtdorf was crying about that british mans talk about refuges. I wanna know what he was thinking, man!
3) Dont worry hahhaha we always have the Liahonas in portuguese and english, so i'll pick one up from the mission office in a few week or our zone leaders will bring them to a zone conference in a few weeks. 
I shared that story with Danielle this week about you in the store!  
My old companion Sister A. Santos is from Belem, Brazil so I know she is pumped that theres going to be a Temple there! I think they generally always had to drive like 9-12 hours away for a Temple, so thats going to be a huge blessing for them! So exciting!! Conference really just is the best! Loved it!!!!! Its always fun for us too as missionaries to see all the other missionaries and spend the day being spiritually rejuvenated and not walking so much in the hot sun for a couple of days. Yesterday it was in the mid 30's, celcius of course, and not a cloud in the sky. I've gotten used to being sweaty literally ALWAYS so thats fun, but wow I'm almost excited for winter, though winter in Santos is actually just a joke and doesnt ever get trully chillly hahahhaha! Love it! 

In reply to Mom's letter:

1) My favorite talks I dont even know!!! I LOVED Presidente Uchtdorfs talk about repentance and coming back to the fold of Christ! But honestly I just loved it all! It's hilarious how on the mission its been a completely different experience where I'm just glued to the screen and don't even notice that two hours have suddenly passed! I loved Elder Hollands talk at the end too because it was literally right in the moment when I was so sad thinking about how I wished we had General Conference every weekend and just didnt want it to end.
2) I think a lot of the members watch it in their homes, but the Stake really encourages them to go to the Stake Center to watch it and so theres a good number of people that go there (the majority for the Sunday Morning session hahhaaha) and thats where all of as missionaries go to watch as well, all of the missionaries serving in the stake of São Vicente, especially since we are supposed to take investigators to watch with us as well. Its really nice too because they set up a tv in an upper room for all the english speaking missionaries to watch us well so I got to watch in English which is so nice! I understand Portuguese, but it is always just so much nicer to hear in your native language and hear the actual voices of the speakers and their expressions. We as English speakers should never take for granted how lucky we are to have that and not to have the problems that sometimes happen as translators are dubbing over the english and technology and everything gets wacky sometimes. The Brazilian portuguese and technology for them Saturday was terrible, but luckily got all worked out for Sunday.
3) Danielle liked it a lot and said she had a lot of big answers to her prayers and questions like we said she would. Woohoo!!!:) And yes, thats her in the white dress at her baptism with us and yes she is BEAUTIFUL. She even said she's considering a mission and that it's something she'll pray about. SHE WOULD BE SUCH A GREAT MISSIONARY!!!! Love that girl foreals. 25 years old and a only been a member for one week and she watched all 4 sessions of conference and the womens session with us. Whats the excuse that some members who've been members for 20 years have? We also had a less active who's returing go to all the sessions too. Kawê is his name and oh hahahah what a special child that I'll have to tell you all about later. I gave your email to him to send some selfies he took of us to you and dad so hopefully you'll get those soon! 
5) Easter we worked as normally! Hahahah trying to talk about the resurrection with everyone! Its just sad though that for holidays, even Easter, the night before everyone just gets together to drink. Brazilians pretty much are ready to party at whatever moment and whatever day they dont have to work theyre drinking and dancing hhahahha
6) I''ll be praying for all of them!Haha
7) Yeah I heard about the bombing because Danielle and then some members told us all about it! It's true that I am thankful that terrorist attacks arent too common here hahaha but armed assaults in the street are way more common so you take what you can get, right?;) Promise that I've never been robbed or assaulted, though it is something that happens all the time here (stop worrying Mooooom), but I think people honestly treat us better knowing that we're missionaries of God. Something that Brazil does respect is God, so thats nice!
9) The shoes are in the mission office watiting for me for sure! 
For me it was just yesterday! I forget that I have almost 8 months (WHAT) in the mission and that life changes on the outside. Coming home is going to be WEIRD. 
Life is good and I'm eating good and happy and loving life!