Monday, June 30, 2014

I Thought I Knew Rain

They aren’t joking around when they tell you there’s a rainy season in Mexico! For all I know we’re currently in December or January ‘cause it’s so "cold" I no longer use my fan to sleep at night and I’ve actually worn my jeans a few times in the mornings.  Basically I feel like the biggest wimp ever but, hey, for all I know it could be 40 degrees here ;) We don’t ever have hot water so showering in the morning has been quite the process for the last three months....the process of actually getting into the shower I mean.  On the mornings where you don’t put any effort into your workout...well let’s just say you’re thoroughly awake after a plunge into the shower, and there’s a possibility of getting just a little pneumonia.  And then the rains came this week in full force and the flash flooding was crazy, again! The best was last night when we were wadding through stuff that was up to our knees just trying to get home....naturally the one day we didn’t bring our umbrellas with us.  That was one of the best adventures ever!

This week was a lot of little miracles and small world moments that probably wouldn’t be as cool if I wrote about them now, but to me were just life changing.  I feel like everyone, everywhere has some connection to the Church.  We’re wandering around, asking random strangers if they´ve heard of someone and then out of nowhere they´re like, "I know the Mormons" and then the conversation just instantly starts.  This week was really hard because we had about a thousand random meetings and therefore didn’t really have time to see everybody this week.  Kind of worked out to our benefit in some cases because it left kids asking parents where we are and why we hadn’t passed by and, by the transitive property, making the parents realize what an amazing impact we were having on their kids.  Basically it means that they finally understand what an amazing effect the gospel can be in their lives and they’re embracing it more than ever!

During one of the VERY rainy mornings, my comp and I went outside to find rocks for a lesson we were going to be having later that day.  As I climbed around in the rain and mud (yes Cara, my favorite) I found these tiles that we could use instead.  As we were attempting to break the sharp pieces off these tiles ward members passed by....twice, and looked just a little confused about what exactly the missionaries were doing....luckily our ward loves us :)  Then that same morning, at interviews with the president, as we were leaving I dropped the bag with the tiles in it that we had worked so hard on and heard a huge shattering noise.  Naturally, as all things go that happen in my life, everyone happened to be there when it happened.  Only one shattered and boy did it shatter! As I let out a huge "AWWWW MAN! NOOOOOO!!!!,” President Kush was dying of laughter and telling me that it’d be an even better example know and we could use it for so many meanings.  HAHA!

Two amazing things that happened this week (that I’m actually gonna comment on ‘cause there were certainly more than just two):
We stopped by and surprise visited Elvia, who we can’t teach anymore because of her husband, and she was overjoyed.  She told us about all the stuff she’s been reading in the Book of Mormon and bore her testimony about how true she knew it was.  It was amazing and the spirit is ALWAY incredibly strong when were there with her!

Also this week we had a chance to talk to the Pan Man again for the first time in three weeks (that’s about when I contacted him and gave him a book of Mormon).  Turns out he’s now going to church, reading, AND meeting with the missionaries!!!!! Gosh it was the coolest to talk to him and see where your contacting can go.  Talking to everyone truly matters!!!! 

There’s so much more to tell but I’ve got to until next week!!!!
Hope your summers are just rocking :)


Hermana Neuberger

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sunday Will Come

I think the safest bet for starting out this letter is to point out that Travis Neuberger is right about just about everything.  The bad's do fade and the good's just get that much sweeter.  If you had asked me how my week was at any time during the week you might have received tears of sorrow BUT Saturday was life changing and Sunday blew my mind away so much that I truly can't remember why this week was so hard.  So many blessings, so many miracles!!!!
On the plus side the members, and all my favorite children, were on an extra effort to make me smile.  I LOVE the boys in the street who always pass me the soccer ball when I walk by so I can join the game for five seconds.  It always leaves them shaking their heads and laughing, but it makes my day! So with me trying extra hard to make all of them smile and it was a good time for a lot of i gained 5 new bracelets and a thousand hugs :)

I guess I'll just start the with the most amazing moments of the week....basically Saturday....and well just go from there.  Saturday so many amazing things happened but I think the best thing of all was the story of Fernando.  We had received the reference from the other sisters in our ward and it only had a name, a street, and a little note about him but since our plans fell through, and I'm the one who knows the area, I had to quickly make something up.  Moho was with us and we found the street just fine but then everyone turned to me as if i knew some secret information or something...Heavenly Father help me was all I had.  We started walking down this creepy new street, in the dark, with no house number or last name to go off of and it was safe to say i was praying like crazy.  When we came to house number 9 I stopped and said this was the house (shot in the dark right there).  An old man came to the door, not at all to friendly and asked who we were looking for.  He almost seemed like he was testing us when he asked for the last name of Fernando and how we knew him.  We explained that we were missionaries and a huge smile came across his face.  Fernando ended up being his grandson and EVEN BETTER, his son happened to be the MA Jaime that we had met on the street a few days before and promised to visit.  STRAIGHT UP MIRACLE!!!! My comp is officially convinced that I'm Nephi.

We went to bed Saturday night with high hopes and joyful spirits not knowing what the morning would bring but really excited that we would have a chance to go to church.  OH and not just go to church, but in a NEW church building!!!! That part had me really psyched cause I've forgotten what AC feels like. Sunday morning nobody showed up to where we were waiting in the arcs but a sweet older member picked us up in her taxi and took us to the church.  My eyes were so big and I basically felt like I was seeing a castle.  Our new church is officially the prettiest church I've ever seen, easily the best in Mexico, and actually has carpet and pews!!! Did I mention it was beautiful!?!?!  We walked into the chapel to find 13 of our "less actives" there and it filled me with an incredible amount of joy! They all waved and wanted to talk to us so we were running around trying to shake everyone's hands with the little time we had before the meeting started.  We only had one investigator there, sitting with her member friend, but I was thrilled that she could make it. Alexis was suppose to bless the sacrament this week for his first time ever, but the meeting started and he was nowhere to be found :(  AND THEN that Sunday became the happiest Sunday of my life.  Out of nowhere one of our investigators showed up, AND THEN the family of five. There were no more seats left, but the bishop came off the stand and shifted some people and then ushered them over to a pew...all while sacrament continued.  AND THEN Alexis showed up; white shirt, Tie, AND DRESS PANTS!!!!!!! I guess I really can,t describe to you guys why that makes me so happy, but it's more of the person that he's becoming then what he's wearing it;s safe to just happens to be showing on the outside now.  AND THEN I turned around for just a second and noticed not just Alexis´mom sitting in the back but ALSO his dad!!! I don't even know when the last time Hermano Sandoval attended church was, but I know he hasn't in the last 4 months.  AND THEN at the end of Sacrament meeting Adrianna and her niece Andrea came running up to me to let us know that Andrea's dad had finally given his answer and she could be baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously one of the top 10 best moments and more joy then I can explain.  She was so happy and I quickly ran around and made sure that the news was announced in every class.  AND THEN during gospel principles ISRAEL SANDOVAL walked through the door, Alexis' extremely wayward brother.  I was so blown away I gasped, I just couldn't help myself!!! I was on cloud 109 to say the least!

The quote that I couldn't get out of my mind this week was Sunday Will Come.  I can't remember who gave the conference talk, but it's safe to say that was the summary of my week.  It was easily the roughest week thus far but now all I remember is straight joy and happiness and bliss that I've never felt before.  I've always looked forward to Sundays, but now even more then ever I'm aware that the week is never complete until we experience the joys of Sunday.  For me its both an end and a beginning to the week and there is truly nothing better!! I cant wait to see what this week brings!


Hermana Neuberger

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Life Can't Be Better

Where to even begin with this week, I'm at a total lost for words in even trying to describe the situation!!! So i guess we´ll just start at the beginning though you might already know.  I HAVE A NEW COMPANION, and she's a straight up G/BOSS/giddy/rocking/superstar.....basically I could sing her praises all day long, but I think you all get the idea (random side note to Travis: PERFECT WIFE pressure!) I finally feel like a missionary and boy do we hit the pavement.  I'm a Neuberger and yet I'm also running to keep up with how fast my comp walks (YESSSSS) and therefore it's safe to say we get work done.  In our first day together the miracles started happening like rains from heaven and the spirit was so strong that I basically had tears in my eyes all day! Our first stop we were walking up the street, trying to catch up to a lady so we could contact her, when she got into a car BUT THEN the car waited for us to get there and the family offered us a ride to the house we were going to!!!!! (thats like an ensign moment, not real life) They invited us to stop by there house once we were done and I couldnt stop smiling.

In the last week we started teaching three new families who are all references from Hermana Carmona (an amazing member of our ward). Their growth is incredible, plus the fact that the kids are always psyched to see us and give us the biggest hugs isn't too bad ;)  I wish i had time to describe every lesson with them but that would take hours so I'll just sum it up with the one moment that will touch my heart forever.  We were teaching Elvia (someone who is so open to the feelings of the spirit and just gets it!!!!!) and all kneeling down for the closing prayer, when her 4 year old daughter notices, stopped playing outside, ran in and instantly knelt, crossed her arms, and closed her eyes (TEARS!!!). That was a powerful moment for me and just makes me realize how great the opportunity I have is.  These kids are too young to be baptized and too young to sit through more then 2 minutes of the lesson without getting antsy, but right now they're developing the habits that will make them happy for a life time!!! Plus when Elvia gets baptized, and my fingers are crossed that she will, her kids will be raised with the church.  GOSH, just think how blessed their lives will be all because of the faith and spirit of their mom!!!! It's simply eye opening and makes me so joyous I could sing....even more then I already do everyday! :)

.....Well I'm actually gonna go into more detail about these families cause Vidi and her family came to church and they were so enthusiastic and happy that my happiness was simply through the roof (yes that roof made out of a beautiful tarp!).  Gosh the gospel is just simply JOY!!! There's no better way to describe it! I feel so at home here on Sundays and I wish I could just stay at church for 5 hours instead of just 3 so I could just have 2 hours to socialize with all the people I love and let them all know what a blessing they all are in my life. At the moment I wish there was about 10 of me so I could talk to all the people I wanted to/sit by I wanted to every Sunday.  I always leave church thinking "Dang it! I wanted to ask so-in-so something!" Oh well, next week :D

Everyday has just been a journey and a treat because my comp is new to this area and her joy about how beautiful and perfect it is...well it's just contagious and it reopens my eyes every time to how amazing this place really is!!!! We cover so much ground and I'm pretty sure we've seen more of it in the first week of her being here then I did in my first month.  When we went up into the mountains to visit San Jose for the first time I thought I was gonna have to hold her down so she wouldn't leap off the mountain in all her joy!!! :) We contact like its nobody's business now and every time we get on a cambi i just get giddy over all the possible people we have to talk to.  Contacting whole cambis is now a regular thing and the success it's given us is unreal.  Basically Hermana Fernelius is Hermana Fearless and she goes hard.  She testifies and they listen and then they want more! Naturally all the awesome people aren't in our area, but we're excited for the other elders and hermanas that are going to have the chance to teach them.  The number of crying women I've talked to on street corners this week has also grown to an amazing new high! Basically were contacting 30 people a day (20 more then I used to) and when we don't open our mouths Heavenly Father sends someone our way who sees our tags and asks for a pamphlet, which always feels like a wake up call, and we get to work!

My comp feels terrible (double meaning) because this week she says she was so off her game! She was really sick but that didn't slow her down at all.  She has the Neuberger outlook that the only way to feel better is to forget about how sick you feel and occupy yourself with something else....basically she just worked harder.  My insomnia was worse then ever this week so between her being up all night sick and me just being up all night we had some great memories.  Now while were walking we have code words to describe how were feeling.  Safe to say gas pedal, gas pedal, gas pedal is my constant response.  I might be running low on fumes but my happy highs are through the roof!!! Don't know if I mentioned last week, but my entire district is American so every night we talk to Elder Nish in English and he always talks to us forever cause we're so happy we just can't express our words in any language. (by the way we had a zone conference on Wednesday that was easily one of the greatest I've ever been to. I'm trying to think of a great devotional/fireside I've been to to compare it, but I can't think of anything right now!)

On Tuesday the rains came, and yes they've been coming for weeks now, but this was totally different.  Apparently there was a tropical storm happening off the coast and we were getting blasted with the remnants.  Naturally I didn't have my rain jacket and it's safe to say I've never seen rain like this.  With in three minutes the roads were rivers and it was the craziest flash flood ever!!! Cars were just stuck in the middle of the roads not knowing exactly what to do and there was no way we were going to make it to our next appointment.  We were in the street, standing in 5 inches of water with lightning striking down all around us....not the best of circumstances.  An awesome lady gave us blankets to hold over our heads as we ran the 20 ft to the Oxxo....didn't matter, we still got soaked!!!!! (RANDOM SIDE NOTE: We bought those chocolate eggs with the surprises inside at the Oxxo and had a party enjoying our Monsters Inc characters all week!!!!) Safe to say the rains didn't ever really die down, but we had to get home, so we walked through the rivers and made it back home laughing our brains out and wishing we could have taken pictures at how crazy it was!!!

It's extremely hard to put a highlight on my week (there are so many more miracles and crazy adventures I wish I had the time to describe, like the Chan family who has been lost for 4 years and now is found and totally active all because of one phone call; the boy on the street corner; THE FACT THAT NEXT SUNDAY WE'LL BE IN A BRAND NEW CHURCH, and all the miracles in between) BUT when Alexis walked into church on Sunday in a white shirt, I squeezed my comps hand so hard she couldnt' stop laughing.  I wish I had a video of the transformation of Alexis Sandoval, because it is truly impossible to describe!!!! Gosh, I'm getting giddy right now just trying to explain it!!! On Sunday (after an adventure to CaƱada, playing on a horror movie swing set, and walking down train tracks among the field of napalies) we finally got to have a lesson with Alexis about the power of the priesthood that he possesses!!! Eye opening experience that was extremely powerful.  I'm so grateful for the chance I have to be here and be a part of his life (and so many other people's lives).  Hopefully, next week he will be passing the sacrament...and then I'll probably just die of happiness or sing my vocal chords hoarse!!!

This week my comp opened my eyes to some amazing things during comp study.  I wish I could sum them all up and pass them on to you but I'll try to express how good they were right here.  Basically it all comes down to gratitude.  My gratitude right now is beyond brimming!!! I'm so grateful for all the amazing people in my life and the chance I have to see people grow in so many ways every day! These people aren't  just my investigators, they're my friends and more importantly they're my brothers and sisters!!! There love is contagious and I wake up every morning psyched that I get to see and talk to all of them.  If you haven't read the Elder Uchtdorf talk on gratitude lately, you should!! Being grateful truly is an act of faith but I especially love this part of the talk:

In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless13 and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny. The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.
Everyday is just a new joyous beginning and Im thrilled to bring the light of the gospel into so many amazing peoples lives!!!
Love you all tons!!!! hope this was enough for you dad,
Always remember 1 John 4:19
Smiles, happiness, and joy,
Hermana Neuberger!