My excellent family!
I think so often about our family goal to be EXCELLENT! i think we are little by little getting there as we each progress in the gospel with covenants and goals and sacred experiences. We'll get there as a family eventually! :) Well, i loved the emails mom and dad. you are both so thoughtful of me and i know you work hard and think lots about what to write. I hope you know that your emails are a source of revelation for me and that they have blessed me a lot. Dad, i don't know if you remember me saying this to you but it still stands. When you were in the middle of your cancer scare one of my biggest worries was missing out on YOU. i told you that i didn't want to miss out on you being at my graduation or my sealing, or my this or that and in that list i said i didn't want to miss out on your letters to me as a missionary. Thank you for taking the time to write me each week. i feel your prayers, and fasts, and love each week and it motivates me and gives me faith to keep on keeping on. I write quotes from your emails in my planners. thank you thank you thank you!
Well, it was a good week. Tansfers are tomorrow and i get to stay with sister jeronimo here in altavista! i'm glad we get to be together still. The only bummer i have about transfers is that one of the sisters i get to go on exchanges with, sister veazey, was called as a sister training leader which means i am not going to get to go on exchanes with her anymore but it's ok. I went on a few exchanges this last week and loved it!!!! it was a very positive experience and is always an invitation from the spirit to work hard everyday on an exchange or not. in my area or not. at the gas station at the store....everywhere! It's so fun to be a missionary. The funny things that happen are great but what is best are the miracles. The stake president here, president steadman said something like, "one of the biggest complaints from the youth in our stake is that they want to hear more of their parents mission experiences. What kind? not the funny stories but the spiritual moments." It's true. Kids love hearing the mission stories of their parents and siblings. i still remember one of janae's emails. i loved it because all she said was mission stories and mission moments that encouraged me. Thanks janae. Well, getting to the point. i love my life! yesterday i fasted for 2 things. the first was a companionship fast for frankie. his grandparents are really impededing his progress. they won't let him go to family home evening anymore and maybe not church either. They are threatening to kick him out of the house as well and so he's having trouble progressing. he hasn't been reading the book of mormon, we think because he is scared they will see it. but he came to a baptism and finally prayed. it's hard for him to pray. he even volunteered. So keep him in your prayers as well. As for the second fast, it's more personal to me and i find it embarrassing honestly but i was praying and fasting that the Lord would give me faith and strength to think more positively and know that i'm supposed to be here in altavista. This is considered a "hard area" because people are really rude to us here. it's hot and we're sweaty and we smile and testify from our hearts are persistent and give our best and they don't care. i was trying hard to push negative thoughts out of my mind to make sure not to get discouraged because it will weaken my faith. I know fasting brings power. The gospel is true and i feel a new brightness and hope for the future after having fasted yesterday.
Well, as for stake conference this saturday, what a great opportunity! I wish i could hear your talks or translate them maybe :) we did the translation for stake conference and it was hard! but it was good. What a neat topic you have! a few things came to mind right away and i'll just share a few thoughts. I don't know if it is world wide or just las vegas but lots of people who have their mission calls and are waiting to go have become temple workers here in las vegas. Why? Well, temple prep and mission prep are the same. just a few comments or personal discoveries. i feel that at least for me personally, i never could have really understood my temple covenants without having served a mission. speaking of me personally. It has opened my mind to understand what it really really means to give the Lord ALL holding back nothing, and putting everything on the altar even my agency to a degree. When i put my agency on the alter it means i am giving the Lord my will/ not just doing what he wants but forgetting my own because HIS will is literally and absolutely what i desire. Well, i love that! As for mission prep, my favorite quote is from elder bednar saying, "the best way to prepare to be a missionary is to start being one." The temple focuses us on the eternal significance of what we know and gives us the faith to share it with more power. Why do we go to the temple? to learn but why learn? well, to then take it home with us and share it with our families and all we love! The temple and missionary work are woven together in the purpose of the God himself. What a blessing to be able to be a part of both. The gospel is so related from one thing to the next. Let the gospel take part in EVERY aspect of our lives without fail.
I love you so so much and am grateful again for you. May God bless you and guide you in his work and in your efforts!
ps- sister jeronimo really wanted me to say thank you to you for fasting for her as well. She is so the sweetest in the world and grateful for everything! i want to be more like her....by the way, thank you from me too! :)
Dear President Neider,
it was a good week. We worked hard and i'm really proud of sister jeronimo. We actually had 2 exchanges this last week. We had planned them two different weeks but they preferred it this way so we worked it out. with the change of plans and some prayers sister jeronimo ended up staying in the area both times. I felt that when i came back this last saturday night she had more confidence. She was glowin with good news and she's really involving herself more. I'm so glad to be with her another transfer!
Well, to report on the exchanges. First i was with sister veazey, she is on fire there in east and working hard. She is enthusiastic and organized in her work and has a never ending faith filled optimism. She will be a great leader this transfer. For the training portion we worked on planning with the area book specifically and then simple training on being bold and persistent but loving in street contacts. We also were albe to give a restoration lesson and evaluated afterwards the points of the restoration as explained in chapter 1 of Preach my gospel. I felt like we both left having felt the spirit, worked hard, and learned a lot. She is great!
The second exchange was with sister Parkinson. She is also an incredibly humble sister with her purpose clear. She didn't waste time in the lesson at all but boldly helped the investigators see the importance of book of mormon. I liked her focus on the book of mormon a lot. We trained each other specifically on importance of punctuality getting out of the apartment on time. We were 15 minutes late getting out and so we took 15 minutes out of lunch to make sure we weren't losing a minute of proselyting. We also worked on talking to everyone and the importance of personal experience and testimony in helping the investigators, "recognize us as true representatives of christ" Great sister with tons of potential and already doing good work!
thanks for everything you do president. We love you and are so happy we get to be hear serving beside you! may God bless you and your wife! Hurrah for Israel!