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