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