Elder Neal in Veracruz

Elder Neal in Veracruz

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Letter from 10/5/2015

The council that we had again. It was amazing! We talked about becoming a missionary according to Preach my Gospel.
there are 5 things to do
1 Understand that we´re representatives of Jesus Christ.
2 be worthy
3 treasure the words of God in our minds
4 understand that the spirit is the supreme teacher
5 understand that teaching is a lot more than talking and saying.

Elder Neal
-Misión Mexico Veracruz-

Letter from 9/28/2015

Baptism of Francisco and Eduardo. Eduardo is the younger guy and Francisco is the older guy. They're both dynamite.
Elder Neal
-Misión Mexico Veracruz-

Letter from 9/21/2015

This was amazing. I´m just going to say the miracles flat out.

First. Our amazing investigator Francisco has in a job that makes it impossible for him to get baptized because he has to break a commandment. We went and taught about this commandment and he accepted to keep it and we asked him how would he keep it if his work made it imposible and he thought for a few seconds and said that he´d resign from his work. He got payed a lot and here in mexico the times are rough but he had the strength to do it and on friday he resigned from his job. He´s going to put up a food place and that´s going to be his new job and he´s going to be baptized this Saturday.

Miracle 2! Our other investigator Eduardo has had a lot of problems in his life and he was a miracle from the first day we saw him. We found him on a saturday night at 8 PM had a great lesson and he came to church all by himself and beat us there by 20 minutes. He got to church at 8:20 and we got to church at 8:40 am. Ever since the first time we found him he's accepted everything and changed his life in all ways that were bad. He is firm about serving a mission and keeping every commandment of God. He already is in 2 Nephi 20 and we´ve only known him for 2 weeks and 2 days. Because of his progress we asked him yesterday if he would accept to get baptized this saturday instead of in 2 weeks and he jumped out of his seat and clapped his hands together and was just so happy. God has done a great change in his heart and is molding him to go save others. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change whatever person that looks for it and chooses to apply it in their life.
Have a great week!

Elder Neal
-Misión Mexico Veracruz-

Letter from 9/14/2015

My zone! Tuxtepec!! WOOHOO!

My companion Elder Lopez

The hammock house....our house....:D

Letter from 9/7/2015

This week was awesome! I love being in my new area. I got cambios again. I came back to Tuxtepec in the state of Oaxaca (Wa-ha-ca) and the people here are great. One cool experience that we had was that we had gone with an investigator and we got to his house on saturday but he wasn´t there. So, we said that we´d find a new person. we started knocking on doors and looking for a new person and we got to a door and a guy (Eduardo) came out and after he said his name he asked us if we wanted to come in and we were like, "Pues, claro!" ("Well, of course!") So we started talking and we had an amazing lesson and it was awesome, and we get to the end and he tells us that he was praying that God would send him someone to help him get over the problems in his life that morning and that he really wanted to change. He recognized that God sent us and he had the faith and he went to church on sunday. He was there at church before we even got there. I know God has a plan and puts us in the paths of those he needs us to talk to. I love the Gospel and I´m excited to see how it can change the life of Eduardo!

Elder Neal
-Misión Mexico Veracruz-

My companion bought pizza for my year mark

My district in front of the temple

My new companion Elder Lopez

Picture from a conference

Letter from 8/31/2015

Doreidys got baptised. That was the miracle. She is pregnant and was having a lot of problems with her pregnancy of 5 months and she was told by the doctor not to leave her house. We told her that the decision was hers but that we wanted to annoint her an bless her. We gave her the blessing and in the blessing I felt that she should get baptized the next day and that the baby would be born at the right time at the right place and would be cared for by God. And she got baptized and everything. It was great! 

I have new pics but I don´t have my adapter to put them on right now. Next week I´ll try.

I had transfers! Elder Lopez is my new companion! and I came back to Tuxtepec! In the same chapel, different ward!! It´s awesome! I´m super excited. It´s gonna be really stressful but i´m excited. I´ve been doing good, just a bit sick with the cold. Have a great week!

Elder Neal
-Misión Mexico Veracruz-

Letter from 8/24/2015

No letter this week...:(

Monday, August 24, 2015

Letter from 8/17/2015

This week has been hot! We´ve been super happy because Doreidys progressed so much in just one week! She´s been super busy with her 2 year old son, with her finishing high school and being pregnant that the other weeks she didn´t really read the Book of Mormon or read the homework that we left her. But this last Saturday, she had gotten home from school, her son had gone to sleep and she´d done all the homework that she could and was ready for bed and trying to sleep but couldn´t really well. She started to read all of the little homeworks in the Book of Mormon, and she said she had prayed for an hour trying to feel her answer and she felt nothing. She climbed back in her bed a 2 am and slept. She got up on Sunday went to church and in the first hour she heard a testimony and felt something different and strong inside and then they ended and it didn´t go away. The feeling stayed and then she understood all of the things that she needed. She felt that she wasn´t worried if she had an accident and passed away, that she´s not worried anymore for anything like that. She knows that there´s a better place and that God will protect her sons.

I know that God has his way of working with the people and it´s a perfect way. His way is the best and if we just show our faith in Him, like Doreidys reading until the early hours, we will be blessed with what we look for. Ask and ye shall receive. I testify of the truthfulness of this and that the Book of Mormon is the Key to knowing the questions that a soul could have. If we read it with faith and we pray with faith, God will bless us in every aspect of our life. 

Elder Neal
-Misión Mexico Veracruz-

Letter from 8/10/2015

Saludos! This week has been amazing! Even though we´ve seen many trials, we´ve seen the tender mercies of God. This week we had planned to have a baptism of an investigator named Doreidys. She loves the church and knows the good that it´s doing for her 2 year old son, but she had just gotten into school 2 weeks late so she has a lot of homework. One of her friends in her class lent her all of her notes but needed them back that Sunday. So she chose to stay there to do her homework and not go to church. So that makes us sad, but the good thing is that we found a miracle named Victor who can be baptized on this Saturday! So we´ll have the baptism the next week for Doreidys. 

There´s a goal for the mission that we all find 1 person to baptize in the month of August. President wants us to see the miracles of God in these weeks and I know that they´ll come as we do our part. I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Neal
Misión Mexico Veracruz

Letter from 8/3/2015

I´m glad everything´s so good with you guys! I still don´t have my card and don´t have any Idea about the shoes. I called the offices and they don´t know anything either about it. Sorry! Love you! I copy all of your messages and print them out and read them at home! Love you mom! Lots of work and enough in church. We´re working with someone named Doreidys. She´s super excited for her baptism and can´t wait for it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Letter from 7/27/2015

Recently there´s this like 20 year old guy that asks for money and he LOVES us missionaries. He never lets us go and calls us JOVEN. One experience. We were walking on the highway and I saw him on the other side of the street talking with some people so I started walking faster so that he couldn´t catch us if he tried to chase. About 5 minutes later I hear a person running to catch us calling us JOVEN and I just break down and almost cry because I´ve been so out of money after I bought that hammock. so I paid him for running after us and we went our way, but this guy is dedicated.

I CAN´T BELIEVE THAT NICOLE´S ALREADY GOING HOME! Wow. I´ve just about got a year and in 4 days I just have a year left.

Letter from 7/20/2015

This week was transfers! Everybody knew I was a gonner when tranfers rolled around. My district leader has 4 weeks left and we were sure that he was going to have to stay because just 4 weeks and then the house? Doesn´t seem too efficient. And I already have two transfers in my area now, Lerdo, and I´ve never stayed more time than 2 transfers in an area and also this is my first time with a companion more than a transfer. So it´s basically a first time transfer. It´s going to be an awesome 6 weeks! 

This week was a really cool week. Our mission President has put a promise with us. That if we do 10 contacts and 3 Recent converts or less actives everyday, we´ll baptize every week. This is a super hard goal. When we start doing the contacts and start doing the recent converts we start getting a bigger bowl of new people to visit and less and less time to visit the 3 recent converts and do 10 contacts. So in this week we´ve been learning a little bit about the promises of God and how nothing should block our way from getting them. If God says that we should pay a tithing of 10% and promises us the blessing and we pay 8%, like doctrine and covenants says, "Ye have no promise." God promises the biggest blessings if we only drop what we think we have to do and just do what God wants. Like Nefi said "For thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen." In the days that we just dropped what we had planned and we fulfilled with God, He blessed us. Thank you all for your support, I hope you have a great week!

Elder Neal
Misión Mexico Veracruz

I'm in the same area! Same companion! New elder in the district! Named Elder Dawson! He's from Mesa. Arizona. Super funny guy!

Just to let you know. I just shared a story last night with a family about that time that we ate a casserole that you made and that I had washed my hands with soap over it and when we ate it it tasted like soap and that I never told anyone until I was about 16. Yeah, they loved that! Love you mom! BYE!

Letter from 7/13/2015

Rain, Rain GO AWAY.

I remember being in Oklahoma and being nice and safe in my house from most of the storms that we saw. There was a ton of water and lightning at a safe distance away and never was bothered by the rain, I actually danced in it. That was when I didn´t have to work in it. We´ve seen a ton of rain in this week. Actually the largest amount of rain we saw was Saturday night. Had a baptism planned for 6 o´clock and everything was good at that time, but as we started with the opening prayer. The thunder started booming. So the whole baptism had a nice lullabye of thunder outside with buckets full of water. The streets here in my tiny town weren´t made for the kind of water we were having so the streets were flooding. I was the lucky one in my companionship and had my flip-flops for the baptism so my real shoes didn´t have to get wet when we walked home. Not going to lie, having a canoe in this moment would have made it a lot faster getting home. My companion had the umbrella and the two of us couldn´t both fit under it and I sacrificed my self and returned to Oklahoma in my mind and danced like nobody could see, because I´m pretty sure that nobody could. It was a great walk back to the house. But the good thing is that everything worked out fine and made it safely home after the Baptism. 

One of the miracles that has been happening in this area is about the three ladies in the photo. The one in baptismal clothing is Maria, her daughter is Elizabeth, and her mom is Minerva. Maria was the first one that was really interested in what we had to share because God showed her a dream of us the day before we arrived at her house over 2 months ago. Elizabeth has recently confessed that all of those times that we came over with her mom she immediately went to hide. And Minerva just got baptized on Saturday. The miracle is that they have had so much faith in God and they have all made a lot of sacrifices to follow him. Elizabeth works at a walmart look-a-like and works every Sunday morning, but has an hour of food break and chooses to come to church for that. She also has considered heavily the Idea of serving a mission. This is a big change for hiding from the missionaries to wanting to be one. With all this going on they´ve agreed to save up enough money to go to the temple on the 8th of August. The miracles of God sure do show themselves. I know that God has worked in their lives to help them overcome their trials and I know that every one of you can also help someone receive this gospel. God gave Maria a dream to prepare her, and God is working for many of your close friends. I love you all! Have a fantastic week!

Elder Neal
Misión Mexico Veracruz

Letter from 7/6/2015

Baptism photos!:D And I bought a hammock. 300 pesos. like $20 dollars. It´s super good quality. I´m gonna have this until my grandkids.

Letter from 6/29/2015

Thanks! It´s super cool That Jesse´s already home! that´s crazy! Man! He´s an awesome man. I CAN´T WAIT TO SEE HIM IN COLLEGE! He´s gonna be 2 years maybe even 3 ahead of me! Haha!

We´re going! We just had another baptism! Woohoo! Her name´s Elizabeth! She´s the daughter of Maria that got baptized like 3 weeks ago. Love you mom! Thanks for all the work that you´re doing in the family and for me! I love you!

Elder Neal
Elizabeth is in the middle, Maria, her mom, who just got baptized on the left and on the right is Elizabeth´s grandma, maria´s mom, Minerva who´s gonna get baptized in 2 weeks!

Letter from 6/22/2015

I got my first Gringo companion! His name is Elder Gregory! We are here in a little town with a lot of sin. We´ve seen a lot of miracles and a lot of sadness. This week we´re super excited for one of our investigators that has had a huge attitude change. Her name is Elizabeth and she´s 21 years old and the first time that she heard us we were talking with her mom who just got baptized. In the first discussion with Elizabeth she was on her cell phone the whole time and when we asked her questions, she would say that she wasn´t listening and she was on her phone so we didn´t think that she´d progress really good, but we kept asking her questions and we even gave her a homework to do and she rejected it and said that she didn´t like the things of God and that the things of the world are a lot better for her. The next time we came she came too was listening a little bit and still not answering questions but continuing on from there little by little she started changing. She and her mom say that she used to just be mad and not do anything in the house but that she´s changed. Her baptism is this Saturday with another investigator named Isaias. We´re super excited and sad about the bad that there is. We found a gringo here and we´re helping him overcome his alcohol addiction. We´ve seen how satan has worked in his life like he said that satan just gave him a bottle opener that he didn´t know was in his house. Stuff like that, but he´s been sober for about 4 days which is a big improvement for him. I love the work and know that Jesus is the one who made it possible to change. Have a fantastic week!

Elder Neal
Misión Mexico Veracruz

Letter from 6/15/2015

I didn't get much this week:

Sorry, had to take care of some other stuff. Love you mom. 

This week was one of the hardest that I´ve had just because I worked myself so hard with a new companion and all. We saw the fruit in the Church yesterday we had 10. I love you and will give so much more information next week. You´ll be the first one I write. Love you mom!

Letter from 6/8/2015

My new companion, Elder Gregory born in Oklahoma City, lives in Virginia.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Letter from 6/1/2015

He made tortillas by hand and bought a cougar paw. He's excited to take the cougar paw to BYU.


Letter from 5/25/2015

This week we had district conference! Like stake conference but since we´re in a district it´s just called differently with less people. Mission President Cordova came and he taught about what things Los Tuxtlas need to do to become a stake. He talked about 3 things; The sabbath day, tithing, and fast offerings. If the people here take seriously these commandments, they´ll see this place grow. Right now, in the district there are 5,000 members and 800 actives. Just an interesting challenge to take.

This week we have been working with an investigator named Maria del Rosario and she´s just the most fantastic person that we´ve found. She has a lot of faith in God and that keeping the Commandments is how she´s going to have a better life. She just had cancer and now they´re doing Chemotherapy. She says that if she would have had faith in God when she had the cancer the first time, they wouldn´t have had to do surgery and hurt her so bad. Now she just wants more time here in the world with her family. She is fantastic and went all the way to the District conference with us about an hour and a half away and she loved it. I hope that you have a fantastic week! Adios!

Elder Neal

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letter from 5/18/2015

He titled his email "Divisions"

This week was a week was really different than the others. So another Elder, Elder Sonntag, and I did divisions and he came to my area with my companion and I went to his area with his companion. Normally I love doing them, but this time we started on Tuesday in the morning and he was going to have an investigator, Patricia, get baptized this week, so we had to have an interview on Wednesday. So usually we go to the investigator´s house everyday in the week of the baptism to make sure that they´re all good and ready so I went with Elder Gonzalez, he has 3 weeks in the mission, to go see how the investigator was. Our plan with her was ask her all of the questions of the baptismal interview and see if she was ready. We got there and she was outside with the rest of her family and we decided that we would just talk briefly about the questions then and we started and everything was good, she believes that God is the Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is the Son, Savior and Redeemer. We got to the second question, if she believed that Joseph Smith restored the Church that Jesus himself put on the earth, and she started having a lot of doubts. A LOT of them. Then to make it worse, her family started talking about how in-credible he is and how Juan Diego, the guy that saw God present Jesus and Virgin Mary has the truth. So... This really made us really sad. So we pulled Patricia aside and told her that we´d like to come back later in the night and help her clarify her doubts a little more alone. She said that that would be better. We gave her a homework to read about Jesus Christ established a church and then the Apostasy, and then Joseph Smith and the she could pray to know if it´s true before we got back. So we kept going in the day and when we came back she had done the homework, but she didn´t feel an answer. She didn´t know it was true. So we started trying to explain it so that she would understand but she couldn´t get past Joseph Smith. So we just stopped and I told her that God has given a promise to all of his children that if they read the Book of Mormon, meditate about it and ask God in a prayer, they´ll receive their answer and I promised her that if she did her homework, she´d get her answer that night. We gave her a blessing that she´d be able to see her answer and we left. She read the Book of Mormon, meditated, prayed and didn´t get her answer. So she went to sleep and she woke up at 1:00 am to her mom crying. The mom of her mom just passed away, and in this moment she got up and she was able to comfort her mom with what she learned from the missionaries. In this moment she had the faith that what the missionaries had taught her were true and she knew that this was her answer to her prayers. She got baptized this Friday and it was an awesome experience to see that God really does give an answer but not always in the way that we want.

Love you all! Have a great week!

Letter from 5/11/2015

Riley didn't write a letter since we had just spoken the day before on Mother's Day. He did respond with a couple of sentences to a letter I wrote him. Here is our picture with him on our Mother's Day Skype.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Letter from 5/4/2015

This week has been soo hot! We´re dying! I can´t drink enough water because we sweat it out! This area is really fantastic. My companion and I are having a ton of fun and the people here are so awesome. Eighty percent of the people farmers that work cutting sugar cane and the rest are the services here, like food and all the other stuff. It´s such a different type of people than in my other area. Here, it´s more simple. The people are more loving and sentimental. They have a basic Idea of God and they need some help using their faith to see the blessings. I love it here in Lerdo and it´s a fantastic time of year. 

I hope that you all have a fantastic week! 

Elder Neal

Un chango! One of the members´ monkeys. :D It´s a pet. It was named shiro but they found out that it´s a girl so it´s shira.

Letter from 4/27/2015

He titled his email: "Lerdo de Tejada, Los Tuxtlas"

We got transfers! Again! I now have more or less 7 months in the mission, 4 areas and 6 companions. My new companion is Elder Diaz! He has 3 months in the mission and just ended his training. I am so excited to be here and to have him as a companion. I´m really gonna miss my old area and investigators, but progression is the purpose of life. First of all, my new area is hot. Really really hot. It´s in a little town that´s like an hour from the big town and like 80% of the people here work in the sugar cane business. 

This past week was really awesome because we had stake conference in my other area. President Cordoba came and also a 70. I loved the talks and something that I loved most was that he was so direct. One of his quotes was that about faith. He was talking about the asistance to the temple and how almost everyone could go more often to the temple and said "Faith isn´t a question of money, faith is a question of faith." Really, that´s so true. God prepares the way for every righteous act and the temple is the most important thing in this world. The Priesthood exists to gain the salvation and we can only be exalted if we go to the temple and take advantage of the host of blessings that await us there. I know that the temple is the most important place in the earth. A little part of heaven in the earth. If you want to know what heaven will feel like, I invite you to go to the temple and enjoy the blessing that God will rain down upon you all through the windows of heaven. Los amo a todos. Have a fantastic week everybody! 

Elder Neal

My companion, Elder Diaz and I!

He sent a video of his house. I will try to upload it.

Letter from 4/20/2015

*Here's what I got in response to my email:

Thanks so much mom! I really feel your love! It´s SO HARD. I´m doing better. Really I feel fantastic and that finally things are changing. 

The package has been in the office for 4 weeks, but we don´t go to the office that often, the transfers are this week and I think I´ll get it the next Monday. 

Orizaba and Ixtaczoquitlán are so incredibly hot now! It´s hotter than Veracruz port and that never happens. 

My shoes are both holding up fantastic! My pants, more or less, there are some black ones that are about done and I bought new pants that I really really like! There like skinny pants. :)  My shirts are good. 

Yesterday, like Nicole, I was a bit worried that we weren't gonna have a lot of people. We didn't have a ton of time to work in our area and it was hard, but really we got to church and we had 2 people that had told us that they were gonna come and they both flaked out, but a miracle happened and one of our investigators came back from mexico City and felt an answer to his prayers so strong, that he thought that it was something bad so he called us and told us about it but now he wants to get baptized! Also, we had a family of a mom and 3 daughters that we taught Tuesday and it was a really good lesson. We passed on Thursday when they said we could pass and they weren't there and Friday and Saturday too. They weren't there so we were worried. On Sunday we only had one investigator in the building at 11:55, but arrived another one right before it started and also the family with the mom and the Girls! We were so happy, they came and they could only be there for 1 hour but they tried. I´m so happy that from just 45 minutes they felt the need to go to church and how it could help them. I love the Gospel and I know that their lives are gonna be changed because they went! I love you Mom! Thanks for your love!! 

Your son,

Elder Neal

No Letter from 4/13/2015

*I didn't get anything from Elder Neal this week...sniff, sniff.

Letter from 4/6/2015

So, I don`t know if you all knew, but our old house was really algo feo, something ugly, but it sounds better in spanish. it was small with a room to study and sleep and another room for the clothes and a tiny kitchen and even smaller bathroom and it was really dirty to where you couldn`t even clean it. We got sick of it and we said that we were gonna change houses. We didn`t even use any of our time to look for a house or anything, but we went with some less active family that told us that their renters of their other house had just left and that they were looking for new tenants. The lord loves his Missionaries.:D It is a three story house that is 3 times as big as our other house. It is so much nicer and the best part is that the bathroom is comfortable. I love it and it`s only 300 pesos more than our other house. Or in other words, like $20 more.  The week was really difficult but amazing. I loved general conference! At the beginning of the week I had an infection in my eye which made it hard to see and the worst was that I had to give a talk in sacrament too. Everyone saw. They saw the huge swelled up eye that I had. Ni modo. I love this work and extend my thanks for all your support and wish you a happy easter and know that I love you all and have a testimony of the plan of God for each one of His Kids. I know that this Phase is just a short time of preparation and know that as we use our agency for good, God gives us joy, in this life or the next. It`s only separated by a thin veil and sometimes, when the spirit`s with you, this veil, being so thin, breaks. D Arthur Haycock says  He was man of “deep and abiding faith” who, when people would remark that “the veil was very thin,”would sometimes say that “there was no veil.”
God loves his children and has his plan for each of them. Have a great week everybody!

Elder Neal
Mision Mexico Veracruz

Letter from 3/30/2015

*I got this in response to my letter...a little payback for being a mom...haha!:

Haha! It's so much work to be a mom! Haha! Mom, you´re really the best example I have. I wouldn't be alive right now without your advice for the mission. Really. I think of you every day and I use what I learned from you every day in the mission. I love you and can't wait to see you again! 

Yeah, my new companion´s Elder Monroy! We´re having so much fun! He´s a great companion. We leave the mission on the same day and I´m learning a lot from him. 

The biggest thing that I've learned this week would be to live what you learn and the Faith. The live what you learn part, at the beginning of my mission i didn't see it as a big part because really, i thought that i´d just live it by keeping the rules. But this week i also studied the faith and the faith only works as we show it. We show our faith through our actions and our strength to complete our goal and to follow God. It´s all based on our intentions and force that we use. I love this and I know that God can only work with us if we work with all of our force to complete what God wants us to do! I love the work and know that God can work Miracles! I know too that General Conference is the time to listen and put our faith in the Prophets in the latter days and do what the tell us to because that´s the only way that God can bless us. I love you so much Mom! Thanks for all your sacrifice! 

Elder Neal

I hope to have my package soon! Still don't have it.