Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17th, 2012

It is almost Christmas!!! I love this time of year so much and the spirit is so much more evident in the lives of everyone we talk to! It has been a great week! Elder Welch and I have continued to develop our companionship unity and are becoming better friends. Ever since day one with him I knew that it would be hard but I have had this great feeling about the potential that Elder Welch has and that our companionship has! I foresee us accomplishing great things here in woodland together!

I am very excited to be here in this ward at this time of the year! This holiday season is always very fun and exciting and I look forward to the time that will be spent at members homes with their families! I am always very humbled by the love that the members show us.

We are going to be having some great baptisms here in Woodland in the next couple of weeks! J.R. Gallagher is getting baptized this Saturday at 7:00pm and Lori Stonebraker is getting baptized on the 29th! Both of them are amazing people and I don't think I have ever met more solid converts. These people seriously just need to be baptized! They are so good and are doing EVERYTHING that they should be. It has been a honor to teach them and to hear their conversion stories. We have some other great people that we are working with as well, and guess what! New area, new people, SAME PROBLEMS. Smoking and GETTING MARRIED.We have three investigators who could pretty much be baptized if they would just get married. One of them would need to stop smoking though. IT is so crazy how the world views marriage these days! It is like it isn't even important! This morning in my studies I read a talk by Dallin H. Oaks about Protecting the children! It talks about marriage in it and about how the world is destroying something that has been ordained and set apart by God to be sacred and special.

We had a pretty sweet miracle happen this week! We had a former investigator call us out of nowhere and ask us to come teach her! IT was sweet so when we went over and got the full story she told us that she had been investigating a few months back but that she dropped the elders and didnt want anything to do with them anymore.. well after a while she started to miss the elders and the spirit so she started to try praying again and then began to read the Book of Mormon and she knew immediately that this is what she needed in her life and she also knew that she had to step away from it to be able to realize that it was what she needed! During the lesson she kept asking "when can i get baptized!?" haha it was so sweet but we told her that it would take some preparation (she smokes) and we set her date for January 12th. She then told us that she was "all the way in" and that " she was going to give this all she had" It was a great lesson and the spirit was very strong as we taught her the Restoration!

I taught my first District meeting this week! It was really fun! Everyone after said that it was great and so as far as I know it went pretty well! There were some things that could have gone better but there always is! The lesson was on revelation through the Book of Mormon.

I went on an exchange this week with Elder Johnsen one of our Zone Leaders. It is always so fun to go on exchanges and see how other missionaries do things and go about the work. Elder Johnsen was a VERY good planner and I picked up some things that I am going to start applying to my planning.



I love you all and hope your christmas is going great!! OH! Skype on christmas!! let me know what the best time is for you guys.. we will have district meeting that day so there will be times that I cant do it but let me know when is good for you and next week I will let you know when is good for me! cause i dont know at this point.. I love you!!

Elder Nelson

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10th 2012

Dear my beloved family,
What is up!! Sorry I didnt write you guys last week!! Things were too crazy and I had a lot to do! In case you didnt figure it out I have been transferred to woodland First ward in woodland California! I will be follow up training and will be a District leader! It was a tough few days saying goodbye to everyone because I have really fallen in love with the people in this area and ward. But it was definently for the best and I know for a fact that it was inspired of the lord! It was without a doubt the right time for me to leave.
My new Companion is Elder Welch who I am follow-up training. He is from Oklahoma and has a nice southern accent.
So woodland is nice. There are some great elders here and the ward is pretty sweet! Elder Lenon who who was my Zone Leader for the first two transfers is my ZL again! So I am excited about that! Our ward mission leader here is the man! His name is james haymore and he was big on baseball before his mission in Pittsburgh. He just got back like not even a year ago and just got married so it will be really fun to work with him.
The best part of the week was on Saturday DEC. 8th...because I was able to drive back to Santa Rosa to Perform a Baptism!!!! Yes! Martin Martinez was baptized on that day and I had the honor of doing it! It was a perfect way to end and begin a new transfer. Martin is the man and the funny thing is that out of all the people that I was teaching.. he was at the bottom of the list and I would not have guessed that he would be the one to have made it! The baptism was so sweet too. His wife, Joan, who we have also been teaching was just bawling the whole time and her son Chris(recently baptized also) said the opening prayer and mentioned how he hoped that they could eventually be an eternal was so cool. This work is a work of miracles brought about by small and simple things!!
Tell Jace Krogh that I said congrats on getting married! She is a cute girl!!
Alright so Just so you know I have a facebook! And it is open to everyone so you can get on and see pictures and follow me and see the people i am working with and missionaries BUT Dont comment or post or friend request me. Please and thank you! And that goes for everyone back home that reads this!
Well other than that I dont have much else...I got one of stews emails mom.
Last but not least...we get to Skype for Christmas!! so I will see you soon! I love you all have a great week!
Andrew's new address is 260 West Court St.
                                        Woodland, CA 95695

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26th, 2012

Dear familia!
This has been a fantastic week! We were able to go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, Elder Felix and Weisenburger! I have really been looking forward to these exchanges so that I could have the opportunity to learn from one of them. They are both very great elders.
It ended up working out that I went with Elder Weisenburger into his area and Elder Felix went with Elder Borland into our area. It was a great exchange! I asked elder Weisenburger a lot of questions about the work and about the area book and other things that I am working on doing better at. He especially helped me with my planning and I learned some things that will help me to be a better planner.
The work here in Shiloh park is about to catch fire I hope! Our new ward mission leader has big plans and we are starting to put them into effect. During Elders quorum he rebuked the quorum a little for how little they have been helping and then we had a great discussion about what needs to be done to make it better! After the lesson it was cool to see the excitement in peoples faces about the plans and ideas that we have worked to come up with with our ward mission leader.
Elder Borland and I are continuing to get along well! We had a good comp. inventory this week and we set some goals to finish this week strong and to have a great start to the next transfer! This week in 12-week we went over planning and watched all the videos about it and it really enlightened me on how things should be going in weekly planning and in nightly planning! So we set some goals to make it better and more effective!
I love being a missionary and I am so thankful for the things that I am learning everyday about myself and about how to be a better missionary so that I can more effectively invite people to come unto Christ and help prepare them to be baptized!
I called sister Alba this week on Friday about my Facebook account and getting it started but she didn't answer or call me back so I am hoping to get that started this week. I got the packet awhile ago but I wanted to spend more time teaching and finding with Elder Borland so I held off on activating it but I feel good about starting it up now.

Thank you for all of your love and support and prayers during this time. I feel them everyday as I go about doing this great work! Thanksgiving was pretty sweet! I LOVED your yams mom. IT made the whole thanksgiving. Seriously. What is funny about that is that I actually requested Pecan pie and elder borland requested yams... so When SIS. snyder called and asked you about the recipe she asked the wrong things! Elder borland loves yams. that is basically all he ate! But he loved your recipe and so did the whole snyder family!! The pecan pie was store bought so it was know..nothing special. SOOO Im writing quickly because I have to get to the church because it is elder Hansons last p day...he leaves in a week. He is one of the current APs and was an AP when I came in and we have gotten pretty close! I have relied a lot on him for answers to questions and his example has impacted me heavily. He truly sincerely loves everyone he talks to. I will miss him alot!

mom can you send me that red nike bag? I will need it to pack all my stuff that i have if i get transferred this next week..which is very likely so send that quick! I will be getting a facebook profile soon for my missionary work so i will let you know about that and about the rules and things later.
My letters stink i know but i always feel so rushed! I love you all have a great week.!!  I love you adios!


Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19th, 2012

These past two weeks have been very frustrating for me. After doing everything we could to help our investigators progress and to move forward, we have had to watch them take more and more steps backward. I'm not frustrated out of anger or pride, I am frustrated because I feel that I have done all that I can and that still these people are choosing not to ACT for themselves. If they don't do the fathers will than they will never know of the doctrine and gain a testimony. They know that the doctrine is good that the church is good that the Book of Mormon is good, they don't doubt that. They just don't know that it is true, that it is right, and that the blessings awaiting them are real, Because they wont consistantly act. That is the most frustrating thing that I have been dealing with. Is that people are refusing to act and do the simple things so that they can gain a testimony of the big things. .
I have seen some very great progression made in the lives of Charlie and Selia only to run into a wall. Selia and Charlie have chosen to postpone their wedding until they can afford something nice. which could be a while. It is sad to see the people that I love so much chose to continue in sin and prolong the blessings of heaven that could be theirs if they were obedient.
It is the same with many of our investigators. We have 5 that have a baptismal date and all of them have testimonies of much of the gospel but they have sins that are holding them back and binding them down. We are doing all we can for them but in the end the people have to chose to act on their own desires and be motivated by their testimony and faith. Even though I would gladly do anything for these people, in the end they have to chose and act for themselves.
Elder Borland is doing great and has made a lot of progress in his teaching. I have seen his confidence increase dramatically and he is going to be a great leader and teacher among other missionaries someday. I can see that great potential in him as I have served with him. I am proud to call him my son!
I look forward to another week and to the miracles and tender mercies that the lord will provide. I am so thankful for his guidance in my life.  I am very happy and having a blast. Like i said in the beginning though.. it is frustrating at times.
I cant wait to talk to you guys at Christmas.(if we are still alive that is..hehe) I dislike emails. I wish I could have like a camera attached to me and you could just see and hear everything. Maybe i will hire a camera man and do a live feed video to your t.v. OH even better would be like a video log at the end of each day and it would just be sent to you every night.
I love you guys and will be missing you this weekend over thanksgiving!  I hope you are enjoying the snow! I am loving the rain!!
Have a great week everyone my time is up! Love you!
Elder Nelson

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12th, 2012



The week has just flown by! It makes me realize just how precious our time is here on our missions because once it is over it is over and if we didn't make the most of our time, well, you have to live with it. it is humbling.
It has been a great week. we have made some good progress with many of our investigators and have spent a lot of time with them as they prepare for baptism. I am really hoping and praying to be able to have a baptism this transfer so that Elder Borland can experience what it is like. It is a totally different experience when you are in the font and see the fruits of your own labors.
I was very excited to be able to go to the Vazquez family baptism this week! I knew it would be extra special because it isn't often at least in my short experience, that you get to baptize a whole family on the same day! That was a very sweet experience. I have started to express in my prayers a desire to find and have asked for direction to be led to families to be able to teach. As we fulfill our purpose and contact 10 people each day I know that we will be led to those people that are ready and those families that are ready!
Elder Borland and I are doing great. We are starting to mesh together better and he is actively participating more in the lessons. He has a great love for the people we are teaching and wants to do whatever he can to help them out. He also has a very strong desire to be obedient! which is great! He helps me so much and keeps me on the straight and narrow path! We are very different, Borland and I but we have found a common purpose here among the people on the front lines sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is such a cool experience to put our old interests and desires aside and to unite together in pursuit of a much higher purpose and calling. I love being a missionary.
Our investigators are still progressing. It is very frustrating to see them be so close and to yet be so far!
Rachel Lopez is at this moment the closest one to being baptized. The only thing that is holding her back is still her smoking. I wish that we could do more for her but we have done all that we can. She knows and understands the doctrine of the word of wisdom, she knows and understands the health risk.We have given her multiple blessing and have fasted for her but she is still smoking. She will eventually make it and I know it is only a matter of time so we continue to go over to her home and read with her and study with her and teach her, but most importantly we will continue to love her and serve her.
Selia continues to progress but in recent days her husband Charlie has become very active in lessons and visits and has been to church two weeks in a row along with his brother Ben! The spirit that the gospel is bringing into their home is beginning to touch the hearts of all that are in the house! Charlie and Selia have yet to talk with the bishop about getting married due to the powers of hell combining against them (Rides falling through, getting sick) but they have another meeting scheduled for Thursday night. Selia is giving up coffee starting today! She didn't drink any yesterday so she is ahead of the game! We had a great lesson with them Saturday night where we reviewed the restoration and watched the Restoration DVD with them! It was very sweet! We have been saying family prayer with them every night and the spirit is so strong when we have them all together! I am so excited for them and their family! They are progressing well and we have a lesson scheduled for tonight with Ben!
We have a lot of finding to do this week to start to build up the teaching pool so I am excited for that. I love my mission and I love being a missionary. I am so happy and I look forward to the new opportunities and experiences that each day brings!
I am so happy to hear that everything continues to go well back home!

It has been really chilly here but that's alright. I DONT MISS THE SNOW ONE BIT!
mom expect calls from the bishop here in our ward and from Sister Snyder, we are eating with the Snyders on Thanksgiving.. they are sooooo awesome!
Well until next week... adios! forgot the camera cord so ill get ya some pics next week! I love you all!
Love Elder Nelson


Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5th, 2012

Andrew and Elder Walker. One of his roomates in the MTC
I'm really sorry but today was really busy! We went ice skating! So I am behind on time and we have an appointment in like twenty minutes so I have zero time to write! Camp Liahona is awesome! It was seriously so sweet! And we had Bomb lessons with Rachel and Selia on Sunday! They were pure power. I am very excited for this next week and I will have a ton to tell you about! You guys are the best! I love you and look forward to your letters!


                                        Andrew and ?

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29th, 2012

This week has been super good! I have especially enjoyed so far the opportunity to train a new missionary! While I was with Elder Stainback I learned a ton and this week I have had to use all of that knowledge in many different situations and I am thankful to the lord for all the assistance he has given me! I have truly felt the guidance of the spirit as I have answered tough questions and concerns without Elder Stainback to back me up! My confidence and faith in the Lord has increased.
My Companion Elder Borland is doing great! This week has been busy so we have not done as much tracting as I would have liked but he will be getting plenty of it soon. Especially after we get back from camp Liahona. HE is doing well.  It has been so interesting to see him be in the same spot that I was a few months ago and to be going through the same things that I was going through. He is still settling in and getting more comfortable but I can already tell that he is going to be a great missionary if he continues to do his best to learn. He is pretty soft spoken and he is a totally different personality as compared to Elder Stainback so it has been a big change but it has been welcome! I love the challenge and am looking forward to this responsibility! Elder Borland and I have had some great experiences this week and have grown together as a companionship. I don't forsee any problems getting in the way of the work and friendship. He has a great desire to become a good missionary and is willing to work and to put himself out there even when he has no idea what he is doing at times! He is the man and I love him!
This week has been amazing! I have seen the Lord's hand in the lives of our investigators this week and I have learned some valuable lessons! Rachel Lopez, whose date for baptism is Nov. 24th has taken some big steps! We had two good lessons with her this week about the atonement and about the Doctrine of Christ. She loves reading about those things because they are easy to understand. Especially the doctrine of Christ! She loves it and totally gets it! I always know when we have a really spiritual lesson with her because if she really feels it after the lesson she always starts talking about how bad she needs to quit smoking without us even bringing it up! The spirit is working on her and she is working to give up smoking. It is only a matter of time! She is only the beginning of the miracle though! Rachel has a daughter named Candida(Candy) James. She lives in the same apartment complex as Rachel does. Usually when we teach Rachel candy's kids, Janessa and Breanna, are there listening. So, a few weeks ago Elder Stainback and I received an amazing opportunity. Candy called us and told us that she has been having some bad experiences in her home. She has felt like there is an evil spirit there and that she doesn't feel safe, especially at night. So we were able to go over and bless her home and her family through prayer. The spirit was immediately present and she thanked us and was very grateful. Over the next few days when we would go over to see Rachel Candy would come out and tell us how she has been sleeping in her house again,(she used to go sleep at Rachel's) and that she hasn't had anymore problems! We were able to build a good foundation of trust with her and we started a foundation of faith! So While teaching Rachel this week Janessa, Candy;s daughter, expressed a desire to be baptized with her grandma! Usually we ask her and she doesn't answer or ignores us but this time when I asked her about being baptized she said that she wanted to! So We went over to talk to candy about teaching her and preparing her to be baptized with her grandma on Nov. 24th. Candy said she would have to talk to her about it and she asked a couple of questions about our church which led to a great lesson about baptism and the book of Mormon!! We asked her if we could come back and talk to her more about what we believe and she readily agreed. So we went back on Saturday night and had a great lesson that consisted mostly of us answering her questions about what we believed as compared to Jehovah's witnesses. She was blown away by the things that we told her and excitedly accepted a pamphlet about the restoration and we will be going back soon to teach her! The Lords hand is at work in their family and I am so thankful to be a part of it! Through service and simple fervent prayers we have built up foundations of faith that are now growing and being built upon in ways that I never thought!
The other miracle that I have seen this week was with Charlie and Selia Fox and their family! Selia is the main focus right now and is very close to being baptized. Her date is Nov. 10th but will probably be moved back due to their lack of being married. Selia has been struggling with the word of wisdom, Coffee. She is being stubborn and will not give it u p! she has stated to us face to face that she would probably be baptized if it wasn't for her having to give up up coffee! But! This week We were able to sit down and have a great talk about it and she stated that she has been feeling really tired lately even when she drinks coffee and she doesn't even know why she is drinking it! She also expressed that she has more of a desire than I even realized to be baptized! As we talked the way she said things implied strongly that she is GOING to be baptized. I felt the spirit so strong inside of me I thought I might explode! I have such a sincere love for her and for her family that hearing her express those desires and feelings made me so excited and I was able to testify to her strongly about the blessings that come from being obedient. That was one of the miracles that I have seen with them. She has been resolving her own concerns. The 2nd is that this weekend was the ward Halloween party and I really wanted Selia to be able to come with her family! She also was really wanting to come. So after a lot of stressing out and phone calls (their car is down and they cant drive) We acquired a ride for them. The miracle is that when the Jacobson's went to pick them up, they didn't need a ride anymore because Charlies brother Ben wanted to come and Charlies friend Ross wanted to come as well and they were able to fit everyone in their two cars.
At the end of the night we talked to them all about it and they loved it! Ross and his son loved it, Ben and his Two Girls loved it and expressed desires to come to church! Charlie and Selia especially loved it and Selia had the great opportunity to meet some great ward members and she talked to the bishop about getting married in order to be baptized!! It was AMAZING! I don't think I have ever been more excited in my whole as I was when I listened to her and the Bishop talk. Selia is getting so close!
I am so excited for the miracles that are happening her in Shiloh Park! The Lords hand is truly at work! The valuable lesson that I learned was that we are here to serve in the Lords time. He has the master plan and knows what each of us need and when we need it and he wont give it to us or make it happen unless it is the right time and if we have earned it.
I love being a missionary so much! I have such a great Love for these people and for their families and I would do anything to help them progress and to make them happy! I am so thankful to the lord for his assistance this week and I am so grateful to be a part of these AMAZING changes that are taking places in peoples lives. This church is so true.
We also had a great tracting experience where Elder Borland and I were able to teach on the doorstep a lady named Jessica with a big family and she was very interested in the book of Mormon and about the saviors ministry here in America!( used your approach dad, well kinda, I tweaked it and made it better hehe ;)) We are going back soon! She was solid!! Also I had my first raving lunatic experience while tracting. He was drunk as a skunk and when I came up and introduced my self. he got right up in my face and started yelling about how we believed that it was gods will that women get raped. He was a punk and I was ready to throw down but I'm proud to say that I didn't move an inch when he came in at me. all I needed to do was lean in and I could have kissed him... I probably should have..he would have FREAKED ha! But oh well. His wife came out and started to hit him and yell at him so it ended well and we ended up finding Jessica so it was worth it.
Anyways I gotta go! We have a full mission conference at camp liahona this week! I don't know if I told you that.. but yeah we are going up there for three is going to be sweet... Ill tell you more about it next week!
I am glad everyone is doing well it was so sweet to get letters from all of you this week! Its always good to know whats going on! I love you all and look forward to hearing from you again! adios!!
love Elder Nelson


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23rd, 2012

Hey family! Sorry this email is late! Just like last transfer the P-days are off and so my email day is today! But i wasn't able to get it done in the morning because Elder Stainback was packing and we had to do laundry and other things because he is getting transferred! Yep the big news this week is that I will be training a new missionary! Crazy right!? We just finished a meeting with President Alba and all the other trainers and now we have some time to kill before we meet with the new missionaries and have dinner and another devotional! SO this day has been different! I said goodbye to elder Stainback. He was a great companion and friend and I will miss him but I am so excited for the opportunity to train and to be able to work with a different companion! It is going to be so fun!

Right now my companion until tomorrow is Elder Garity. he is a cool guy! We will probably be able to get out and go see some people tonight so it will be like an exchange.

Also other big news is that I got a bike! The sixty bucks that I withdrew from my account was for a bike! One of the members here, Brother Ginn, offered to pay for a tune up on Elder Stainback's bike(he was originally going to let me have it) So I took it in to get it fixed up and the guy told me that it was basically trashed. It was a Posterity bike so his trainer had used it and his trainers trainer had used it, and it was a mess. It would have cost 300 bucks to get it fixed up to being decent. So I called Bro. Ginn and he told me to let him talk to the guy and them he asked the questions and they talked and they came to a deal for me to buy a used bike that they rented out for 190. And it was a nice bike. It will last me forever. And so we did it it and I told him I could just pay for the whole thing but he said I would be denying him blessings and so I was able to pay for some. I paid 60. Sweet eh? Bro. Ginn is the man!! I love the members here they take such good care of us elders! The people loved elder stainback though so I will have to do some work and keep the reputation up! I am so excited to lead out the area though! Also as a side note to the bike story I was in much need of a bike because Elder Stainback has been driving us into the ground and we are basically out of miles. My Greenie is going to hate me ha we will be on bike for his first week!!

I have had a great two transfers here with Elder Stainback! But I don't have a lot of time to email so forgive my short note! I just wanted to let you know that cool stuff is happening here and I am excited! I look forward to getting your letters and hearing about how you are all doing! I got the news that Greg got the job in Hawaii! Pretty sweet! They are punks!

I haven't heard from liesel or dan in awhile so i hope they are doing good! Mom and dad I love you! Stew you are the man! Keep on, keeping on and prepare for your mish! It is seriously the best thing ever! Have a great week!

-Elder Nelson

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 15th 2012

It seems like I begin every email with "it was a great week this week" but I don't know what else to say because every week is great and it only gets better! This week and last week were just so good and spiritual because of the conferences and the temple trip! I have missed taking the sacrament but I Will miss hearing so many good speakers each Sunday! We have been blessed to be able to hear from many great leaders of the church in these past two weeks and I have been very much uplifted and inspired!
The Temple trip this week was such a great experience for me! It felt like it had been a long time since I had last gone! There is such a strong spirit there and it was so sweet to be able to see all of the other missionaries in the celestial room together! I was able to receive some personal revelation while pondering and reading the scriptures for a few minutes.
I went on a great exchange with Elder Lenon on Saturday! We learned a lot from each other! He is a great missionary and I don't ever say goodbye to him without being uplifted and strengthened in some way. He has so much love for everyone. We were able to do a whole lot of finding that day and it was a good experience! He is totally different from elder stainback in many ways so it is always fun to experience and work with a different teaching style.
The work here in Shiloh Park continues to move forward. We are teaching some great people who are just moving at their own paces. Rachel is still doing great but I think we will most likely be moving her date back a little bit. She is trying to overcome smoking and has yet to quit, so we will need to give her more time it is only a matter of time though and we are doing our best to encourage her and strengthen her faith! I am still amazed at the changes that have  in her life because of our service and the spirit softening her heart. She kept her commitments and the blessings have come! It has been a miracle!
We had a great experience doing power hour this week! After dinner we shared a good spiritual thought with them and invited the head of the household, Bro. Allen, to say a prayer for us. He gave a beautiful prayer of great faith and we headed out into the night to knock some doors. About four doors into our finding we met a man named Phil who was very open to us and was busy at the moment but enthusiastically invited us back to teach him! It was sweet! we were led by the spirit to find him because of the faith of a members prayer! When we called to report how it went Bro. Allen was excited and happy and asked us to invite him out to go visit him next time!! He is a great man.
In one of our lessons this week one of our investigators, Selia, surprised us with an announcement that she had stopped drinking coffee! It was so amazing to hear that because she was so against having to give it up! Out of nowhere she had told us that she was "testing the waters" to see how it would be without it! I hope and pray that she continues to stay away from it! After she gets use to it she will see the blessings that come, I know it! She is so close to being ready! Her date is set for the 10th of November!
Elder Stainback and I are doing well. He is a great companion and I have learned so much from him in these past 12 weeks! I cant believe that it has already been two transfers almost. They flew by! Elder Stainback has given me a great foundation off of which to build and I will always be grateful to him for his patience love and desire to help me become a better missionary! He has been a great friend as well and has helped me find a solid balance between having fun and working hard and having fun working hard!
I feel like my letters are getting much less detailed as I go because the weeks are a blur! I dont remember much! The highlights of this week were for sure the Temple and Stake conference. The spirit is so strong at the temple and I felt so much better after coming out!! The Oakland temple is super sweet! I took some pics so I will send them to you soon!
So We had dinner on Sunday with the Snyders. Her son is on a mision in australia so she LOVES us coming over. They are an awesome family. If i am still in shiloh park we will be having thanksgiving with them! But anyways after dinner we got up and I went to shake sister snyders hand but she putout her left hand...and then just kept coming.....In my mind I was screaming NOOOOOO but its not like you can shove her away right? So yes, she hugged me. She did say as she wrapper her arms around me "oh i forgot i cant hug you sorry" ohhh boy it was WEIRD!! She is really sweet though.. so no harm no foul.
This week is transfers just so you know! Elder stainback is leaving for sure and I will probably stay one more but you never know. I will let you know how it goes. The word is that I will be training so things might get interesting.
We are having a mission conference up at camp liahona redwoods! Sick right? It is in November so that will be cool.

Love you!

Elder Nelson

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8th, 2012

Hello family! I hope everything is going well and that you enjoyed conference!
This was a really wonderful week! With conference looming it sure went by faster than usual but it was great!
I loved Conference! I was able to receive a lot of personal guidance and revelation throughout and the spirit was very strong. I took what notes I could but I look forward to being able to read and study the talks when they come out in the ensign. We are so blessed to have prophets and apostles on the earth guiding our church! When President Monson made the announcement about young men and women being able to serve at earlier ages amidst the surprise of the announcement the spirit was manifest and I knew that it was something the Lord had revealed to the prophet and his apostles. I am excited for the future of missionary work! I think we will see many more sisters choosing to serve especially!
After thinking about that announcement for awhile and talking about it with other elders I have had some thoughts about this great work that we are involved in. Someone told me that in the press conference afterwards that one of the reporters asked about how it would affect the sports teams.. I dont know what the answer was but I just thought about how silly of a question that is! While sports have their value and are of good report and praiseworthy the work of the Lord will not be influenced by things such as athletics! I guess what i was impressed with were the thoughts that this is the Lords work and there is nothing as important as sharing and living the Gospel! I have felt in the past few months many of my former passions and priorities shifting and changing as I become more converted and invested in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his work!
Elder Stainback and I have continued to develop our companionship and become better missionaries. I am very thankful for him and for the things that he has taught and continues to teach me.
We have had continued success with our investigators! Rachel Lopez had us over for some food and a session of conference! I think she slept through a few talks but she had some things to say afterwards about what she did hear so it was good to know that she learned and got something out of it! Her grandkids watched it with us as well so that was great! Rachel is also doing her best to live the word of wisdom and to give up smoking so that she can be baptized on Oct. 20th! She is really wanting to be baptized! Another of our investigators (who we just recently picked back up), David Lal, came to the priesthood session and we are meeting with him on Tuesday to see what he thought! He said he liked it afterwards!
Selia Fox is continuing to progress for her baptismal date! She has a lot of little issues and concerns but they will all go away when she gets an answer to her prayers about the Book of Mormon. She has been reading and praying and we do our best to help her along this path! We have been talking to her about setting a marriage date along with her baptismal date so that she can begin to live the Law of Chastity!
Other than that things are going well! The area is good and the ward is great! We have been doing lots of finding and although we haven't been to successful in that aspect we have been blessed with people to teach in other ways!
I am looking forward to another week and Im excited to get to work especially after conference! There were some really great talks that got me pumped up and motivated to want to get out and share the Gospel! I know this church is true and I am so excited to be a part of this work!
Stew better start preparing for the mission field eh? What did you guys think about that announcment? I think it is sweet!

well thats about it... I love you guys! ... Its a half Pday.. because we are going to the temple on the 11th.  I am excited.
Love Elder Nelson

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1st, 2012


This truly is an amazing work that we are doing. This week Elder Stainback and I have been doing a lot of finding and contacting and it is amazing the people that the Lord puts in our path. We just happen to be knocking certain streets on certain days at certain times but it is not by chance that we meet the people that we do and have the conversations that we have. The Lord is in total control of where we go as we listen to the spirit and let it direct us. I know that is true. We have not found many people to teach or set a lot of return appointments but we have had some great doorstep conversations with some great people who are very nice and appreciative of the work that we do as missionaries despite their unbelief. We talked to a man for a good half hour on the doorstep yesterday who was only at the house because he was working on the wiring and fixing it up. When we left he was very appreciative for the conversation and said we had made his day! Although he was not interested at all he appreciated us for our service and for our desire to assist him in anyway we could. We both left edified and the spirit was present. We were blessed with a couple of situations like that this week. Even though they were uninterested we were able to influence and make a difference in there lives and we will probably never even see them again. I love that feeling of having helped make someones day better. I hope and pray that the seeds we have planted will be able to flourish and eventually be harvested by others efforts.
I am excited about the progress I have made this week while knocking so many doors! I am getting much more comfortable being uncomfortable and am getting better at letting the spirit direct my words while taking no thought before hand what I will say. Although I must say i am getting pretty pro at looking for clues on peoples lawns and talking about them. I love houses with baseball stuff out, They are always willing to take a pamphlet or listen to a quick message after some good baseball banter! With the good there also comes many many bad... I have had some intense situations already, some have been crazy and hilarious and some have been tense and potentially dangerous( dont worry mom ;) But for the most part there are good people here. I am very blessed to be here in santa Rosa. It is a GREAT area. It literally might only go downhill from here!
I cant say that we have been totally unsuccessful in finding people to teach this week though. We made contact with a referral or two and some former investigators and have some upcoming appointments! While I was on exchanges with Elder Vance we actually tracted into a lady named Amy who invited us back for the next day. Elder Stainback and I went and talked to her and she was so solid! She had been reading from the Book of Mormon already and knew it was true and she believed in Joseph Smiths vision and when we invited her to be baptized(Oct 20th) she quickly understood the concept of the priesthood and authority! It was pretty amazing actually.
This week we have made great progress with Rachel Lopez, . She and her grand kids Anthony and Janessa came to church on Sunday and loved it! We are watching a session of general Conference with her this next week! It is going to be great! I remember when I first met Rachel. She was very dark and weighed down and unhappy! I wish you could have met her back then to be able to see the huge change that has taken place in her heart and countenance! She is so much happier and she is so much fun! She is always cracking jokes with us and laughing! It is amazing to see the Lord work miracles in her! I am so thankful to be a part of it. She is set to be baptized on the 20th of October but needs to overcome smoking.
Another of our investigators, Selia, just committed to a Baptismal date on Nov. 9th! She has made a lot of progress and if she gets an answer to her prayers about the Book of Mormon and the Church she agreed to be baptized! She is the coolest lady ever and I love her so much! We love being able to teach her and her family! It was so sweet to hear her finally accept and start to work towards a date! She said she would really try to read the scriptures and pray everyday.
Elder Stainback is a great trainer with a lot of knowledge about how to react to certain situations and although I sometimes at first don't agree with what he does he USUALLY knows what he is doing... I'm just kidding, he is a great missionary and companion! I love working with him.
This week has been great and I am very much looking forward to General Conference! It is a great blessing to be guided by a living prophet! This week one of our companionship goals is to tell everyone we know about General Conference and when it is! I hope you guys are pumped for conference! No SLEEPING!
I love you and miss you guys so much. Thanks for your letters and love and support! have a great week! eat some biscuits and gravy and cinnamon rolls for me!

-Love Elder Nelson

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24th 2012

Hey fam! I had a great week this week! We were blessed with a ton of referrals to contact and I met a lot of great people! I have to type fast so bear with me! This week I had a cool tracting experience! We were on a bike and we were biking to a street that we had previously planned on tracting but on the way I felt prompted to stop and tract a different street that we had passed. So we did and we found a sweet guy with a lot of problems and set up a return appointment with him on Friday.We taught him the restoration and invited him to be baptized and he said he would! So we picked him up as a new investigator! We contacted one of the referrals and picked her up as a new investigator as well. She just moved here from Carson city and was taking lessons from missionaries while she lived there! We are meeting with her this week. We have some great opportunity to pick up some more investigators this week as well as set some baptismal dates with people! If all goes well we could be pretty busy really quick! Thank you so much for all your prayers on my and all the missionaries behalf! I have felt the blessings this week!
On Thursday we had a half mission conference and Elder Eduardo Gavarett came and spoke to us. I met and talked to him. It was so cool. The night before on Wednesday we had a bunch of elders from up north come down and three of them stayed the night at our apartment. One was elder brown from the MTC and his trainer was with him, and the other kid was Elder Mair. The thing about Elder Mair is that he is from Wasatch and he played baseball there. I don't know if you will remember this dad but he was my partner at one of the UVU camps that we went to! I'm pretty sure it was the winter one. But yeah it was pretty funny when we realized it! We got as picture so I'll send you it sometime. Also I believe we played them in St George and beat them muahaha. I met a kid that played baseball at BYU as well and of course I was able to see my long lost friend Elder Walker from the MTC who is up in Lake County! That was one of the highlights for sure! I love that kid! It was good to be able to see him! Just know that I dread the day that I get transferred up North...the stories i hear are not good....ha its wild. The conference was great. I learned a lot and the spirit was very strong!

     Things with our current investigators are going well. We have three that are probably going to be dropped and the other are mostly long term projects that are moving very slow. Rachel Lopez is the closest to baptism. It has been so sweet to see the change take place in her life. Truly blessed and happy is the state of those that keep or do their best to keep the commandments of god! She ahd been receiving so many blessings from her efforts. Her family was a mess and she was very stressed out but things are falling into place for her. Her grandson Anthony has been in and out of juvy and its been tough for her. She loves him so much but he just keeps messing up! BUT like i said she has been listening and learning and doing her best and things are going good. Anthony her grandson is finally back home under house arrest but home and we have been talking to him and he really came out of his shell this Sunday when we went over. It was so sweet. And along with that we were able to teach rachel and he stayed out and listened and wants to come to church. So I'm excited about that. I love Rachel so much and I hope she is able to overcome stupid smoking so that she can be baptized on the 2oth of October. Smoking is seriously the worst thing ever. Since I have been here almost everyone I have taught that has had a baptismal date has had to overcome smoking. It is such a terrible thing and a horrible addiction.
Well that was my week, I wish i could tell you everythig but those are the highlights! I love you all and look forard to hearing from you! Thank you for all your prayers and love and support.
Oh on a quick funny side note we took rachel to a Baptism this week and it was in spanish so it was crazy to begin with but when they opened the doors to baptize them the water had been draining out because the drain wasnt plugged all the way...the water was super low... it was a mess.. Pres alba was there..but they managesd to baptize them still!! It was crazy and shocking but looking back it was hilarious!!! Oh was not how you picture a baptism at all!! Love you!! Elder nelson

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17th, 2012

Dear family,
Hello! I hope you are doing well! I have been! I had a great week this week with lots of good experiences.
The coolest experience I had was that on Sunday I had the great honor of being able to confer the priesthood on and to ordain Terrence! It was so cool! Terrence really is the man! I felt the spirit very strongly during the blessing and the words that I said were truly words from our heavenly father and I was just the mouth piece. I realized something very cool after the blessing as well when the bishop came up and asked me for a copy of my priesthood lineage so he could make one for Terrence! It took me a a second but I connected the dots and it was humbling to realize that my name and your name dad and glades name and all the others will be a part of Terrence's lineage and his kids lineage for the rest of their lives! I was humbled. I teased Terrence that he would never be able to forget me now and that I would follow him everywhere! I love Terrence so much and I am so excited for his future! We are teaching him this week and we are going to talk to him about the temple and about serving a mission!! It is my hope that in a year Terrence will attend the temple and that I will be able to get permission to go through it with him! How sweet would that be! Terrence is awesome.
Unfortunatly this week elder stainback and I have to be bold with some investigators and drop them. They are long term investigators and are still not keeping commitments or coming to church and we love them but we have other people that we need to spend time on. They just aren't ready. Its a tough decision to decide to drop someone. We prayed about it though and it is necessary We felt re assured in our decision.
On Thursday this week we got to go do some serious service up at Camo Liahona!! And seriously it is such a beautiful place!! It is in the midst of the redwoods and it is just so sweet! There are a bunch of cabins and things to do and I was excited to tell you about it because it would be a great place for a family reunion! Get online and check it out cause it really is awesome. The trees were huge! On the way back from the service we drove along the coast and we got to see the ocean and it was very pretty. It was a great day! I feel like it was almost cheating because it didn't feel like service it felt like an extra P-day! We had a blast! We helped clear out "the sacred grove" and built a path that led up to it. So if we ever went back I could show you the fruits of my labors! Unfortunately I forgot my camera.. so that awesome day of service will go undocumented.. oh well.
I went on another exchange this week with Elder lenon. I went to his area which is a Spanish area so I was dazed and confused all day! By the end my thoughts were in Spanish I had heard so much! It was really fun though! I was fed so well by the Spanish members..oh man... The coolest part though was that in some of the lessons Elder Lenon would ask me questions and translate my answers to the people so it was pretty sweet. The spirit was very strong in a couple of the lessons and even though I had no idea what was being talked about or said I Felt it testify of the truth being taught. It was frustrating though because when you feel that spirit you just want to teach and testify so bad! But I couldn't because I had no idea what to say! It really was good though. I learned a lot and got a great insight into a day in the life of a Spanish missionary.
We will be doing a ton of finding this week so pray that we will be led by the spirit to find people that are ready to hear the gospel! I love you all and am glad you are doing great! Sorry this is short! I look forward to hearing from you! I love you!
_Elder Nelson

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th, 2012

Hey fam! So just so you know yesterday and today are transfers So it altered the schedule just a little. I'm sure mom was at the computer hitting refresh all day yesterday! Sorry about that! I know your probably wondering if I got transferred but No I did not. Elder Stainback and I will be together for another six weeks here in Shiloh Park! I still cant believe my first transfer is over! It went by so fast! Everyone said it was the slowest of their mission but I thought it zoomed by! Of course as time goes on i will probably look back and realize that it was pretty slow compared to how fast it will be going.
Oh boy well This week was great. and guess what, We had another Baptism! Guess who he asked to Baptize him? yep it was Elder Stainback...Just kidding it was me!!
So this guys name is Terrence Myers! He is 20 years old and seriously awesome! We had been teaching him for a few weeks but this last week we lost contact with him for about five days. So that really worried us because his baptismal date was on the 8th. We no longer thought he was going to make it. But then on Monday of this week he texted us and said that he was sorry he hadn't gotten back to us but that his week was super crazy and his sister was in the hospital and all this stuff but that he still wanted to be baptized on the 8th and he asked what he needed to do to be ready. HA we were just like alright lets make it happen and we told him that he needed to meet with us every day that week and he agreed! We got through all the commandments he had his interview on Friday was baptized on Saturday and received the Holy Goat on Sunday! It was awesome! I know your probably thinking that he was rushed to meet the date but let me tell you a little bit about this guy Terrence. Terrence is the highest level of golden investigator that you can possibly get. He devoured everything we taught and couldn't get enough. We gave him pamphlets and scriptures to read to prepare for our next lesson and he would text us within an hour with questions about what he had read. He was very interactive and open with us in all of our lessons and he knew what it meant to exercise his faith. Luckily for us before we lost contact with him we had talked about the word of wisdom, not in detail, but he had a pamphlet about it and some scriptures. During the time that he wasn't meeting with us he had on his own started to ween off of coffee. He drank a lot and partly because he works in a coffee shop. So when we met with him on Tuesday he was already off of coffee! The next bump in the road we thought would be tithing but he accepted that like it was a Christmas present. This guy is awesome! So he was interviewed on Friday and I had the great honor of baptizing him on Saturday. It was so sweet. He was baptized exactly a month from the first day that we met him. There are people we are teaching that have been working with missionaries for over a year. I have been very blessed to experience teaching Terrence! I love him so much! We have even brought up the possibility of him serving a mission!! How cool would that be! Oh and I almost forgot that on Sunday the Bishop interviewed him for the aaronic priesthood and I am pretty sure that I am giving it to him this next Sunday!! Our hope is that he will be able to baptize his best friend Zoie who we are also teaching and who will hopefully be following in his footsteps shortly. originally we were teaching them together but Terrence progressed way faster than her so we split them up and Zoie had a great experience at Terrence's baptism. It's cool stuff guys. Really really cool stuff. After I had Baptized Terrence and we were in the changing room Terrence was kinda looking at me weird and he said thank you so much for baptizing me. I said No problem it was an honor to be able to do it! We hugged each other and then we started to change. It was a very spiritual experience for me because I saw in his eyes just how much he meant what he said and I knew he understood completely what had just taken place in the Font. That he was clean, that he was pure, that he had followed the example of his savior Jesus Christ. He said to me while we were changing that he felt amazing. During this time I was overwhelmed with the feelings of Joy, Peace, and happiness. It was a moment that I will never forget.
I was very blessed to have two baptisms my first transfer! To see the fruits of many missionaries labors on Harley and of our labors on Terrence( Not that it was much of labor) and to see that they were good. Very very good! I am looking forward to this next transfer and to be able to continue to work with some of the families here! We could potentially have two more baptisms in the next few weeks if all goes well. We have two people with Baptismal dates set for this Saturday! We will see how it goes. We are also sadly looking at dropping a few people as well.
I have to Tell you a little bit about the ward here! Shiloh Park Is AMAZING! The members here are just great. Here in Cali where the members are the minority the ward families are literally families. Everyone is so close and is looking out for each other not to mention that there is a ton of opportunity for missionary work! We had dinner with a family that lived in Utah for awhile but moved. The told us about how much more they loved it in Cali because the wards are much closer and the opportunity for missionary work is endless. but that's besides the point, the point is that the members here rock! they are all about missionary work and we get fed amazingly well both physically and spiritually by them! We have an amazing ward mission leader in bro Satterfield(who is being released anytime now) and the men who come out on splits with us are rock solid in the Gospel! I guess I should tell you as well that there are some really weird people here as well. We had dinner last night with a family that to me seemed great and normal...oh how wrong I was! It was the weirdest most awkward dinner of my life and on so many levels too! I cant even describe it to you. There are no words for it. but anyways... I love This place!
I hope everyone is doing well! I love and miss all of you! These are exciting times for members of the church what with Romney and all the Reports on Mormons! "Ye are the light of the world" has never been more true! We are the light of the world right now and its not because we are being talked about on the news! it is because we have the fulness of the gospel in our lives! We know our father in heavens plan for us and we know what we need to do to have blessed and happy lives and to return to live with our father again and with our families forever! We are so blessed! Let your light so shine before men stand as a witness and example of our savior Jesus Christ and his Gospel at all times. The eyes of the world are upon us! I know this church is true and that our heavenly father and Savior Jesus Christ Do live and love all of us! This is his work and his glory! Until next week! I love you all!

-Elder Nelson

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sept. 3rd, 2012

Hello my wonderful family! I hope everyone is doing well. Liesel thanks for the pictures and the note! I'm so happy for you and your family! I miss Jason so much and I cant wait to meet little Tyler! They are so cute. Tell Dan I received his letter and thanks for the advice! I miss playing board games with him as well. Best of Luck Dan with School and work! Enjoy the online classes!.....yuck.
Well I have had a great week this week! I wish I could just type my journal up on the computer and send it to you at the end of the week and I wouldn't have to try and remember everything because it is such a blur! But guess what!! I had my first Baptism! It was so awesome! We Baptized Harley! He has been struggling with smoking for the past five weeks I have been teaching him. He was at two packs a day a few months ago and he had been down to one or two a day for the past two weeks. I knew it was only a matter of time until he kicked it though because he was doing everything right! Every time we went over we struggled to have something to teach him that would help him because he really was doing everything. We had given him blessings we were stopping by every night to check up in him, he was coming to church and reading his scriptures and praying and keeping all the other commandments except for his smoking. And finally this week he did it! He hasn't smoked since Tuesday! We Baptized him on Saturday! It was so col! He was confirmed in sacrament and we stood in. He chose our ward mission leader to baptize and confirm him. The spirit was so strong at his baptism! The members are really strong here in the Shiloh Park ward. I mean we really have some great members! I love going on splits and having members at lessons because they bring it!! We took out a guy with us the other day, Bro. Scherika that is a convert of 4 years and his testimony was great! He came with us to teach this lady named Rachel who has been making some huge steps lately! Just yesterday (two days after teaching her the word of wisdom) we swung by to see how she was doing and why she wasn't at church. We got to talking and we ended up teaching her about fasting and fast offerings and giving her a blessing. But the cool part is that when I asked her if she had been keeping the word of wisdom she excitedly reported back that she hadn't thought about drinking coffee all day and had ony had two ciggarettes! She doesn't smoke much so that's good. I then asked her if she wanted me to take her coffee with me when I left and she agreed! so we left her apartment with a bunch of containers of tea and coffee! She wouldn't let me take the ciggarrettes though, but she promised she would stop after this pack, ha sounds like our family trying to lose weight, "oh we will just start on monday" Hey just a random side note I got hooked up with some free dumbbells thanks to Bro. Scherika! He manages a 24 hour fitness so when I heard that you better believe I asked him about old dumbbells! Pretty sweet eh?
We are teaching another family that is just awesome. The parents are Charlie and Selia and they have two kids, Charles(4) and Ben(1). They are super awesome! Charlie is tatted up and has big gages in his ears and is out of his mind high a lot of the time...but he is so cool. And his wife Selia is the BOMB. She is super interested in what we teach but she has had this weird understanding that if she joins the church she will have to be and act like us! We were able to clear that up this week! I had a great lesson with them yesterday on splits after church. We taught them the whole plan of salvation along with a bunch of other random things like stuff about polygamy and homosexuals and. If you knew Selia you would laugh because she is so full of questions and has some weird ideas and is VERY open with them.
Well I am out of time but It was a great week! I wish I could tell you everything about it but the highlight was the baptism and the great lesson with charlie and Selia! I am so blessed to have been a part of baptism and seeing the change take place in the lives of the people we are teaching is amazing and makes me More happy than I could have ever thought I could be! My joy was full this week! I love you all and cant wait for your letters1 have A GREAT WEEK!! Love YOU!

-Elder Nelson

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27th 2012

Hello family! I hope you are all doing well. I have had a wonderful week with many great experiences, some very spiritual, some absolutely crazy. I mean there are some things that have happened already that you guys wouldn't believe! People really are crazy! Especially people in Northern California! Many of the elders around me have served in the northernmost part of our mission, up in McKinleyville and Eureka and Crescent City and from what the stories they have told me, I dread the day I get transferred up there! It is literally the wild!
Well anyways my week was sweet. On Ttuesday we had dinner with the Ginn family and their daughter is married to Helamani Tafa. What is the significance of that? Well first off, his mom was here visiting from Tonga and she cooked us a huge feast of amazing Tongan food! Secondly and most importantly he served his mission in San Bernardino California which covers Barstow. It just so happened that he knew Bishop Max Taylor and a lot of the ward members and he was the missionary that baptized Terry Smith!!! I am pretty sure you know who that is! We hung out in Barstow. So that was really cool! He took a picture with me and was going to put it on Terrys facebook profile so if you want to you can get on my account and go see if he put it up!! So that was a really cool experience! I had another small world experience this week as well! Yesterday at church this guy came up and introduced himself to my companion and  he said he was a mission president. It turns out that he was just released from being the President of the New York, New york, North mission. Why he was in california I dont know but of course I asked him if he knew anyone from Grantsville named Elder Hutchins and he said " Oh of course! I just made him a Zone leader before I was released! He is a great Elder a very great Elder!" So then we talked about how I knew him and baseball and all that fun stuff! Crazy right!? It really is a small world!
So like i said this week was awesome! There are people that we have been teaching since before i got here that have made zero progress in 4 weeks that made huge steps today! We were teaching this old lady named Rachel who is really stubborn and has a ton of crap going on in her life with her grandson in and out of juvenile hall and so it has been really tough to get her to focus on what we have been trying to teach her. So basically the past few weeks we have just been serving her and talking to her and helping her out and we even snuck a few lessons in. But this last week things are finally calming down and she was finally opening up with us and she had concerns about not being baptized and not being able to be saved and stuff. It was really cool to see the change take place because as we served her she let us in more and opened up more and now she has a baptisiml date thanks to a very spiritual lesson 3 and the holy ghost touching her heart. We invited her to be baptized and she agreed! We are hoping to round up a couple of her grand kids and possibly her daughter as well!
In another lesson with a middle aged couple that have been being taught for months we were doing lesson three as well. We were reading out of 3rd nephi 27 and teaching them the Doctrine Of Christ(lesson 3).When we read verse 21 I felt the spirit hit me so hard to invite them to be baptized again. That verse was meant for them at that moment. They have been being taught for a long time and they are just stubborn and hoping for a big sign to let them know its true. At least the woman is. The man is just held back because of her. So that was really cool. They accepted by the way and are now progressing towards baptism!
I am blessed to be teaching two exceptionally GOLDEN teenagers. They eat up everything we teach them and at church on sunday they were loving it! I thought they might throw out some Amens or something because of how into it they were. They were feeling it. They are really excited to be baptized and cant wait! I love them so much! We taught them the Doctrine of christ as well. It was just a Doctrine of Chirst week! I love It!
Oh yeah on sunday, oh it was sweet. We had 7 investigators in church!! and guess who was speaking? It was a missionary homecoming and the guy was on fire. I loved his talk! It helped me out a ton and the spirit was so strong! There is no way our investigators came out of that meeting not feeling something! It was money.
This week really was super good and I needed it for sure. The tender mercies of the lord were upon me!! I'm so thankful for the gospel in my life! I love you guys and cant wait to hear from you!! Have a great week!!
- Elder Nelson

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 20th 2012

Hello family.  

So it has been a good week. Its too bad you didnt watch Monsons birthday party thing cause it was really sweet. And guess what. One of the songs they sang was from phantom of the opera! I freaked out inside and was taken back to the drama ,mystique and utter frustration at watching the movie. I wanted to talk to someone but no one would have understood excpet for my dear mother. So that was fun. Thats really weird that you are starting school already. On aug 15th 5 days ago I wrote in my journal about how one year ago from that day i was in Bartow for my first day of college. That was a crazy time eh? I cant belive how far away that seems already. Lets see what has happened this week, We are teaching harley and he is trying so hard to quit smoking for his baptism THIS saturday, and we are pretty sure that even if he doesnt make it we are going to baptize him because he has the desire and is doing his best. It has been a pretty funny couple of sundays! There is this family here, the Hardisty fam, that are moving and have been here a long time and have been really prominent strong members. So everyone is devastated.. oh man. So Elder stain back loves this famiy as well and i have been teasing him about how he is a missionary for the church of shane hardesty. and preaches the gospel of shane, its pretty funny, more so for me than you im sure! So elder stainback and i continue to become better friends as we find out more things that we both have in common. This week we discovered our taste in music and movies is EXACTLY the same. Like almost to a tee. He reminds me of stew sometimes because the only thing he lives off of is hot dogs and soda. Especially since he is out of money for the month! He is a good trainer though and I am continuing to realize how much i have to work on and how much i have progressed. We reaped the rewards of our finding last week and lots of our potentials blew us off so this week is looking like its going to be another week of finding people to teach. Hopefully we get in touch with them and are able to set up some appointments. I printed off some pictures that i will send to you guys! .  This week really was a blur i am having a tough time remembering everything that has happened. We taught a family this week with a crazy neighbor that tries to record our conversation and reports our license plate number to like the cops or something! we were outside talking to the dad and the lady came out on the phone walked up behind our car and read off our license plate then walked back in staring at us! haha it was crazy! well I need to write the pres. before my hour is up. I love you guys! Good luck with school stewart!  This year is supposed to be awesome so enjoy it! Live it up! Soon youll be  in a suit teaching the gospel!! Well adios! I love you all!

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13th 2012

It sounds like it has been a great week for everyone with the baby and all!! That is really exciting! I'm glad that everything went well! I'm very happy about having another nephew! Boys rule! Well, I don't know how to start this letter, the days and weeks are a blur. Things are going well though!   We eat dinner at members houses and we eat very, very, very well. Dad, the other day we ate at the Parker's home. You don't know them obviously but we had cedar planked salmon for dinner and it was so good! He is a big fisherman and I told him the last thing I did before coming home was go on a fishing trip! I showed him the pics on my camera and he showed me his pics of when he goes deep sea fishing and it was really cool! He told me that when I get off my mission i should bring you back with me and we could stay in the spare bedroom and go deep sea fishing with them! cool cool.   I have been wanting is a new set of scriptures. But not like I have. I want a quad but like a small one if that makes sense. My other ones are marked up and are continuing to be marked up so I need a cleaner one that I can share scriptures with investigators with and not have markings that only I understand all over! so a small quad would be greatly appreciated, better for tracting as well. Dad What is the famous book of mormon door approach?
Alright, well this week has been good! I am getting more comfortable knocking doors and am starting to like it! It is really fun and exciting because literally once you knock there is no telling what kind of weirdo is going to be on the other side!! On Saturday while checking the map i felt inspired to hit i street named marigold. It was a great tracting session. The spirit led us to three promising potentials and a lot of nice people that we were able to bear testimony and talk with. We have about four new investigators this week so our tracting has been great! but after a week of great tracting we finally hit a rough patch on Sunday. Everyone was really mean, one lady kept telling us to get off her property another guy opened the door said goodbye and then slammed the door! The good thing is that tracting is never a waste because we have raised the voice of warning and shared our testimonies and planted seeds that later missionaries will be able to harvest. We did run into one lady in particular that I will never forget! She was an older lady and at first when we talked to her she seemed ready! We were excited! But to make a long conversation short she said that she had seen heavenly father and mother and that she was now a vessel of the lord! She told us about herself a bit. We invited her to read form the book of Mormon and pray about it and while we were inviting her she said "I already did, just now" I almost starting laughing out loud. she then said" I have been told its not something I need to look into and that I should continue on my path" oh man and the best part is that elder Stainback continued on and started bearing testimony again about actually reading and praying about it and the lady interrupted him mid sentence and said " your not hearing me! I already did!" then she pointed at the book of Mormon and said "the truth isn't in here! Its in here!" and she touched Stainback's chest over his heart. She started to close the door and so we said goodbye and started to walk away but she threw in one last thing. She pointed at me and said "oh and the problem your having by the way will be resolved in about 6 weeks" Elder stainback was like "what problem!" and she was like that is between him and god." and closed the door! apparently she was entitled to receive revelation for me? and if its between me and god why was she involved? It was nuts! So anyways knocking is intense! well, what else, I should thank you mom and dad for all you taught me before my mission and for the things you did that rubbed off on me. My comp has been out sixteen months and he has no idea how to do dishes apparently. Because I unloaded the washer and there was food still al over the silverware and dishes,  I was like seriously man you need to scrub the dishes sometimes. the washer doesn't get them all off. There are many other things like that that I could tell you about that living away from home and having great parents has taught me. So I'm thankful for you and for my time at Barstow. I'm reaping the blessings from that time period that I never thought I would receive before. Dont think bad of my companion though because he is seriously awesome. I love him. We are teaching some great investigators as well! They are super receptive and ready for the gospel and finding and teaching and inviting those people to change is so sweet and it makes going through all the bad people worth it! I love you all and miss you! I still need to wrie a letter to pres. Alba and my time is running out so i better move on! Oh man!! I almost forgot, sadly one of the highlights of my week was that one night we were driving back our our apartment and the car in front of me had an awesome license plate. it said LOST747 If you cant figure out what that's all about then shame on you!! I seriously loved it. Ask my companion. I might have almost killed us trying to get a picture, luckily i realized it wasn't worth my life....but it was pretty cool. Pretty sweet huh mom/megan.?? Well until next week! I love you guys!!
Elder Nelson

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Monday August 6th. 2012

Hello family! It feels good to finally be able to write you! A lot has happened to me in this past week! First of all I am serving right in Santa Rosa! My area covers Windsor and   Shiloh Park and we are a part of the Shiloh park ward! It is a nice area and the weather here is soooo nice!! I love it! There are vinyards as far as the eye can see and tons of trees and oh man its sweet. My Dad is Elder Stainback from North Carolina. He is an awesome elder and he reminds me so much of Ryan because he has the funniest stories to tell and he tells them in a way that no one else can! He is super cool. Oh I have to let you know that when I unpacked my stuff all my white shirts were right next to my shoes right. Well I forgot that I had just polished them. So almost every shirt i own had black shoe polish on them. At this moment they are being washed so le’ts all pray that there is no staining. I was pretty frustrated about that. EVERY shirt. So annoying! Not to mention they were wrinkled! Anyways, so le’ts skip forward to my first day in the field cause it was pretty insane. Just so everyone knows, tracting is the worst thing ever!! Just kidding just kidding, I LOVE TRACTING. SO my first day yes I knocked my first doors. and I was so nervous. Seriously, I told my companion that I hated him for making me do this! I got rejected a lot by the catholics. We had a funny experience with a lady on the street though! She walked past us and we were like hello can we share a message with you or something and she was like No I am a evangilist christian(???) and I dont agree with your Mormon Doctrine. Then we were just like okay well what doctrine dont you agree with? Then she was just stuttered through a couple sentences and was just like the mormon doctrine! ha she had no clue about what our doctrine is about. she then proceeded to tell us to check out her doctrine and then went in her home. The funny part is that like a little bit later we were sitting in our car deciding who to go visit and that same lady pulled up on the side of us so we rolled down our window ready for more blubbering about mormon doctrine but she surprised us and said "Despite all that i said about mormons and even though I dont believe in your doctrine Im still voting for mit Romney!" and she drove off! Haha we thought that was pretty funny! So I got rejected a lot but we did find two Potential investigators! one was named amy and we ended up coming back and teaching her the restoration and giving her a Book of Mormon! She is going to read and pray about it and we are following up this week. So yeah knocking doors is really probably my least favorite thing to do. I get crazy nervous, cause you have absolutley no idea who is going to answer the door!! I forgot to mention that that EVERYONE here has stinking dogs! Some have been small so no biggie, but the majority all have huge monter dogs that act like they are going to eat me! Its the worst!!! Lets see what else.. Oh President Alba and Sister Alba are so amazing! Sister Alba is seriously the Sweetest  lady I have ever met in my entire life! They are great. And you can tell they really love and care about all of us! The eldres here are all awesome! so are the sisters! But the elders are seriously great! tHE AP's are in my zone so we see them all the time and they are really awesome elders and men! Our zone leaders are awesome as well. They always come up and tell me how amazing I am and stuff. In a couple of our meetings I have had to bear my testimony and they all compliment me and tell me im awesome so its nice haha. Oh also on my first day I had to give a blessing! It was crazy and i gave another one yesterday so thats two! I have had to learn fast and im growing really quick as well. Its crazy how many situations i have been in that make me so out of my comfort zone!! Im being stretched in ways like i never thought i would be. Just like Sister McGill said I would be!. Oh another sidenote elder andersons new companion is elder Nelson. haha he went from me to a different elder nelson! Pretty funny! The roads here are pretty crazy. I forgot to mention that on my first day as well I was given a cell phone, and i am the driver of our car!! Good thing I am used to cali traffic!! I am so pro at turning around these days.. We have a brand new toyota carolla, fresh of the lot that we cruise around in. Its pretty sick I must say. That thing never has to make a two point turn! I wish i could spend the next hour telling you everything but those are the highlights! Today is Elder stainbacks 16 month mark. that seems so long! Oh I invited someone to be baptized this week too.

 Thats so good to hear about little tyler!! I can get pics and vids through this email! Congrats to liesel and Dan!! Im so jealous!! Thats so fun!! Oh man did I mention that im seriously so tired!? When I wake up it feels like i just went to bed and when i go to bed it feels like i just woke up!! Its  terrible! I miss you guys a ton and hope you are all doing well and that I answered all the questions you had! Tell liesel i still expect a letter and that a new baby doesnt get her off the hook! i love you all so much! I look forward to all your letters in the mail!! my new address is 5203 Old Redwood Highway #48 Santa Rosa California 95403! Talk to you soon!!
Elder Nelson