Elder Neal in Veracruz

Elder Neal in Veracruz

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Letter from 9/24/14 - Four Days Left!

I can't believe that it's been a month and 4 days! Crazy! The MTC's been great, but we're all anxious to leave and to go to Mexico! 

On Sunday, we got to go to main campus for a devotiional and afterwards, we always go and watch a movie of either a devotional or something about Joseph Smith's life. This time, they were offering a talk by Elder Holland given at the MTC a few years back and it was fantastic. It had a bunch of great advice for the mission field. I took a ton of notes. Then we got to hear from Elder Russell Ballard on tuesday. He had some great advice too. He talked quite a bit about setting goals and that we'll be able to teach if we keep a journal that talks about what works and doesn't. 

My mom asked me what the best part of the MTC has been. Besides hanging with 12 Elders all day every day, and being told that we're a lot better behaved that the last 12 elder district because the teachers literally had to put their noses in the corner, the best thing overall was probably having so much inspiration from so many people. Honestly. Our teacher, Hermano Holman, Is FANTASTIC. He is such an inspiration for all of the Elders in the district. Before his mission, he wanted to be an artist and a hippie kinda guy. Within the first month of being out in the field he wanted to go home. He had packed up and everything, but something happened. He didn't tell us, but he stayed and got transferred to a place with Miskito people in Nicaragua. He had learned and adapted to how they teach, and he set a goal of 30 baptisms a month and he did it for 3 months and then the mission pres. talked to him and told him that he wants him to set up and organize the priesthood there. So he did that. Then, when he got back, he was asked to translate the Book of Mormon into Miskito. So he's translated portions of it. And now he's studying Bio-med and he has goals to cure diseases and it's awesome to see how he's changed. It great to see how he's changed because of his mission. I couldn't be more excited to get out to Veracruz. 

Love you all!
Elder Neal

We may or may not have found the Pillow room. It is absolutely the most comfortable room I've ever been in

The pillow room is awesome!

Our district at the temple today

Friday, September 19, 2014

Letter From 9/17/14

All of our district has their visas ready. And we get our flight plans on friday. Just 12 days left at the MTC. It's crazy how fast time has past since the first Sunday.

Our district discovered this new game called "what are the odds." Basically you pick a range of numbers and if you both say the same number you have to do whatever you asked what the odds were to. We played it for one whole day and it was insane and crazy fun. The next day, we just didn't play it, I guess we were just burnt out. 

Elder Richard G. Scott came and talked to us! We finally got our apostle. It was awesome and he talked about prayer. When he walked in you could feel the difference in the room. Just looking at him you could feel the spirit so strongly. It was awesome. 

So glad to have this opportunity at the MTC. I love my teachers and my study Journal. I've only done a  few lessons worth of study so far, but it's so helpful and fantastic. 

Elder Neal

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letter From 9/10/14

Finally released as District leader. It feels good to be a normal elder for the next 2 and a half weeks. We´re already half done with the MTC. It´s crazy. 

Hermano Holman is our new teacher and he went to Nicaragua to serve his mission. He casted out spirits and told us that story and he is the best teacher i´ve ever had. He has an absolutely incredible amount of knowledge for someone who´s 23 years old. We talked 3 hours alone on the plan of salvation and we we´re all stunned, it was incredible. It gives me a whole new look at God and a whole new look at why we/I are/am here. I love it. He said it was all because of the study journal he kept. We all bought study journals the next day.

Our district of 12 boys had lucha night. So much fun. After classes from 9:30 till 10:15ish. So much fun. The next day, one of the elders from the room across from us was in our room and he some how put a hole in the wall about hip height. That's such an awkward height and we were all just stunned because nobody knows how he did it. He was just alone in the hallway. He says he put his foot on the wall and was just "readjusting" his weight. 

We've progressed so much as a district. We've been complemented by our teachers because they've been told by other teachers that we're doing well. I didn't expect that, but looking now, we've come a LOOONG way. 

Out of the blue, at the devotional on Sunday Night, the person conducting told us how to conduct ourselves if an apostle or member of the first presidency came in. We're yet to have one and we're all guessing who it's gonna be and stuff. We still don't know when it is, but i'll be sure to take a ton of notes. 

Love y'all,
Elder Riley Neal

Monday, September 8, 2014

Letter From 9/3/14

I still love the MTC. It's so much fun being with 12 other boys my age all day. We have the most fun and we're progressing a ton. 

I've never had my prayers answered with such clarity before. I have to pray for each elder individually each night and each prayer has been answered. In fact, one of the elders in our district didn't say anything the first week pretty much, and we prayed for him to find friends in the district and to have fun and know that he's welcome, and he just kinda blew up. He found a friend in our district and he got so crazy. We had to have a talk be cause they were just having too much fun and couldn't focus. I love the Gospel. I'm excited for the field. I'm so glad to have this experience.

This is my district at the temple today! 

Elder Neal

My District at the Provo Temple

Walking to the Temple