Nicole's Blog

Nicole's Blog

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Letter #2 from 5/26/2014

Hey everyone! Happy Memorial Day! (I hope it´s memorial day...I´m actually not really sure...but happy day anyway!)

This week was kind of disappointing, one of those weeks where no one decided to keep that was annoying. But we had the opportunity to make a lot of new investigators, and we´re learning to be more persistent. So that was a blessing. :)

The power here in Barcarena likes to go out city-wide...a LOT. So we were at our final lesson of the day on the other side of town, it was already past 9 so we needed to basically run home, and the lights went out...toootal darkness. So that was awful...There was no way to run because we couldn´t even see our hands in front of our faces, and the roads here are more pothole than road. So we were lost in the middle of the road on the opposite side of town, about to miss curfew. So...we walked super slowly, trying to guess which way our house was, and then we decided (later than we probably should have) to say a prayer. We asked for a way to be able to make it home on time safely. Right when we said amen, out of no where a guy on a motorcycle stopped and said he´d ride slowly next to us and be our light. And we made it home like a minute before 9:30. So, this might sound like a really small thing to you guys, but it truly was a miracle to us, and a good learning experience. Heavenly Father is aware of us in every single situation, especially in the dark. If we just turn to Him, He will provide a way for us to get home when we´re supposed to.

But yeah, that doesn´t change how annoying it is to have inconsistent power, haha. But oh well. :D

Oh, another cultural thing for this week, people here point with their´s actually really hilarious. At first I thought that everyone was just super twitchy, but no, they´re POINTING at stuff. hahah, I love it. And when something is really far away, they´ll purse their lips and inhale really deeply. It cracks me up every time, I love it :D

So I was reading in 2 Nephi 28, and the last verse hit me pretty hard. Heavenly Father LOVES US, guys! I won´t quote it, you can look it up, (v. 32) But seriously, it blew my mind. Heavenly Father talks about how he knows that His people will reject Him...which we do every time we sin...but He says that if we will just repent and follow Christ, His arms are ALWAYS extended. He is just waiting for us to act. I´m so thankful for my loving Savior who made all of this possible, and I´m thankful for my Father in Heaven.

Tchau for now, have a good week!

Sister Neal

Letter #1 from 5/26/2014

So for some reason, this week the words ´diligence´ and ´leadership´ wouldn´t leave my mind. And that really freaked me out, because I do NOT wanna be a leader. Nonononot at alllll. But, because the words wouldn´t leave me alone, I decided to study. So I looked up lead, leader, and leadership in the TG, and I wrote down and read EVERY single scripture, and then wrote down attributes of a leader that I found. This was definitely inspired guys, because I would NEVER do that on my own. But the verse that I found and learned from the most was Jacob 1:19 and it says,

And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads IF we did not teach them the word of God with ALL diligence, wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments, otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.´

So, obviously, that´s super duper powerful, and it really hit me hard. We are ALL leaders. Every single missionary is one...and you guys too. But mostly me because it´s my calling, haha. I am here as a representative of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He was a shepherd, a guide, and that is my job. If I don´t work with ALL diligence teach these people, the guilt is MINE. So, This really opened up my eyes, and I´m working harder than ever to serve, teach with the spirit, and to really love these people. I´m learning to be more direct with them too. I am learning so much.

Also, this was the first time I received revelation without asking for it, haha. It was great.

But you guys too!! I heard a story in sacrament meeting this week. It is a boy relating a dream that he had about the premortal life right before he got his mission call.

So he was up there with his friend in the premortal life, and they were waiting for their calls to the earth. A messenger came and gave a call to each of them. The boy telling the story opened it first, and it said basically ´you will be born in the fulness of the Gospel, and you will have freedom and happiness. You will live in the United States.´ The boys cried with joy and were super happy for him. Then it was the other one´s turn. He opened his call, and it said basically, ´you will not be born in the gospel. You will live in a place that is very corrupted, and you will not have freedom. your life will be very difficult, and you won´t have the truth. you will live in Costa Rica.´

The boys cried and cried. The one who was going to live in Costa Rica said tearfully, Please find and help me.

So, the boy who went to live in the united states (the one telling this story) was waiting for his mission call. The call came in the mail, and it said that he would be going to Costa Rica.

While he was on his mission, he sent a letter back home. It only had four words on it. It said ´I found my friend.´

It is OUR job to be lights and to spread this wonderful Gospel. Our friends that we knew before this life are waiting for us to give it to them. It is a joyful thing! And this work is NOT done for ANYONE until we are all resting peacefully in Zion.

So, do your member missionary work! Who wouldn´t want this beautiful Gospel? It is a gospel of change. Everyone we know chose to come here before, and it is our job to help them remember. We´ll be their guides back home, and how great will be our joy.

Love you all!

Sister Neal

Monday, May 19, 2014

Letter from 5/19/14

Hey everyone!

This week has been cool!

There´s a lady in the ward who´s house we LOVE to go to because it´s surrounded by huge trees and MONKEYS LIVE THERE. And they jump around to all the different trees and it´s so cute! One day we ate there and the sister told me that I was eating her pet monkey...and I believed her and got really sad, and a little confused because the ´monkey´ tasted exactly like nasty horse meat...which it was. People here just love playing jokes on Americans. :P

Also, the dogs here are crazy. There are so many of them, it´s like they have their own civilization. They leave us alone and they It´s weird.

We taught an unmarried couple about the law of chastity...and in the end, my companion told them that they needed to get married or he proposed right then and there and they´re planning on getting married at the end of this month, so that was cool! And pretty hilarious because it was so unexpected...but yay!

A MIRACLE happened this week! Remember Glory? Well her mom and brother did not like us at all. They didn´t like us teaching Glory or anything about the church. But after Glory was baptized, her mom wanted us to teach her. We were kinda scared, because she´s scary...but we did it. And really guys, she taught US the lesson. She told us that she´d already read and taken notes on the entire Book of Mormon, she´s studied all the pamplets, and she´s had her whole vision of life changed because of the Book of Mormon. It was AWESOME. And Glory´s brother came to church with us and adored it. So we´re working with them this week, and hope to have the baptism this Saturday. 

The Gospel really changes lives. Glory was an example to her family. They saw her light, and wanted it. Now they can all work together and be happy! I love this Gospel, and the miracles I see every week. 

Remember to be examples, keep the commandments and keep the faith!


Sister Neal

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2nd Transfer

Hey guys! 

This week was my 2nd transfer here in that means I´m half way done with training...and that is insane to me, I feel like I have way more to learn...I mostly feel like I have no idea what I´m doing a lot of the time. I like having someone to follow and tell me where our investigators live because I still don´t know how to navigate the area very well...but she´s gonna leave after this transfer...and I´ll be alllll alooone with a sister who doesn´t know the area either..but it´s all good...

So, before I left home, I said the funniest thing to mom. I said that I wanted to take a box or something to hold letters that I get, you know, to preserve memories and maybe even go crazy and make an album or scrapbook later. And she said, ´nope, you don´t have space.´ But NOW I know that she REALLY meant, ´nope, no one´s gonna send you any mail anyway.´ So...thank GOODNESS I don´t have a box. ;)

It´s so awesome being a missionary. We really get a front row seat to see the change the Gospel makes in peoples´lives. Glory was baptized, and we visited her the next day and she was just glowing. She looked like a different person, and she was crying because she´d never felt so happy. I love this work.

So, a lot of the times we underestimate the importance and value of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon truly does testify of the Bible, and in the words are clearer, more direct, and easier to understand. I was reading in 1 Nephi 13 the other day, and vs. 36 really hit me. The Book of Mormon contains our salvation. And we can choose to read it, and to follow our map back to our Father...or not. So, the Book of Mormon is priceless. It isn´t just for this life, it goes into eternity. I know that that Book is true. It testifies of Christ cover to cover, and if we follow it, we will have eternal life. I´m thankful for the diligence and obedience of the prophets, because of them, we have our salvation.

OH, so my companion and I almost got struck by lightning the other day, so that was pretty terrifying! Haha. We were just walking, and it was raining, and a lightning bolt decided to scare us and we saw it right next to us and we felt all fizzy and our hair was standing up and it was CRAAAAZY. But we´re all good. Haha.

We have a lot of potential for baptisms this week, so we´re working really hard. This work is real, and I´ve learned than when we´re 99% obedient we get blessings, but when we´re 100% obedient, we see miracles. Missão Brasil, Belém is truly a Missão de Milagres. And I love every second of my time here. Talk to you guys next week!


Sister Neal

 Awesomeness of the Amazon

This house pretty much sums up a lot of the houses here 

 Glory's baptism!

Baby Isadora 

 The fruit that makes chocolate

 Trying to preach the gospel to all the creatures of the world. He rejected it hahahah


 These boys are sooooo cute!



 My companion and I

 Another rejection


Monday, May 5, 2014

Letter From 5/5/2014

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty good! We finally moved houses, so we´re super excited about that. The 4 of us sisters in this district are living together and it´s great. We had a horse and a trailer and our hands to move all of our stuff, so that was an experience. But yeah, the house rocks! No mold, less bugs, and doesn´t smell like death :D

We had lunch fall through like 3 times this week which is super lame because everyone lives far away and we had to take a bus and they just said OOPS I FORGOT. but it´s all okay and we never get upset because we´re happy, starving servants of the Lord. No big deal. :P But it´s all good because my companion cooks like a champ. So we all survived.

The Catholic churches around here are insane. On Good Friday they were carrying crosses throughout the streets and chanting weird stuff. And we woke up yesterday to a huge parade of people dressed in white robes singing super loud songs about Jesus and Mary...I wish I could send you the video, it´s pretty ridiculous :P Fireworks too. They go pretty crazy here.

So, I told you guys that story about Glory and our difficulties getting her to church last week, and how she wanted to be baptized on, everything was going great, we went to her house every day, followed up with her on how she was doing, and then on the day of her baptism, she decided she didn´t want to anymore...WHAT. So that was pretty sad. We fasted for her, we prayed for her, we followed up everyday...we did everything we could...and still she didn´t want it. So we were bummed out,and put everything in the Lord´s hands. Then on Sunday when we picked her up for church, she was basically running at us saying she wanted to be baptized right then :P she was super excited and wouldn´t stop talking about it. So right after church, everyone stayed and we had the baptism. It was a pretty neat experience, definitely a miracle. We learned that we teach our investigators that God gives us trials of faith a lot of the time, and we just need to let Him handle things..and this was a trial of our faith and we didn´t even realize it. So we keep learning all the time!

One of our investigators has a kid that gets angry a lot...and every single time he gets angry, he storms off, grabs the Bible, and starts reading. And he´s only he can´t read...but he knows that the Bible helps us. So....when things are bad, follow Adriano´s example and read the scriptures! They help us :D

Until next week!

Sister Neal

Friday, May 2, 2014

LDS Chapel in Barcarena

With technology as it is, I can, as a dad, do Google Street View on my daughters area. I hope that this will bring a flood of wonderful memories when she comes home. I remember very well what I did on the streets of my mission, and I count those experiences as sacred.