Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2/16/15 - Funeral/Wedding Same Day

If the  Book is true, it’s all true.  How do you know? 
Do you research-Read. Ask the source-Pray
(This link is an amazing testimony of the Book of Mormon from Elder Holland)

I'll never be perfect, but I am perfect in trying. My motto this week "just keep swimming."

Went to an Indian Funeral.
 Needless to say, as a blonde white girl I sure stood out. There was two different spirits in that room that I want to testify of.  First, the world has some truth. It was a good Christian minister who led the funeral. We sang, we prayed, he prayed, we sang again. They know Christ is the way. But it was rote. Same prayer, same song, simply with her name copy and pasted in. 

In contrast, 2 of the missionaries sang, and our Bishop spoke.
First note of Nearer My God to Thee, the spirit of the room tangibly shifted. I physically felt different. I know that our church is led by Christ and it's His truth that saves.
It is hard, as a missionary, to know the Plan and to be forced to stay silent. They groan and grieve and cry, and you just sit there, begging for them to ask you for insight...agency is the worst. At times, that must be how my Heavenly Father feels....
You hear your 15 yr. old investigator say goodbye to his mom, and it hurts.  Dead honest (no pun intended) I hate funerals. But, I held it together fine.... until he mentioned how much he'll miss her sitting at the dinner table, helping with his Algebra homework... that hit way too close to home.

On that note, we drove straightway from the funeral to our investigator's wedding. God answers prayers, and on a beautiful holiday weekend, midday, not a soul was at the park=)  It was a beautiful service!  So funny, the groom had to force on his ring, it was WAYY to small, so we had to sit there awkwardly and watch him lick and twist and pull that ring on his finger.... aint’ comin’ off for awhile!
Man life is tough- but Christ is tougher, and through Him, we can be too.
2 quotes I liked from church were:
"God won't hand us nothing we can't handle."
"My trials are never bigger than my God."

Love you all, stick close to your faith. As a ward challenge, I’m trying to memorize the Proclamation of the world.... 7 days later, I’ve got 2 paragraphs down. Pray for me!
 -Sis McNeill

2/11/15 - Picture with Very Famous "RM"

We received this picture and the following text message last night, “Your daughter is amazing.  She is a perfect missionary – sincere, bold, and really fun to be around.  Our family has loved every minute we’ve been around her.  We just had her over for dinner.  What a lady!” 

The picture is Jessica with Kirby Heybourne (the LDS actor that’s in The Singles Ward and a bunch of other movies).  He is an Asst. Ward Mission Leader and Jess has really enjoyed getting to know him and his family.  I think getting these texts from families in her area is one of the funnest things about being a missionary mom.  Thanks again for all your love and support to Jess – less than 4 months until we all get to hug her again – yeah!


2/9/15 - Planting Seeds

Before anything, I want to testify that planting seeds is JUST as important as picking the fruit. Jim is 75+ and I found him knocking doors. His wife was Catholic, and didn't want to be taught. So we sang I am a Child of God. He said thanks and shut the door.  Next week on exchanges, we drop by. He can't let us in so we go on his front porch, sit on his lawn chairs, and tell him that we're here to help him change through the gospel. Before I left, we set a baptismal date. I have a testimony of planting seeds. Sister Andersen was my companion. People change! 

This week my companion biffed it on a speed bump and sprained her wrist... luckily she's ok, so 
the Lord's blessed us with a lot of walking. Its a blessing, cuz we got to walk in the rain
versus biking in it!
2 investigators came to church on sunday, so that was sweet!
This valentine's day will be interesting- we are going to a funeral, and then to a wedding.... so that's that.
We found a family.... sorta. We found a mom with 2 sons that wants to teach her son about the gospel... good thing dad's an atheist. So we're gonnna try to sneak over sometime in the morning so we can meet with her while he's at work.
Member dinners are sooo good! I am sooo glad to be on a bike, otherwise we'd be in Trouble!

Highlight of the week: WORST member present lesson ever... it was HILARIOUS!
My poor newbie, her face, priceless. You can choose, in moments like these, to either die, or die of laughter.... I chose the latter... after an hour of defusing:)
Point in case- no, not all mormons are republican and believe Obama was not born here.... Sheesh, don't EVER get into politics when talking about any gospel principle.. turns out they just don't mesh.

Just kidding, good highlight: We are teaching a member who hasnt been to church in 20+ years.... and now she's Totally a missionary!!! Its so cool because she knows the doctrines, but we're teaching her the lessons to help her put all the pieces together so she can see the big picture. 
Its just the best feeling in the world to knock on a door to teach a lesson, and they open it and let you in=)

Gospel is true. What is the gospel? Faith in Christ, and repenting everyday, meaning you re-align your will with God. Thats the gospel. We cleanse ourselves fully by partaking of the sacrament every Sunday, and trying again to keep His commandments. Through the Holy Ghost, we build our faith and are given the grace we need in order to try again the next day. This is the gospel: Faith, Repentence, Baptism, Holy Ghost, enduring to the end.  Make sure you know it, and keep continuing in the faith. Love you tons!
Sister McNeill

2/2/15 - Fasting to Find a Family

I have scatter-brain memories just flashing through my head, so I'm going to put the brakes on warp speed and just summarize the highlights of the week.

*We get to help with a wedding!! Our investigator Pauline is being baptized in Utah on April 5th, but she is getting married here in California on Valentine’s Day. I am such a girl because I am TRHILLED to help out with a wedding. Bishop is going to marry them in the church, and we'll help decorate & put bows on the chairs. Best. Missionary. Work. Ever. (next to baptism).

*Wayne is still set to being baptized May 1st. He is doing great, had 3 lessons with him this week, came to church for the 3rd time yesterday, and he is loving the scriptures. 
How do you know if this church is God's? Book of Mormon, period.
 My goal is to finish the ASL Book of Mormon before I go home, but I'm only in Mosiah, so I have to watch about 3 hours per week in order to finish it.... wish me luck! I'm telling you, the ONLY way to understand Jacob 5 is by watching it!

*Yesterday, the whole ward fasted with us Sisters. It has been so neat, I love Valencia. But I’m telling you, there is a FAMILY here, looking for the gospel. I felt it, and I desire sooo much to teach one familia on my mission. So we met with members everyday this past week and will follow up this week in order to find them. But it’s a humbling, faith-building experience to add the ward's faith in fasting with yours for one cause...So, day 1, here we go.

*Today is National Frozen Yogurt Day. Guess what we're doing after the hike=)

*Me & my comp were in the aisle for half an hour laughing hysterically last Monday. 
Note to self-
Never look in the card section for birthday/holidays in LA..... 

Love ya tons. The church is true. The Lord will lead us. It's 77 degrees outside, Life is good!
~Sister McNeill