Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25th, 2013

What a great opportunity we had to meet an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ! They were powerful spirits and just sitting in the chapel with them brought the spirit right in!! I only wish that we would have had more time with them! I could have listened to them speak for days. In the MTC I heard a talk on the great apostasy by Elder Callister and ever since then I have been in love with his talks! I am excited for general conference to hear him speak again!

One cool thing that I have to tell you about is something that Elder Cook said in the course of a Question and answer session. A sister asked the question about Godhead and he went on to explain the answer but he got off onto the Nicene Creed. He had Elder Callister say a few words on that. Some of the things he said were that the creed is total garbage and that we know from Joseph Smith that Jesus Christ is a separate being. Now pause!! So At this moment, Elder callister was speaking and Elder Cook was just listening and kinda staring off to the side of the chapel. After Elder Callister said the Joseph Smith line there was a pause and Elder Cook was just shaking his head...a few moments went by... and then quietly, Elder Cook said, "Yes, that is true...and I can Personally testify to you that Jesus Christ is a separate being..." BOOM. You bet he just flat out said that he has seen Jesus Christ! The confirmation of that fact was the looks on all of our faces when he said that and the very heavy Spirit that settled in the chapel immediately after... One of the coolest moments of my life. The Church is TRUE!

So yes I did shake Elder Cooks hand and also Elder Callisters. It was pretty quick though so I didn't get to ask him if he remembered me from when he came out to Grantsville.. HA!

Speaking of Grantsville, did you know that Wyatt Blackhurst is in my mission? I forgot to tell you that I saw and talked to him at the beginning of this transfer! I saw him again at the all mission conference. Pretty cool! maybe we will serve together! Hometown heroes!

We have been taught very well these past few weeks. There is so much to implement and to work on! It has been hard to pick and choose what to emphasize. I am very thankful to have so much time left unlike my former trainer Elder Stainback!! It is so sad to see him go. He is a great missionary and I have grown to love and appreciate him more than he will ever know! Those were the best two transfers of my mission so far, and they have all been great! But if I had to choose a companion and an area it would be Santa Rosa with Elder Stainback! I will really miss him and I look forward to seeing him again after the mission! He is coming to Utah for school so, depending on how things go, maybe I will be able to room with him!!

Elder Kunz and I are doing well. I have really learned the virtue of patience this transfer. I have let my frustration come out a little bit more frequently lately but from where I was even just a few transfers ago with Elder Welch, I have matured in that aspect quite a bit. Being companions with Elder Kunz has been a great opportunity and blessing. Although he has tried my patience in many ways he has also helped me become a better teacher and I have learned quite a bit about the gospel from him. He is very smart when it comes to doctrine. This week I have set the goal to just Love the heck out of him. With transfers coming up anything could happen and if either of us get transferred I don't want him to have any doubt that I didn't love him or love serving with him, nor do I want any regrets! He will most likely be leaving. He has been here for three transfers now!

One of the biggest challenges we have had this transfer is working together as Co-district leaders to plan district meeting. I am not anything like him when it comes to preparing for district meeting. Nothing he wants to do is what I want to do and so our preparation for district meeting has been not as good as I would like or have previously done. But that is something that has been good for me as well. I am more of a lone wolf when it comes to things like teaching and talking and I need to learn to work with people, not just now but for my future.

Hey Mom, You gonna get me those emails or what? Love ya!! Happy Easter!!


Welp, I need to write my atonement thing so I have to end this!! Love you all!

Elder Nelson


Monday, March 18, 2013

                                                Geoff's Baptism
                                              Me and current Companion Elder Kunz
                                               Elder Anderson and I at the temple

Me at the Oakland Temple

March 18th, 2013

Dear Family,
So I have a lot of pretty cool stuff to tell you!! We had a busy week!!
First of all, The Temple was so awesome!! I love Oakland! The weather was perfect and I got some great pictures! I attached some of them.
Second of all, We had a great baptism this Saturday!! Everything went great! There was a second baptism as well for the sisters in our district! Her name was Liz Kelly! I was able to interview her to be baptized and she was so READY! Her baptism was great and She was so pumped to be baptized! After she was baptized she pumped her fist and said "Yes!" She was so excited!! Then on Sunday after her confirmation the sisters told me that she turned to them and said " I felt it! I have never felt this peaceful in my entire life!" Liz was truly prepared and will be a great asset to the church as she continues to have the spirit with her! Geoff Walsh will also be a great addition to the church and in ward council we made plans with the bishop to start him on the process of receiving the priesthood!
Third, We had a leadership training meeting this week. Two Power houses from the missionary department came down and pretty much told us how to double our baptisms and become way more effective missionaries. So I would like to emphasize Power house. This guy, Bro Donaldson, works very closely with the apostles. He told us some stuff that blew us away! Also quick fact, Bro Donaldson was the mission president of the San Diego mission when they filmed the District movies to help train missionaries. So I won’t go into all the details of what he taught because pretty much everything he said was amazing. I learned so much and have been fired up these past few days while I have been out teaching and talking to people! Basically the idea behind it all was that usually in our mission it takes 24.8 investigators to get one baptism.. he said we could bring that number down to 8 investigators to 1 baptism by improving our teaching, not talking to more people. Then from there he just went off on how to be better teachers and it was just amazing. I feel bad for all the other missionaries that weren’t in attendance. (only leaders were there) It was the best meeting that I have ever been to.The spirit was so strong!
So I wanted to tell you some cool things that he told us. One of them is that this July, The whole face of missionary work is going to change forever. We don’t know what that entails but he gave it away a little bit later when he told us that we are one of 50 missions that will be getting the best tools possible to do missionary work..and hinted easy access to and he also counseled us to make sure our area books are completly up to date. Can you say Ipads?? They also gave us statistics of baptisms that come from online sources.. Basically in a nut shell if we got 90,000 missionaries sharing the gospel online through facebook,and other sources all interconnected and working together, the baptisms will go way up. Then he told us stories about missionaries teaching people online and then those people finding the nearest missionaries and telling them that they ready to be baptized. The spirit was just flooding the room at this point. We were all drooling with open mouths I think. He sealed that all up by telling us that one of the apostles basically prophesied to the missionary department by saying, " look for the church to grow, really really grow." That is all I remember from it but the quote went onto say we will have the best tools.
Bottom line is that there is big time talks going on by the 12 about missionary work. And Missionary work is going to be changing big time!! I am pumped! I dont know any details and maybe we are misinterpreting everything he said but things will be changing! Is your imagination going crazy right now?? The Lord is hastening his work!!!
Well, That is it for me. I hope i still have a week to do that atonement thing... you said end of march right? I dont have time to do it because i am busy emailing you and president alba and the elders who drove us need to go!
But anyways, This week I will get to meet elder cook of the 12 and elder callister of the seventy! pRETTY SWEET EH??



Elder Nelson


Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11th, 2013

Hello my wonderful family!

Mom I scarfed down those girl scout cookies so fast you wouldnt believe it! Thank you so much! I have been craving them for weeks!!  

Here is an excerpt from our letter this week from president alba:

"What an exciting time we live in. Even more, what an exciting time to be a missionary for the Lord, Jesus Christ. Never has there been a time like this in the church…. or on the earth for that matter. And you are right in the middle of it. Our numbers will continue to grow with the next transfer. We continue to open up new areas. The face of our mission is changing. In April we will receive 14 sisters and 11 Elders. In May and in June we will receive a total of 24 sisters, 6 elders. (so far) You get the picture…"

25 new missionaries and counting this next transfer! And next transfer we will be getting 30!!!! That is nuts!!! 24 of them SISTERS!!! Here comes the boom! Pretty awesome stuff!!  It is truly a very exciting time to be a missionary!!

Also, I have a fun fact for you, yearly the Emerald triangle makes 1 billion dollars from weed sales...I dont remember the exact cities that make up the emerald triangle but Ukiah is inside the triangle! Nor Cal baby. Love it!

Things are going good here in Ukiah! Elder Kunz and I are doing well together and we are really working on teaching more in unity and teaching clearly and simply! We had a lesson this past week that humbled both of us. We had not prepared sufficiently and went in "winging it" so to speak. We had a great member with us and it is mostly because of him that it was a decent lesson and it actually ended on a very positive spiritual note! ( An 18 year old girl said her very first prayer and it was sincere and heartfelt!) But for the majority of the lesson we were not teaching in unity and we were moving in different directions, or in other words we were playing tug o war with our investigators.
Because of that experience, the night that happened we came home sat down and immediatly tore into why that lesson wasn't anywhere near as effective and powerful as it could have been. We left that lesson frustrated and upset with ourselves and especially humbled that we had let down the Lord. We then made plans and set goals for our studies and planning to fix that problem and set us on a course that would lead to more unified and powerful teaching! We have already experienced the blessings!
Geoff Walsh, our only baptismal date is going to be baptized this week! He had his interview on Sunday and he is anxiously awaiting his special day! The best part about Geoff is that he will be a Preisthood holder soon and will be able to help establish Zion in Ukiah through his service in Home teaching and in a calling! The members are especially excited because and I quote " He has a home, a Great job, a car, and a large family of six kids!" Sister Morgenson,( An awesome member that just returned from a mission to london. She served in the visitors center at the london temple. She loves missionaries and feeds us like KINGS when we go over becuse she loves missionaries and didnt have any sons, only daughters, and loves to spoil the missionaries! Bro morgenson is awesome too.) So What i am trying to get across to you by sharing that is that there are not a lot of people around here that have homes and jobs and families and that dont have major issues! It was pretty funny when she said that! It is a rough world out there though... Just yesterday we were out biking and we stopped to talk to a lady that was crying and we tried to
help her. it turned out that she needed a ride to get to clearlake to help her son who was in a "bad situation" She had just gotten out of a relationship that was bad and had nowhere to live and no friends in the area and only fifty bucks to her name. We did what we could and tried to call some members but no one was in a position to drop everything and drive some lady that we knew not much about all the way to clearlake...basically what i am trying to say is that there are TONS of people out in this world that are in horrible situations and that we cannot help. We just dont have the resources and the people to help everyone through their problems. Especially since we ALL have them. It is hard enough to take care of our own... Anyways...

We had dinner with the bishop twice this week! Him and his wife are AWESOME! We had some good conversation. We came to the conclusion that all the missionaries in utah should be pulled out and sent elsewhere and that the wards in utah should just call a bunch of the people that dont have callings and make them ward missionaries and have them go out and do the less active work and work with the referrals! Why do we need missionaries in utah anyways? That was what the bishop went off on for a bit. haha he had a son get called to serve in is needless to say where those opinions and feelings came from!!!

Sister Irwin asked me what I wanted to do when I got home from my mission and I told her i didnt really know but that maybe i would do something in the medical field. She was like " Oh I knew it! As soon as we started talking about jobs I thought you looked like a future Pediatrician!" Then Bishop Scoffed and told me I should be a pharmacist to make the big bucks! He then went off on a tangent about obama and healthcare and how it is ruining private practices and how everyone is going to work at the hospitals and that being a doctor isnt the best route anymore and that i should be a pharmacist! He is so funny!!! I really enjoyed eating with them

That is one of my favorite parts about being out here! We go from home to home every night for dinner and for the most part we feel right at home even though we are away from home! The members are so awesome and they are so strong in their faith and testimony!!

Well I think that that is about it for me! The weather continues to be amazing here!

Oh also we are going to the temple this week!! i am pumped! the oakland temple is the best!! We also are going to be getting a visit from Quintin L. Cook this month! He is coming to speak to the mission! I am excited!! Welp enjoy this looong email!  Time is flying!! I love you all!

Love Elder nelson


Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4th, 2013

Dearest Family,

Hello! It is so great to be able to sit down and write to the people that I love most in this whole world! I am so thankful for all of your prayers in my behalf and on the behalf of the people that I am teaching! There is great Power in the mighty prayers of the righteous!

So, I got your letters on Saturday this past week! I was a little nervous at first but I knew that you would come through!! I cant wait for those girl scout cookies! California has had them for awhile now! We had Samoa's for dessert at one of our dinners this week. I know those are your favorite mom so I thought of you as I ate them but I don't like them at all!

That is really cool that you got to see glade! And I cant believe that you are all done with parent teacher conferences!! Did you cry? Isn't that a little bit weird to think about? You are like a little over three months away from being an Empty Nester!! Well, that is until I get home and live in the basement the rest of my life!! Okay I probably wont be doing that. But yeah that will be SO weird for me to come home to!!! Oh my goodness I didn't even think about that! I will be the only one home for a bit!! WEIRD!!! Life will pass you by if you don't pay attention.


Im glad you got the box! Take good care of all that stuff please!

So Stew is in play mode eh? That's good. No time for girls! You should get him started on his mission papers as soon as he can turn them in so that it starts to get real for him. It started hitting me a little harder when I started filling out my papers. But it never really hits you until about...well probably now! I'm on a mission!! WOW!


So anyways, This week has been great! Ukiah is NUTS in case you were wondering! We talk to a ton of people every day out on the streets and their are so many people that are just off of their rockers!!! IT is fun stuff! There are a lot of good people too especially in the ward! I LOVE the ward here so far! We have some great members that are very willing to help us out and give us rides!! There is this one guy, Brother Jones, Dad you would LOVE him! He reminds me of you in some ways but oh my gosh he is so funny! He is pretty old, like seventy, and he is just the nicest man I have ever met! And He is so funny because his personality is just, well he is very childlike and innocent in an old person way! So I guess a good way to explain it is the world is changing to fast and he cant keep up so he lives in his own world..if that makes sense? Anyways he just cracks me up! He has come out with us quite a bit already so i really look forward to working with him. He has a strong testimony! Also another funny thing about this ward is that it is very small and all the young families have moved out to Utah and the oldies are all still here and not leaving any time soon! Really though we have like fifty or less at church on Sunday..and most of them are old! Everyone is getting out of Ukiah before they get stuck here!! There are some great young families here as well and some great youth preparing for missions! But anyways, there are a lot of older people! So every time they give us a ride somewhere or come to a lesson with us almost everyone asks us "well do you elders have enough time to grab a treat?" I haven't figured out how to say no to them yet! So we have gone to Baskin Robbins and Mcdonalds for ice cream cones! It is so funny! So the ward so far is good! And A bishop change is coming up soon I guess.

So while it is on my mind It looks like I should have waited to get those new scriptures! They are just coming out with the new 2013 version of the standard works!! So SICK! New foot notes and more things in the topical guide and oh my gosh you know your in missionary mode when you get pumped over new versions of scripture!! BAHA.

Things with my new companion are going great!! Elder Kunz is very cool in his own unique way! To be honest, he does a lot of weird things that to me are pointless and stupid and annoying But who am I to judge? Why Should I be bugged? So I simply made the decision to not be bothered! ha for some reason it working...It is still going to be a harder transfer and a test for me but I think something that helps is that he is a fantastic teacher and Missionary. I have learned so much from him already! He is VERY smart. Like nerd smart. Like on P-day he studies all day smart. And he knows a lot of deep doctrine so it has been very fun talking about that stuff... It is pretty cool some of the stuff..and he has showed me a lot of it in church books so I know its true... It is no wonder that the first principle of the Gospel is FAITH. So yeah My new comp is interesting but great! We will get along really good.

Alright the people. We are working with this guy named Geoff (Jeff) Walsh He is the man! We found him because he is part of a part member family! He had been taught awhile ago but he couldn't get baptized because he wasn't married and had some word of wisdom issues. But when we went and talked to him we found that he has gotten married and straightened up! So we have begun teaching him and he is SO PREPARED TO BE BAPTIZED. His date is for march 16th and I feel very strongly that he will make it! I am excited it has been awhile since my last baptism!!

Another lady we are working with is named Francine. She has been taught for awhile but cant get baptized because she is on probation and has word of wisdom issues. She is almost insane as well. Okay not really but her personality is....very intense yet relaxed and frantic and stressed at the same time! She has been through a lot in her life though... This Sunday she bore her testimony in sacrament was sweet!! She could get baptized as soon as she stops drinking smoking and gets off of probation. She is having a REALLY hard time understanding why she cant be baptized until she is off of probation. Her argument is that she hasn't made any promises with god yet and as soon as she makes the promise she obviously will try to keep the promise and her past transgressions will be washed away and wont matter. So why should her probation stop her from being baptized? We have tried explaining it to her but i figured i would pose the question to all of you. I hope her concern makes sense.

So Something Else SUPER exciting is that we have like 119 baptismal dates set for march....our mission Goal is 101 a month!!! Isn't that awesome?? We could potentially do it and we have all been praying and talking and teaching about the 101 since my first all mission conference when Elder Gavarett of the seventy came to the mission and challenged us to make that our goal! I don't know if i have told you the story behind the 101 or not so if i didn't tell me and I'll let you know next week!

If you didn't notice this email is quite long. At least it seems long! Well that is because I found out last week that Basketball in this zone STINKS. No one is or ever was an athlete...So It is not in the slightest competitive, whereas in my last area our basketball games were INTENSE and way fun and a good it is sooo lame and boring. So I figured I would spend more time talking to my family..and eating Reese's Eggs... Oh I'm fat!!

But I cant think of anything else to tell you.. Lots of crazy things happen to me that I WRITE IN MY JOURNAL BUT I JUST FORGET THEM BECAUSE crazy is normal for me now! The weather here is picture perfect in case you were wondering. I am stuck in my weight loss quest! It is so hard when people are buying you stuff and feeding you so well every night! I cant just not eat a lot when all these old Mormon Grandmas/moms cook us feasts and expect us to eat our hearts out!! It is all good though.


I love you!

Elder Nelson