Monday, February 23, 2015

With All Our Fe'

WE DIDNT GET TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Were still here and were hoping against hope that Hermana Garcia and I will be together until she "dies" in one more transfer....but I guess we will leave that to the future. Yes, I’m still with Hna Garcia, the fake Latin who was born and raised in Provo, Utah but has her entire extended family living in Morelos (inside mission boundaries).  Before she also was studying at BYU and members ask us all the time if we knew each other before.  I think people often under estimate how big BYU is, but we have fun making up stories of how we met at BYU and all the horrible impressions we had of each other before the mission!

(The letter I tried to send last week that apparently didn’t send) Once again I have no here goes the fast track!
This week we made the stuttering decision to drop everybody (well almost everybody), and then prayed that the Lord will fill our time! It made me super nervous to go from 25 investigadores a 6 pero the Lord knows what we should do.   Our first appointment was with a MA who’s family has been inactive for basically all of her life so she literally does not remember ANYTHING.  We’ve been teaching her for about a month now and she’s really excited to come back to church.  She has a school course that she takes every Sunday so she can’t make it to church, but it ends in the beginning of March.  We had an extremely powerful lesson with her about the importance of the Sabbath day and her cousin from another ward was randomly there and bore testimony with such power that we didn’t want to leave the house.  The lesson ended with her silent comment, "I can’t wait to go to church" (perfect!).  From there we left just glowing and smiling all the way down the street.  A man in a pick-up called out to us and we just waved as always not really thinking anything of it until he stopped and pulled over (not always the best situation).  He introduced himself as Mario, a MA that we’ve been searching for for a month and told us that he had taken his whole nonmember family to church last week and that now they want to listen to the lessons.....ummmm YES! Well, we continued walking and passed a house where we had contacted the husband a few days before and decided to knock.  The wife answered and graciously let us in all excited because her friend is a Mormon and had been telling her a ton of good things.  Safe to say it was one of the greatest days ever!

This week also had one amazing day that just spun our heads around and had us all smiling so big we couldn’t sit still but I think the greatest thing that we have seen happening here is in the lives of our menos activos (MA).  Recently we have been focusing our efforts with the bishops and teaching weekly the MA families that he would love to see sealed in the temple by the end of this year.  We were psyched two Sundays ago when they all showed up to church, then disheartened when only one showed up the next Sunday, but this Sunday changed it all and they were all there again.  We have been focusing a LOT on one of the husbands, Luis, who we recently realized though he has 4 years in the church knows very little about anything.  We taught him about the importance of the sacrament and what it really means and then asked if he had any questions....he got really silent and then said, "In my 4 years ¨(as a member) I think I’ve taken the sacrament a total of three times.  I guess I just never knew how important it was.  But now that I know I’ll never miss it again!"  And thou he was a little late Sunday, he was there for the sacrament and smiling! (miracle 1).  We had a great chat before church with Andres (a member of one of the MA families) and though it was one of his first days off work in over two weeks, he was there, AND FOR ALL THREE HOURS!!!! First time in years! (miracle 2).  Another couple arrived just in time for the testimony of the final speaker, song, and prayer...but they made it ;) During Principles of the Gospel, the husband raised his hands to share and simply bore his testimony of how thankful he is for answered prayers.  He had been praying for someone to care that he existed, to care enough to pass by and get him reanimated about the church and the next thing he knew the missionaries were there.  I’m just so glad that I was ready to answer that prayer! He said when he realized just how blessed he was by the Lord that he made a personal commitment to never miss church again no matter what it took or if his wife couldn’t make it (miracle 3).  All of that was just too much, way too much, but if you can image it, there were even greater miracles!  We are also teaching a part member family, Monica and Alejandro and their three children.  The only nonmember is the dad, but all the others have so much time without church that they feel like nonmembers.  We’ve been teaching them twice a week and yet still can’t get them to church.  With the help of others we were able to target there biggest concerns and give them answers to questions.  When we committed them to go to church this week it was super indefinite and we walked home a little down that they weren’t going to be there.  BUT THEN SUNDAY CAME, oh blessed Sunday of joy and surprises (see past miracles).  We got there SUPER early with an investigator that can’t walk too well and therefore wanted to be super early and seated fast.  Church started with no one and I was a little down but super grateful about the fact that there wasn’t room for us to sit anywhere near our investigator due to the crazy amount of people surrounding her.  Then little by little every miracle started happening and my face was just splitting with a smile.  That’s where this family comes in to play, you see I was already giddy and excited, and then I heard the door open.  Naturally my comp and i turn to see who it is and I didn’t know if I should start crying or stand up and shout....I stayed with a face splitting smile that hurt my jaw.  There was the family slipping into the back pew!!!!!!!!! I looked up at the Bishop, whose jaw was on the floor (I mean this family has been inactive for like 10 years), and we both just couldn’t stop smiling at each other!!! (MIRACLE 4!)

I’m so grateful!!!!! I’m so grateful for so many things! No tenemos muchas personas a ensenar y todavia tenemos algunos de los mejores momentos de todo la mision!!!! El Senor siempre esta en nuestro lado! Yo sei con todo mi corazon!!!! Y estoy bien agradecida por este conocimiento! (Editor’s translation: We don’t have many people to teach and still we had some the best moments of my entire mission!!!! The Lord is always at our side! I know with all my heart!!!! And I am very grateful for this knowledge!)


Hermana Neuberger

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Little Crazy

This week was a classic week of finding new amazing investigators, falling appointments, 1000% help of members, miracles, smiles, and in the end good results. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how willing the members are here to help us out. We try to repay them through little notes of thanks and any little act of service we can do but it’s never enough! The members feel bad because their reference well is starting to dry up. When we first got here we were receiving 2 or 3 from each member and about 20 each week and now they don’t know anyone else. We’ve been leaving them with the commitment to pray that the Lord will put someone else in their path and I know they are doing it because they love the work as much as we do!

This Sunday we were a little down because 2 hours before church we had about 20 investigators that were going to be able to make it. We passed by to make sure they were up before we passed by with a member and a car....and somehow in that 30 minute time frame they all went missing. But the Lord knows what He is doing and all those who had a desire to be there were there with a huge smile on their faces. We have been working really hard with a few MA families this week, by request of the bishop, in hopes that they can be sealed at the end of the year. As Sacrament meeting started it was mostly the normal crowd, but then ever so gradually slowly every MA family came in!!! It was nothing short of a miracle! 

Are the members taking care of us?!?!? ARE THE MEMBERS TAKING CARE OF US!?!?! I think its safe to say that's the Elders basically hate us.....the other night one exploded on the phone to me.  Here is the story: we called them to ask for permission to go to Zumpango today(a super dangerous/ghetto pueblo) with a family from the privada that had invited didn't go over well because we had just gotten home from the birthday party of the Bishop, his wife, and another b-day on the privada, Jose Jaime.  Plus they had overheard the sisters of the ward reminding us like thirty times about Hermana Nayelis b-day today and making sure that we were coming to that party. Elder was like, "WHY DOES THE WARD HATE US!?!?! WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT!!!! Maybe when we have more time they'll like us as much as they love you guys!"....."Well, Elder we only have 8 more days here then you guys do".....I think it's safe to say that we're trying with all our might to pay the members back for all the amazing things they do for us.  We make thank you cards for all the comidas that we get each week and it makes some of the sisters cry.  We make birthday cards for everyone that we can find on the ward list that is going to have a b-day that week.  We remember every detail about their lives so that when we see them again we can ask about how things are going.  Any chance we have for spontaneous service, WE ARE ALL OVER IT AND REFUSE TO STOP! Other than that and the future missionary name tags that we've given to all the children and the huge smiles on our faces.....I think it’s just safe to say that we're super happy!!! At the end of church I just love standing in the back by the door so I can give everyone a hug and tell them how much I love them.  Plus we are officially tias (aunts) on the privada, every time we enter the kids come running "TIAS, TIAS, TIAS!!!" And it makes my heart swell with joy :D

.......on a sad note they're making transfers early and the president has already sent a ton of emails explaining that transfers are going to be SUPER different this change because "we have to adapt to the ever changing and dangerous environment of our mission".....soooo were super stressed and SUPER sad cause he has also already told everyone that transfers are going to be weird and he doesn’t want to hear complaints and how we should always remember that transfers areof God and not him.....The missionaries here in Chilpo have recently been locked in their houses due to more building burnings and riots.....BUT because my area is far from the center we were allowed to work so ;) Hoping for all the best!

Last week, Hna Garcia and I started reading a conference talk together every night before we go to bed. Every night when we finished my testimony is confirmed that truly each one of them is called and inspired by God! Their words are perfect and I am always enriched by reading them. A talk we read recently talked about the importance of the Sacrament in a way that we often overlook. We talked about it a lot and decided that it was what we needed to share with the MA families so that they could always remember the true importance of the sacrament and the need to take it each and every week. We left them with the commitment to prepare to take the sacrament, which naturally they all agreed to, but the real miracle was when they were all there Sunday afternoon to participate in this spiritually replenishing ordinance.

Lots of Love,

Hermana Neuberger

Monday, February 2, 2015

Magical Missionaries

First off can I just get a list of all the people who aren't married!!! Holy cow is cupid out and about on BYU campus! I'm super worried about all my friends who get back from missions this semester cause there is no guaranteeing that they'll still be single in 6 months! But congrats to all you love birds :)

The fact that I've been gone for a year BLOWS my mind because it only feels like a few months to me! Then again there is so much happening at home that I can see how a year has passed! To everyone who keeps asking, yup I'll see you in a year;)

We've recently been making up a ton of object lessons.  For the past couple of weeks our bag of rice has been the joke of the ward and now that we're not carrying it around anymore, all the people who never saw that lesson are rather depressed and want us to show them.  Sometimes the treasures of the gospel are just hidden secrets ;) But our new lesson is a "magic" trick, which isn't really magic at all it's just a task of distraction while Hna Neub quickly shuffles around the cards. The kids think it's the greatest thing ever and the parents are just stunned trying to figure it all out.  Sunday we were eating on the privada, which is always an experience because they're all Mormon, they're all home and they leave their doors open so that everyone can come in and out with no problem and eat whatever dinner they want.  We sat down to give our lesson and all the cousins come running in to get something, the mom calls her kids to all come listen, and BAM all the cousins decided to join when my comp informs them that I'll be doing magic.  I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my life!!!! My comp and I just start giggling in English, "how on earth are we gonna pull this off, they are all breathing down my neck!?!?" But with an alacazam and probing questions not one of the 60 eyes saw what went down. Magic done and our cool points went through the a few future missionary badges to seal the deal ;)

I'm officially out of time so my amazing week will have to be described in very few words, something that is rather hard for me.  Our greatest miracles are two young women who just seem to get it! There names are Guri and Laydi and they are destined to be great.  We taught Guri for the first time two weeks ago and were just blown away that an 11 year old could understand better then any person I've ever taught in all my mission. "So if the church was lost from the earth after the death of Christ, that means that God needed to call a new prophet to restore the church just like He has always done, right?" (JAW DROP) "Um, Yeah, that's exactly right!" "Wow, this gospel just makes sense!" Yes, Guri, yes it does.  To those who truly desire to know the truth of all things the Lord is incredibly willing to open their minds to the truth! The saddest part is that Guri's parents only want her to go to church and accept everything....but they don't intend to let her be to say it's been really really hard because she is so prepared and wants to go to the temple! Were fasting and praying for miracles and have refused to change her baptismal date.  I know that if it's what God wants, He will open the doors.  On Saturday the bishop came with us to talk to the parents and we finally got to see the dad for the first time!!! We changed his mind from 2-3 years to 2-3 months so poco al poco vamos a ver el mano del senor cambiando los corazones de otros!!! (Ed. little by little we see the hand of the Lord changing the hearts of others)

Laydi is also a blessing in my life! The first time we talked to her she told us that the thing that interested her most about our church was the high moral standards that we teach, usually not the first response we get when we talk about the Palabra de SabidurĂ­a o Castidad (Ed. Word of Wisdom and chastity).  The other day we were asking her about how her prayers went sobre Jose Smith. The room got quiet and she looked up with big eyes, "I don't know how to tell you hermanas......the only way to describe it is that I felt...well just Padre (Spanish for awesome/amazing/perfect)" and then the other day we asked her how her prayers were going and her response, "I have such a testimony that God truly is listening to my prayers cause He's not only answering but He is also sending a ton of blessings along with the answers!" She told us recently that she is so happy in church y nunca va a dejar de venir (can't think of how to say that in English, sorry!!) (Ed. never wants to stop coming). I'm so excited for her growth and joy in the gospel, it's amazing!

So if our investigators aren't a miracle in themselves (we had 17 new investigators this week which is record for my mission), the members here will not stop blowing my mind with their desires and their awesomeness.  Adolfo volunteered last Wednesday to come with us to see less actives on Monday in the afternoon, and then five seconds later he volunteered Moroni to also come with us.  We laughed cause we're Hermanas so we can't walk around with two 22 year old boys. None of the people in ward council understood why not so we had to keep hinting at it till they understood and then they all just started making jokes about sister missionaries and temptations (good times!!!).  But Monday they came with us and as we were planning stuff out Karen and Jazmin walked by on their way to do visits, PERFECT! Adolfo freaked out about how perfect it was and we did divisions, Adolfo(RM), Jazmin(RM), and I and Hna Garcia, Moroni(RM), and Karen (we're getting her on a mission if it's the last thing that we do).  It was an hour and a half of miracles and we seriously didn't have words when we all got back together! Everyone was just silent and smilng they were so happy! I watch all these RMs and just their power and all I can think is how much I want to be like them.  Each one of them is so powerful and so amazing in different forms that we just want them with us always! The best part is how willing they all our to help's because they all still want to be missionaries ;)

Which brings us to Sunday, the greatest day of every week of my entire life! We put in so much effort to get investigators to church; coordinated rides, had members pass by for them, passed by ourselves and still came up pretty empty handed in church because it's a vacation weekend.  But let's just remember that it's church, the greatest place on earth, so I instantly had a smile on my face! Everyone walks in smilng at us and at the end there was a ton of hugs and so much love shared! Recently the Bishop's been focusing on teaching the members what a testimony really is and making sure that people don't just get up and tell stories for an hour. The result, almost everyone in the congregation bore their testimony and their was time for everybody because the testimonies were short and incredibly powerful! Church can not be a better place!!! This is how it is in my mind, let's take everyone that i love, the people I wish I could spend all day with, the little children who just want to hug us and talk to us and love on us, so much smiles and laughter, and then throw in a spirit that's unmatchable, a bishop who is so excited to make everything happen, teachers who are extremely prepared, and presidents that want everyone to feel welcomed.....WOW, there is nothing better! We have a lot of MA that we're trying to get back right now so the instant they walk in the building we try to make them know how much we love them.  They don't have to worry about if anyone will be their friends or if anyone will talk to them because currently there are so many people talking to them that the missionaries can only get a few words in and we're fighting to get a seat next to them :) After church, and we get out late, people just want to stand in the hall and talk....basically I'm having Frontenac memories like none other!

For the FHE on the privada Sunday night the bishop wanted me to sing.....i thought he was joking....not joking....well that happened and it actually turned out super well!!! We sang How great thou art and everyone had such big smiles on their faces that i just kept smiling more.  I love hymns because the words are truly prayers and just my testimony expressed in the best way possible! I just love this gospel cause there is no greater joy! Sure I've been happy before, but its never been anything like this!!!!!!

Lots more love,

Hermana Neuberger
Josefa's Baptism (She's been waiting for four years)