Monday, January 28, 2013

January 27th 2013

Dear Family!
Hello! I am super excited to tell you that this week has been great! We are being so blessed by the Lord in our efforts to find those people that are PREPARED. I have been very anxious to tell you about Courtney Gonzales! She is the lady that we picked up a few weeks ago because she referred herself to be taught on! Unfortunatly Not much has changed in her situation. She is still receiving lots of negative feedback about her investigation of the church. Her husband has worsened. She is receiving calls from her mother about false rumors and ideas that she has heard about the church. This week she had planned on coming to church with her husband, Jeremy, but that planned changed as he refused and from what she told me he threatened that he would leave her if she became a mormon. She also told us that he would go to other churches just not our church. Stupid right? He doesn't even care! So there must be something else that is deeper. But! The coolest thing ever happened. First, after she told us all that she seemed to be dropping us by saying she needs to slow down and not push religion so much So my heart was in my stomach and I felt sick for a few minutes as I listened. Luckily The spirit was my guide as I testified to her of the blessings that come from the gospel and the peace that can be found in obedience to Gods laws.. She told us then that she still wanted to meet with us weekly and learn and read! So that was good! We hadn't lost her completly! But she did say that she was going to ease off of pushing her husband and that she wouldn't be coming to church on sunday. We were happy to be able to still teach her but bummed that she wouldnt be coming to church for a while.... So here is the cool part. After hearing all the crap that she is having to fight through and all the opposition that she is facing we did not expect to see her at church...but she came. I dont think words will ever express what I felt when I saw her walking up to the doors looking very nervous and in jeans and a t shirt! I was overwhelmed with love and admiration for her and for her determination to Learn the Gospel! It was such a sweet moment. It was especially cool because as she walked up amidst throngs of people looking very uncomfortableI made eye contact with her and we just had this connection! I was smiling like a fool because i was so happy she was there and when she saw me she started smiling and you could see immediatly that she relaxed and No one knew what was going on except for me my companion and her! Well, and God. But all around us no one knew what she had to do to get to church. But she knew that we knew and we knew that she knew which gave a very dramatic feel! Almost like a movie! It was pretty sweet! But obviously above and beyond that it was just so awesome to see her walk through those doors with a big huge smile even though the storms were raging back home! The Gospel and the church are truly harbors of peace and safety and joy. I love Courtney so much!
We had a Zone conference this week! It was us(woodland) Fairfield and Vacaville. We all met at a stake center in Vacaville and had a sweet meeting! President Alba gave us some very good motivation and taught us alot. He is a very inspired man! The things he taught I felt were directed exactly at me! So that was really fun! It lasted from about nine to four so it was long but good.
We have Two Baptismal dates!! Finally!! It has been awhile since I have had a progressing investigator with a baptismal date! The first one is a new investigator that we found while tracting! His name was Wallace Solomon! He is an 86(yes 86 year old man that we talked to on the doorstep for about fifteen minutes! We talked about fishing most of the time and ended up giving him a restoration pamphlet and getting a return appointment! We went back and taught heim about the restoration. The spirit was really strong especially as we taught the great apostasy! He seemed to be very atttentive. After the lesson he asked us again to explain the great apostasy and asked the question? "why are there so many churches?" I love that question! We have the answer! After I re taught it to him he said "wow I have asked a lot of pastors and friends throughout my life that exact question and none of them had an answer for me like that! Thank you" It was so sweet! We had another appointment with him this week and taught him the plan of salvation! He loved that especilly the three kingdoms. And I invited him to be baptized towards the end! He readily agreed and when we set his date for Feb 23rd he said ill do my best to be ready! We told him we would make sure of that! Ha it is amazing to be a missionary! All of the bad you have to go through to find the one good is totally worth it. "today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" (Like that dad?)
So that is my week(s) in a nut shell!

Have a great week!!
Love Elder Nelson!

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21st, 2013

Dear Family,
Whats up! I am so thankful for your letters! I love hearing from each of you and I can always count on getting them every Thursday or friday. So... i gotta be quick cause I really want to play some basketball! So!
This week has been sweet! Elder ------ and I are doing great! It is amazing what can happen when you have a companion that wants to be obedient and works with you! We have had some great experiences already!
So Elder ----- is from Mapleton Utah and he went to springville high. He played baseball so his parents are sending his glove...wohoo!! He has been out on his mission I think nine weeks now. It is weird because he had to go home for a bit in the MTC. (I didnt ask why it doesnt matter.) But he went home and came back and it was in the middle of a transfer that he came out. So yeah. He has been out less than two transfers. But he is awesome and had a good trainer so I haven't seen to much disobedient tendencies! He wants to be a good missionary! We are going to do work!
I am still a district leader but my district is different. I have two Sisters in my district, Sister Parker and Sister Saili. Sister Saili just got here from the salt lake temple square mission! She is a great missionary! They do some cool stuff at the temple square mission. Except for the fact that it sounds like a sorority at a college!
The other two in my district are Elder Wykle again and Elder Cartwright one of our Zone leaders. It will be great to have them in my district!
They are doing this new thing where the Zone leaders live together but have different companions. This is  basicaly to allow them to be able to train a new missionary this next transfer. Many of the Zone Leaders are already training this transfer.We GOT 13 NEW MISSIONARIES AND ONE 18 YEAR OLD. Next transfer we will be getting 28 NEW MISSIONARIES and most of them will be 18! Plus only four missionaries are going home! That is a huge increase! We are all pretty excited about that!!
Well my time is up! I have to tell you though that we are experiencing some awesome miracles while tracting! The past couple of days we have found three new investigators! They are seriously aweosme though!! They are Wallace Solomon, Linda and Silverio, and Dori! Please keep them in your prayers that they will have soft hearts and that they will accept the message we have to share with them! We also have some other great new investigators that we picked up from some referrals! Super sick! We are so excited!! But If i dont go play basketball i am going to go crazy cause last week we didnt do anything because of transfers!!  
well...that is all i can remember to tell you. I am distracted right now! The weather here is AMAZING. it is 70 degrees today!!! I love it!!
Have a great week everyone and I love you!
I love being a missionary!!
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 15th, 2013 Happy Birthday Andrew

Dear Family,
It has been a wonderful week! Last Saturday we had an amazing lesson with Courtney Gonzalez! She was a media Referral that we were able to contact and set up an appointment with! She might be one of the most GOLDEN people I have ever talked to! She has no religious background so it was a very new challenge to teach the gospel in a very childlike way so that she could follow and understand what we we were teaching her! Luckily she is a very active learner and had lots of good questions! She wanted to learn about the Book of Mormon initially so we started her with that! We Went through the introduction and a little bit of 1st Nephi but we didn't have time to read with her much because she asked so many questions about what we read in the introduction! It was awesome! She is a seeker of truth! I am so excited to teach her more!
The work is going great in this area! It still has a ways to go but it is really picking up here the past couple of days! As we have spent more time finding and praying for faith and to be led to seekers of truth, we have been blessed with people to teach through many different sources.
My time with Elder Welch has come to an end and I hope and pray that he will continue to build off of the foundation that we built together and that he will find in himself the motivation and drive to be better. He is being transferred to Ukiah- Willits and I will be staying here in Woodland as a District Leader with a new companion! Elder Welch has great potential! That is something I saw in him from the beginning. I should have been a little easier on him but I knew that if I was easy then he wouldn't move toward reaching his potential. I am thankful for the . Best food I have ever eaten. The steak was absolutely perfect. He bought us A nice apetizer and obviously our main meals and then dessert as well. Want to guess how much my plate cost?? Go ahead guess! It was $30.99. Can you believe that?? When Elder Welch and I sat down and saw the prices we both looked at each other with horror! We told him we could not eat there. But...he told us not to worthings that he taught me and for the many things I learned, but I am very much looking forward to meeting my new companion tonight! I don't know much about him at all except for his name so it will be fun! His name is Elder Beaulow...Beau as in Beautiful.. Im pretty sure that is how you say it..but not how you spell it so sit tight on that one!
I am excited to be a district leader again and to apply and improve on the things that I learned last transfer! I feel unqualified to lead but I know that the lord will qualify us in our weakness to be able to meet the demands placed upon us by his call as we seek and desire it.
So Some interesting news for you! This next transfer is only going to be 5 weeks long! That is because of the shortening of the time that missionaries stay in the MTC. SO in order for our transfer schedule to be on the same page as their transfer schedule, Im pretty sure all missions around the world are having a five week transfer. The thing about that is that we don't get that week back. So I will be coming home a week earlier. I guess ill have to extend so that I can have that week and more back! It was pretty funny, the other day one of the members here was telling us about her niece that was on a mission and when she found out that she was losing a week of her mission she FREAKED. She wrote like half of her letter home about how she couldnt believe that the church would do this to her and all this stuff! I thought it was pretty funny. Some missionaries are way to wound up and need to relax. It's pretty crazy!
     Last week We ate with the stonebrakers on tuesday and they thought it was my birthday so they bought me a big cake! Then told them it was next week! It was pretty funny! So I had an early Birthday party!
Also last week we had a Zone meeting and we got a bunch of New Rules and Standards, President Alba Style! One of them was that we cant listen to anything except Mormon Tabernacle Choir...Isn't that horrible?? I think it is horrible. I am already sick of them! So I have a request for Liesel and Dan and Jenny and greg. Can you burn me a CD or two with all the best Motab songs on them? Also they have to be spiritual, so no lion king or phantom or anything like that! Please and thank you!! It turns out that you have the spirit of prophecy mom and dad! Thanks for the called to serve CD! So yeah the captain is tightening his ship and I am excited for these rules. It will unify the mission as we all strive to be 100% obedient and renew all of our individual desires to follow the rules.
     Tell Grandma T that her card came on time!! And tell her thanks! She is so awesome.
So Last night on the 14th was Elder Welch's last night in woodland! For our dinner we were eating with J.R. gallagher who who elder welch baptized. So since elder welch was leaving and since it was my birthday tomorrow he took us out to eat...oh boy did he take us out. We went to Buckhorn Steakhouse up in Winters, it is a small town. But this Steakhouse is AMAZINGry about it..and he wouldnt ate..and ate...and ate some more... It was so good... I felt like i was robbing him the whole time...but hey.. he forced me to do it so I figured I might as well enjoy it! We very much did! Elder welch and I got the same thing. The Buckhorn Combo! It was ribs, Prawns and some steak wrapped in bacon with garlic potatoes and butternut squash and fried onions. Best spinach dip pf my life for the appetizer and Cheesecake for dessert. The tab was over 130 bucks. Istnt that crazy?? This guy is single though and has a really good job but still..take me to the dollar menu at McDonalds and Ill be happy! This food seriously was amazing though.
Well can you believe that I have been out 6 months? I cant! I think that's crazy! It feels like yesterday that I left the MTC! I am amazed at how much I have changed in this short amount of time. I m also amazed at all the many blessing I have received throughout my life as I have grown up and went through school. Isn't it amazing at how we meet certain people at certain places during certain periods of our life? Isn't it amazing at all the different impacts that people have on you as they pass through your life? I am amazed when I look back on the past five years at all the people that I have met and grown up with. The time I spent in Barstow Though short is already a very precious memory that means so much to me. My time in high school with all my friends.. How did it happen this way? There are no accidents. I don't believe that one bit. There is a master planner and as we are faithful and obedient he places people in our lives that will impact us in the way that we need to be impacted. Whether for a small moment or for many years or in one specific case, for eternity. I am so thankful for all of the many people that I have had the privilege of meeting and associating with! It makes me feel so humble at how things worked out. I am filled with love for my heavenly father and my savior as I reflect on how much I have been blessed! As I reflect on the people that I have grown close too. This church is the church of Jesus Christ Restored to the earth through a Living prophet. Jesus Christ does live And heavenly father does Love us so completly that we cannot even comprehend it. I am overwhelmed at the love Jesus and his father offer me every single day of my life. I know this gospel is true and I am especially thankful for all of my wonderful family members reading this letter! I love each of you So much! You mean everything to me and I owe who I am today to your loving guidance and support!! Thank you so much!
Have a great week! I love you!
Elder Nelson

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jan. 7th, 2012

I really enjoyed your letter this week and I am very much looking forward to the new standards that we will be getting on Monday at zone meeting! I have truly felt a division in the mission and in areas and companionships because of differences in opinion on rules. There has been much Justification of the white handbook. These new standards will not only raise the bar but it will unite companionships, districts, zones, and the mission in our purpose and in our effort to be obedient. I look forward to the changes and will strive my very best to embrace them and live them and help other do the same!
I feel very excited at this moment to report back to you about Elder -----! I have really seen some huge improvement in the past few days! There has been a change taking place inside in him and I am so thankful for the direction of the spirit as I have done my best to help him to grow and to "Experience a mighty change." During our weekly planning we had a great Companionship Inventory! As we talked I felt the spirit directing my words and I don't even remember most of what I said because it was not me that was speaking! But I saw in his eyes that he knew who was speaking and since then and because of the effort I have put into trying to help him along with the Zone Leaders, he has made some great steps. His enthusiasm is much much better as well as his desire to work and to go finding and to lead out! In our planning he is actively involved and is giving input and in his studies he is actually learning and asking me questions to help his understanding... it is GREAT! Already I feel a huge shift in the feeling between us and an added measure of the spirit! It is a very awesome experience. I am very excited for this week!
In order to help him progress this week I have also given him the wheel! He is in charge of everything this week and I of course will be there to help support and correct and guide him but he ultimately will be in charge and leading out every lesson and finding opportunity and in planning and in everything else we are involved in. He is excited at the opportunity to lead but to be able to make mistakes knowing that I will be able to help him when he does!
As for Elder-------l and Elder -----, That is a tough situation. Their area is dead and I don't think it has anything to do with the area. Elder----- is not an easy companion and Elder ----- is doing his best to love him and work hard. I went on an exchange with Elder ----- and he expressed to me some of the complications in working with him. One is that he slows down the work due to the fact that his knee is always bothering him and that they are having to walk, and two is that When they get teaching opportunities, Elder ----- is not teaching but getting way off topic and talking about things that missionaries should never be talking about with investigators. Elder -----l is still figuring out how to deal with those situations, he just doesn't really know how. I gave him what advice I could and told him to continue to pray for and love Elder ----- and to continue to do his best to accomplish his purpose as a missionary. If you have any advice on helping Elder ----- I would love to hear it! I will be exchanging with him this week and I am hoping I can help him in some way!
It has been a great experience being a District Leader! I am still so happy that I had this position to be able to help and serve in a greater capacity! I made a lot of mistakes and I am still figuring out how to actually be an effective district leader, but I am so thankful for the opportunity and for the things that I learned!
In regards to the
Red paragraph mentioned above that is about some exciting changes taking place in the mission! Due to recent circumstances and many missionaries taking advantage of a new president and  of the rules there are going to be a lot of new rules and standards set on tuesday at zone meeting! I am pumped!! It will be such a great thing for this mission. I have really felt like a heaviness about me or weight on my shoulders as I have had to deal with many obedience issues in my district and comanionship and with other companionships. This really will help the mission so much. As long as the missionaries rally behind the new rules. As leaders, in district leader meeting we talked alot about being bold in our correction and in embracing all the new changes 100%. The zone leaders said that there will be some big changes. We are getting the Law of (Moses)Alba! At this time our mission cant handle the spirit of the law. It is obedience or be stoned. haha!
Alright well that is about all for me! I love you! Have a great week! I cant wait to hear from you! I always get excited come friday or saturday cause I always know I will have a letter from you and dad :) Love ya!
-Elder Nelson

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December 31st, 2012

Dear Family!!
I hope you are all doing well and that you are having a wonderful holiday!! Holidays on the mission sure are DIFFERENT. I have big plans for tonight though.. I talked our Zone leaders into letting us have a small celebration for new years! It will be sweet! We will be celebrating New York style.. (9:00pm) and then going to bed... Welch's sparkling grape juice, cookies and in bed by ten thirty...Sounds pretty crazy right?? HA!
Well Christmas was pretty sweet! I got a lot of cool stuff from the Ellis-Sherinian family that I think I told you about. I stuffed myself pretty much the whole week...Starting tomorrow for my new years Resolution I will be back on track.. Im sure you guys are doing the same!
Things are going well for me. I have really been trying to do my best to help elder Welch to be motivated and enthusiastic about the work and about being obedient. It is SLOW work. I just don't get it. But I have felt a lot of satisfaction come from knowing that I am doing all that I can to help him and it is his choice whether or not to change. "I can only teach him correct principles and let him govern himself" For the most part. I have taken away some of his agency.. Like getting up on time. If he isnt out of bed by six thirty I drag him out and throw of the covers singing..."wake up wake up you sleepy head, get up get up get out of bed" or "Rise and shine and give god your glory glory" Thank you for that MOM :)
That is really the news.. This week was a bit slow. Due to Christmas and new years there were a lot of people who were gone or busy and didn't want to have us over so we did not have good numbers at all this week. This week is probably the worst week that I have had so far on my mission number wise. So that was disappointing, but we did some good finding this week and we have seen the blessings come in the form of referrals and potentials and we picked up one new investigator this week! This area is now pretty much dead. Well I shouldn't say that because things are happening here but we have been in a tough spot as we have seen our two most solid investigators get baptized, which is great! But we also had two investigators drop us and the other that we had we had to drop because we haven't seen them or heard from them in five weeks. So after all that, we have been left with one investigator who is not progressing. His name is Robert and he needs to marry his girlfriend and stop drinking and smoking. He loves the church though and would be baptized if not for the stumbling blocks in his way. We haven't seen any progress made though. So we have a whole lot of finding to do and it is going to be great!! It will be good for elder Welch to get out and do an increased amount of finding!
We are going to the temple on New years day!! Pretty sweet eh? The sacramento temple!! It will be so good.. One of the first sessions of the new year!
Well...That is all I have to say....I love you guys and it was so good to talk to you all on christmas! It was so refreshing and I have felt very much re invested in the work here! Thanky ou for all the packages and cards! I got more than I thought I would! It was great! Have a great week! I look forward to hearing from you all again!!
Love Elder Nelson