Happy New Year!

Hello:

We had a wonderful week! I am so excited for this “New Year” and I am grateful for all of the amazing experiences I had in 2015. I have grown a whole lot and I am looking forward to growing even more in the coming year.

One of the best experiences of this past week was seeing my lovely cousin, Samy! I was so grateful for the opportunity I had to see her and catch up a bit on how everything is going back home. Her boyfriend is super nice as well!! More of my friends and family should date or associate with people from the Birmingham area so they can come take me out to lunch – ha . . . just kidding!

New Years was really fun as well! The Birmingham missionaries (four of us) bought some Martinellis Sparkling Apple Cider from Wal-Mart, set some goals and toasted to the New Year. It was really fun!

I would like to share one other really cool experience from this last week that testifies of the power of member involvement in missionary work. Recently, we have been teaching the niece of a member couple here in the Birmingham ward. The niece recently moved in with this couple and has been looking to make a big change in her life. By way of referral from this couple, we started talking to her about the Gospel. Unfortunately, she wasn’t exactly all that fascinated by it. Regardless, after a couple of lessons, we set a baptismal date for Feb. 6 and told her that we would work toward it and if she didn’t feel ready by that time that we could move the date back. She accepted the date somewhat reluctantly.

So a little bit later in the week, we received a text from that family’s “home teacher.” He told us that he had swung by that day and had a great discussion with this young woman and that we should go by and give her a Bible because she didn’t have one. So we got in our car and drove over to her home. We knocked on the door and she answered it and let us in. She was in a much more friendly mood than we had seen during our previous visits. We presented her with the Bible and she thanked us for it and then asked the question, “I was wondering if we could do my baptism earlier – like on Jan. 16?” My companion and I just looked at each other and then back at her and then back at each other and then back at her and said, “O yeah, of course!”

We sat down and talked with her a little longer and it was a complete 180-degree difference from where she was before. The only reason that my companion and I could come up with for this drastic change was the influence of that great “home teacher” that swung by. So we are now working to have her baptized on Jan. 16th and we are very excited! I know that member missionary work is the best way to do missionary work! It is so helpful when members get involved and fellowship people investigating the church. I am so grateful for all of the experiences I am having and all that I am learning. I love and miss everybody back home and hope that you have a great New Year!!!

Love,

Elder Neser

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