Happy New Year and Beware of Pride

Hello All!

It’s 2015!!!! I can’t believe how fast 2014 has blown by and how many amazing things happened in that year! I fully recovered from back surgery, I graduated from seminary and high school and I left on a two-year mission to serve the lord here in Alabama – how amazing! Looking back, I have grown so much and in so many ways (2 inches from back surgery), and I am so looking forward to this next year to grow even more! And it all starts with taking small steps and working on goals day-to-day, hour by hour to become exactly who I want to be. Goals are amazing and are so important to set (I have set a lot of them this year). But if you are never able to carry them out and achieve them, then they can be useless. So my first and foremost goal this year is to COMPLETE my goals by the end of the year. It’s a goal within a goal, “goal-ception.” So I encourage everybody to set goals, but to also set a goal to achieve those goals. It’s kinda funny, but it is working for me!

In other news, this last week was way awesome! We had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year and inviting people to Christ! We spent New Years Eve with an amazing member family that fed us shrimp and other finger foods to make us feel like we were at an actual New Years Eve party. Then we got some Martinellis Sparkling Apple Cider at the store and had our own little ringing in of the New Year before we went to bed. It was really fun. Even though I didn’t spend the holidays with my family, I am so grateful I had such wonderful people to spend the holidays with. Some of the people that we are teaching who are investigating the church right now didn’t have anybody to spend this holiday season with and it has really helped me to recognize all my blessings.

It rained a lot this last week and was very cold, but one day my companion and I decided to just hoof it all day through the cold rain and see what missionary opportunities would come from it. Plus we thought it would make for a fun story. We walked all over the city through stores and knocking on doors, and nothing really came from it at all. But before we went home, we decided to knock on the door of a less active that we had been meaning to see for quite some time. A person answered the door and we asked if the person we were looking for was home and he said no, so just as we were going to walk away, he invited us in for a second to get out of the rain. And what was going to be one second turned into a wonderful 45-minute discussion on the gospel and how remarkable it is. The man who answered the door wasn’t a member, but absolutely loved what we were saying so he continued to listen and ask questions. He is from Honduras and for some reason, people from Honduras speak Spanish in a way that is a lot easier to understand, so the lesson went well and we were able to speak easily with him. We have a return appointment and I couldn’t be more excited!!

In conclusion, I would like to share a quick thought that I learned from a talk I read this past week by president Ezra Taft Benson entitled “Beware of Pride”. In this talk, President Benson talks about the pitfalls that come from having pride. He talks about the main feature of pride being enmity and how it isn’t just something people on top have towards the people on the bottom. Any sort of gossiping, backbiting or malice towards others is in one way or another a form of pride. However, the line from his talk that most impressed me was when he said: Pride says, “if you succeed, then I am a failure”. I admit that I have felt this way in the past about others success. I have felt like a failure. It has even happened in missionary work when other missionaries succeed and I have felt like a failure. But I know, especially now, that this is just pride talking. The way to eliminate this feeling is to be humble and to rid your life of enmity. So I am trying to do that and I encourage everybody to do that too. Love and charity toward others is awesome! Lets focus on those feelings! I love all of you and am so grateful for all your love and support.

With much love,

Elder Neser

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