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