Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Catching Up With Elder Stone

Fun Times

This picture showed up on Facebook the other day. My friend, whose son is serving in the same mission as Neil, posted it because her son sent it to her. I was thrilled to see a familiar face kicking up his heels in the center of the lineup! He looks happy, doesn't he?

Today was the day we missionary moms look forward to--we get to talk to our missionaries on the phone! It was great to hear his voice and talk freely with him for our allotted 50 minutes. (When you've got 70+ young Elders and a limited number of phones, you can't talk all day!) 

On the Way to a Lunch Invitation

This has been a challenging opportunity for our young man. He works very hard at having a good attitude, but frankly, he struggles. 

We have seen tremendous growth in him over these past several months. He is learning to manage his day-to-day living. His emails home indicate he is making progress in his ability to communicate and express himself. Even though his ability to process his thoughts might be slow, when he takes his time, his letters can be quite inspiring. Here's a short quote from a recent email to his grandparents:

 " without challenges is life without growth. We need challenges to learn all we can while were here. I hate saying I like challenges, but as I said above idol minds are the devil’s toy."  

So there's a couple of misspelled words, but it's usually spot on. 

Anyway, There are many days when the mission is too much for him. He wants very much to give up and come home. Then, in the next email he sends, he tells us he wants to keep trying. It's a bit of a roller coaster experience for both him and us. Thanks to all who have written him and showed your support. I know he doesn't often write back because he can't address the envelopes, but your letters help. In fact that's what keeps him going the most--knowing how many people are praying for him and watching him.

Neil hits his one year mark in July. Even though this is a two year mission, it may end up being a one year mission for Neil. We have let him know that that's okay. We love him and support him no matter what, and we've let him know that his friends and family will understand and love him whether he stays or comes home. You will, won't you? Maybe he'll choose to continue. He'll reassess in July. 

I'm so proud of him for his perseverance and willingness to work hard in spite of his disabilities. Thank you for your concern and for your prayers. He's a very special young man.


Meghan said...

I am so impressed with Neil and all he has accomplished! Whether it's a year or 2 year mission, you can't take that away from him!

Trinyan Mariano said...

Neil's faith, fearlessness, and grit are so inspiring! His determination to fight the good fight every day is amazing. We love him and are proud of him. And that's the end. No conditions or qualifications. He has our prayers and earnest best wishes here, there, or anywhere.

Aunt Jenni in AZ said...

We love that boy/man no matter what and always include him in our prayers!

Lori said...

Thank you so much. He needs those prayers and good wishes!