Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 21st

So this morning we had to do an emergency service. Some investigators from the ward next to us got home from Church yesterday to find their apartment on fire. The mother of the family, who was a little iffy on the idea of getting baptized this weekend) was shocked but then saw a large group of members in the ward come to help them clean and repair the apartment. She is now really excited to be baptized but we thought it would be good to go there as a zone to help a little more with the house in the morning. 
So the week went well. I am really happy with the progress of our investigators. Although we didn't get quite as many people to church was we would have liked it was still a very good week. We will be having a baptism on Saturday and we are going to be baptizing essentially every week from here until I go home. Pray for that please. Unfortunately our zone isn't doing quite as well as we are. Actually half the zone is doing incredibly well, the other incredibly bad. We are trying to do everything possible to help out but sometimes people just dont want it. 
Well, things are going really well here in the mission.I really can't complain about anything. It was a little dissappointing that one of our most important investigators didn't make it to church so we had to move her baptism back a week but she felt really sick and was crushed that she couldn't go. So things are going well in the work.
So, I was thinking about it and I would like to do marching band just one more year. After that I will work but I am excited for another year of BYU football. 
I am sorry to hear that things aren't going as planned with Grandma and Grandpa's house. I am praying that all of those problems go away because it will just be easier when that is off your hands. 
So things are going well with the new house. That is awesome. I really hope everything keeps going so well and that there aren't any hicups. 
Hey so there isnt much news so I am just gonna say that I am really excited for these next few weeks.
I love you tons,
Elder McNeil

May 15th

So we talked yesterday so I really don't have much to say. Life is really great. We just did some stuff for my comps new visa and we went to subway. The sub of the day was Chicken Cordon Blu and it was really good. As far as the work goes, I already kind of filled you in so there really isn't much to report there. Everything is great. The one thing I would like to know is if the new stake president knows that I exsist and that I will be getting home in july. So things are really good here. I can't complain about anything. We stopped by some investigators after the call and everything is awesome.
So its good to know that everything is good out there. It is awesome that things are getting close with the house and that mom is enjoying the branch. I know you will pick out great things for the house. I mean you will be living with it for a very long time. Also, I know things will go great with the the Brew's house. It will be fine. 
Sorry for such a short and boring letter, I just dont know what to say. 
Thanks Mom for being awesome.
Elder McNeil

May 8th

So, first things first. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM! I know that I will be able to say that on sunday but I thought I would just say it now because... well, I can. We are working really hard here in Conce. It is a little sad that sometimes we work so hard that it is hard to see the results some times. I feel like I've been working harder than ever but that doesn't always show in the numbers. I know that that is normal and I'm not even dissappointed either, I am excited to realize that there is even more that I can give. Really things are going great. We've been fasting and praying for families to teach and to be able to recognize those who are prepared for the gospel and we have been finding awesome people to teach. I am the happiest I've ever been on the mission right now. I am just loving everything right now... expect the rain. I could live without that. 
Anyway, it is great to hear that everything is going smoothly with your work and travels. I can't even imagine what going to church in China would be like but I'm sure that was awesome. Also meeting a mission president is always a great experience. Also we finally got rid of some of Grandpa and Grandma's junk! That is really awesome. I hope that things keep going well with the sale of the house out there. 
I know I already said this but life is really great. I am super excited to keep working hard. We are doing some really awesome things as a companion to keep working hard. 
So as far as the phone call goes. I will be online at 5pm (unless we cant get another computer from a member then it would be 6pm here). So I love you all a ton and we will talk a little more on sunday (well we have an hour so that is actually a ton of time) but see you sunday!
Love ,
Elder McNeil

May 1st

So it is good to hear that at least the house should be wrapping up as I get home. I dont mind sleeping on mattresses that still have the plastic wrap still on them. I am also glad to hear that AJ is doing well and it doesn't surprise me one bit that Mike wants to name his kid Duke. I  was thinking about David as a name for one of my kids but seeing as I am the youngest and will surely be the last to get married I will just have to come up with even cooler names. How do you like the names Blaze, Latisha, Knife and Apple Blossom? I'll keep working on them. 
So this week was really good. Probably the highlight was they conference we had with the Seventy yesterday. So Elder Duncan is a part of the mission department of the Church so he essencially lives and breathes missionary work. He sat us down, started asking us questions and we learned a ton! One of the big focuses was on teaching families. That is probably one of the hardest things for us. We often teach teenagers or single mothers but families are really hard to find. Up to this point in my mission I have'nt taught a true complete family but just single monthers and thier children. I really want to be able to baptize a complete family before I finish. I am working really hard with my comp to do everything in our power to be ready for that family. He also said a lot of incredibly great things about, well, how awesome it is to be a part of the prophicies of the prophets. For example Elder Bruce R McConkie promised that there would be 7x70 stakes in Chile. Right now there are about 75 stakes and a number of districts. Our work is the way the Lord will achieve and fulfill his promises. Also, it was just good to have a good discussion about the work but I would have killed to learn what I learned yesterday about 18 months ago. It would have change my perspective about a lot of things about missionary work. 
So everything is going well. We have some good investigators who are progressing well. We are seeing a lot of wonderful fruits from our efforts, although I would really appreciate some more baptisms in these next few months, 
So... I was looking on BYU's website and saw that with the new major I want to study (Food Science- Food Industry managment track)  I only need to take one more class to minor in business managment. That would be pretty great for me because I really like the idea of going to business school after. I dont think about stuff like that alot but I thought it was interesting. 
I hope you got the email about the townhouse too. That is something I would like a lot. 
So everything is going well. I am loving the mission still and I am working harder than I ever have to try to find the people the Lord has prepared. It is a wonderful experience and I am really excited to see the fruits of the work,
Elder McNeil

April 24th

So, thanks for the info on the house. So my question is will it be done before I get home? I mean if I get home to have to pack and unpack boxes, I'll do it but I would like to know what I'm in for.
So I sent an email that I got from my friends family who owns the townhouse that I want to live in after the mission. I am really excited but if y'all aren't on board I can still find somewhere else to go. I guess you can start talking to his mom and see what happens there.
It is awesome to know how many missionaries there are there in the branch. There are a lot of us out here around the world and everyone who is willing and worthy is needed. So as far as the plaque goes I would like to use Mosiah 5:7-8. You have no idea how hard it is for me to pick just one scripture but I really like the one I used. I dont know how long the plaque would actually be there for but it is really cool that they want to make one. 
So this week has been good. It was really stressful with the changes in the zone because we need to get two brand new district leaders trained on how to do their assignment ASAP. As zone leaders, we rely 100% on the DL's and if they aren't doing their job, life becomes a lot more stressful. We had interviews with President and we had some meetings as well. All of that was fun and we have learned a ton but what was really crazy was what happened in our ward. A recent convert's son ran away for 5 days leaving the entire ward shocked and confused (he came back but still it was stressful trying to keep the family strong during the process). Saturday as we were helping the stake president prepare a few things for the baptism of his daughter we found out that we needed to also prepare the chapel for a funeral. The mother of one of the pioneers of the church here in the area died so there were a LOT of people who were coming. So while we were helping in the baptism there was a viewing going on. After lunch that afternoon there was a ward baby shower (there are a LOT of pregnant sisters in the ward) in the chapel ( while the viewing was still going on). That night was the first funeral service. Then Sunday there was a viewing in the cultural hall during all the church meetings then a baptism of 8 year old grand daughter of woman we reactivated at 1:20 in the afternoon and a second funeral at 1:50. We lost a lot of time with all of the changes but we really have things set up for an awesome few months.
I really like my new comp. He played football at Dixie State College in Utah and he is really young in the mission. He is a really great guy.Elder Bracken has a really cool family story. His dad actually wrote a book about his life called "The Orange Dufflebag: My Road to Radical Change" it is a crazy story. I really hope it does well. The book comes out July 12th in the States but Elder Bracken is going to get me a copy in the next few weeks. 
So things are going well in the sector. We are praying and hoping really hard to find some new investigators (especially families). We are expecting to baptize in May but all of your prayers help. I have a goal of baptizing at least 5 more people before I go home and I am praying every night to reach it but we need a family to teach. We will be fasting for it but what ever help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Also if you are going to the temple anytime soon, please go with the names of Hilda Leiva, Mauricio Cofré, and Rut Luna. They all need special prayers. 
So I love you tons and hope everything is going well.
Elder McNeil