Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15th 2013

Dear Family,
    I can't believe that it was spring break for all of you!! I totally missed it! I don't think I have even realized that it is April yet...
It was pretty funny that you brought up Monsons Fire story in your letter dad! I was thinking the same thing while he told it! I think mine is way more exciting though! I am really looking forward to getting that conference ensign so thank you for ordering me one! 
    Ashley Dale is getting married? That is sweet! Life just rolls right along doesnt it. I feel like I am going to get home and find out a ton of people are married and on missions. 
    So this week we had dinner with our Bishop! It was great. I love our bishop and his wife! I could spend all day talking to them! Bishop is very smart  and knows a lot about the Gospel and history and how it goes together. I had some questions for him about the temple and he helped me understand some things, but those questions led to us talking about questions that investigators have and questions that people against the church have and it was just cool. I have learned a lot about church doctrine and events in the history of the church and I have had companions that have known a lot to and it is very apparent as I have learned that most members don't even fully understand the gospel or the doctrine or even know about what has happened in church history. But anyways essentially what i am trying to say is that we had a really good conversation about the church. And as we talked and as he helped me understand some things, the spirit testified to me as I learned that the Church is just simply true. I guess you could say it "distilled upon my soul." (I knew you'd like that one dad) I have felt the spirit many times on my mission, but I always get an extra special feeling when Questions of my soul are answered and my conversion is deepened. I think that in our own way we are all always investigating the church in a sense. we are always looking to strengthen our testimony, find answers to our questions, and deepen our personal conversion. I am so thankful to be here on my mission. In a very selfish sense you could make an argument that the greatest miracle on my mission is myself. It is a miracle that the Lord could take me, a natural man, and through the healing and enabling power of the atonement, make me into something better. i hope that doesn't sound proud, but I truly can say like Ammon that I boast of my God because without him I would not be able to accomplish anything. I have felt in my heart as I have served that a "mighty change" is taking place. The very Desires of my heart are being changed and my disposition is to do good. Not that I wasn't good before, but I did indeed have some carnal desires. Luckily, for me and for everyone a way was provided to "put off the natural man" AND "become a saint" I feel as though my mission is helping me put off the natural man that i was so that I can come home and work towards being a saint the rest of my life. I am so thankful to have this wonderful gospel in my life! It IS true. This is not just A church it is THE Church. It is Gods kingdom on the earth. maybe instead of asking people if they want to hear a message I should start to ask people if they want to become a part of the Kingdom of God! 
     So this week we had a great lesson with a lady named Kathleen and her Daughter Hannah. This is the fourth time we have seen them but only the second that we were able to teach. It was a good lesson but the highlight was Kathleen praying for the first time in awhile at the end.. it was SWEET. There is serious POWER behind an honest faithful and simple prayer. If you remember, I think a ways back I talked about hannah praying for the first time, that was a powerful experience as well. sometimes i dont get how investigators arent convinced the church is true after they pray.. They are powerful sincere prayers!! It is just so obvious!! People Do not realize at all what is sitting right in front of them if they will just grab it and hold on!! 
     I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that the Gospel is the way and the Only way to return to Our heavenly fathers Presence. there is no greater work than that of  Assisting our father in heaven accomplish his great and glorious purpose!! "For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man! How do we receive Eternal life? By obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. What gate do we need to pass through to get on the path to eternal life? the gate of baptism. Who invites people to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end? The Missionaries! By fulfilling our purpose as missionaries we essentially help god accomplish his purpose! No wonder "the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel" How lucky am i?
     Well I need to get going So have a great week I love you!
Love Elder nelson

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8th, 2013

Dear Family,

     Hello! This past week has been great!! Don't you just love conference?? I hope you were all able to watch all the sessions! Conference weekend is the best missionary holiday there is!! We always get members feeding us great food in between sessions and bringing us snacks before sessions and of course we get to watch the sessions and they are wonderful! It is the best! 

     In between sessions on sunday we had Cafe rio style salads with some members! (They were good but nowhere near as good as the real thing) So it is just so much fun! Good friends, good food, and great messages! It is sweet! 

    My New companion is Elder----- from Provo! I don't know if I told you this or not but I was in the same district as him during my third transfer in santa rosa when I trained Elder Borland. So I knew him a little bit! I probably mentioned this but he is going to play baseball at Dixie State when he gets back. He says he wants to try out for byu but he has a spot for sure at dixie. He has 6 months left on his mission so he has been trying to work out a lot which is great news for me because I have been hoping I would get a companion that likes to exercise and wants to eat healthy so that I would have some assistance in losing weight! Prayer answered! He brought a ton of weights with him and he has two gloves so we have been throwing in the mornings... I don't think i will ever escape  baseball!! He is so much fun though. We have been getting along great already like we were old time friends! I love him so much and it has only been a week! We have had some great conversations and we have a lot of fun. It is probably because we have the same type of background which immediatly gave us something in common and to talk about. But yeah it has been very fun so far!! The best part about him though, (and worst) is that he would very easily be disobedient and waste time, but he is also very willing to work. So as long as I stay on the ball he will be right there with me, which doesn't bother me because I like leading out anyway.

    So I am excited to serve with him it should be really fun. We had some crazy things happen this past week with one of our converts.  (Andrew goes on to share a story that is very personal to the convert.  We will not share it on the blog because of its personal nature.) 

     So anyways, I think that last paragraph is not going to make sense at all but you will get the gist which is that If you keep the commandments your life will just be SO  MUCH BETTER. and you will avoid SO MANY CONSEQUENCES that come from making dumb decisions. I thought it was awesome how Monson talked about obedience. Our happiness level truly = our obedience level. 

I only wish some of my investigators could see and understand that. They see the commandments as restrictions that hold them back when in reality they SET US FREE! We are so blessed to grow up and have from the beginning this great understanding. I love this gospel and this church and i am so thankful to be here on my mission sharing this great understanding with people who are in great need of it! I only wish that more people would be willing to listen and "try the virtue of the word of god" 

    Keaton dropped me a line today in response to the line i dropped on him! It was sweet to hear from him! 

Welp Love ya family, have a great week! Thank you for your prayers in my behalf! I love you! 

  Love elder nelson

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2nd, 2013

Dear Family!
As you probably already know, I did not get transferred but my companion did! So my new companion will arrive tonight and for the day I am with Elder Thompson one of our Zone Leaders.
Mom in answer to your question, the 5 week transfer was only a one time event. Transfers are now six weeks long again.
This transfer seriously went by so fast for me.. It is APRIL! can you believe that?? Stewart is almost going to be graduated! I dont think time has ever gone by faster in my entire life! It is a blur!
Thank you so much for the easter package!! It was great!! And mom, I just want you to know, that for weeks now i have been fighting the urge to buy Reeses eggs because I knew that sooner or later I was going to get a package from you that would have some... so I want you to know that that package was perfect timing!
Elder Stainback called me yesterday! He was on the way to the airport! It was sad to say goodbye to him...but he will probably be in utah when i get home so that will be sweet to hang with him.
So we had a pretty sweet experience the other day! Actually, it was yesterday. But anyways, A few weeks back we talked to a lady named Katie on the street as she was walking her dog! She was very nice and said that we could come by another time. We set up a time a few days later and then we went our seperate ways.
Well, we went back( this was still a few weeks back from now) and we contacted some people right in front of her house right at the same time as Katie and her daughter pulled into their driveway and went inside. After we had finished talking to the people we knocked on her door but she didn't answer... we knew that she had seen us and she knew that we had seen her and so it was obvious it seemed to us that she didn't want to talk to us.
Anyways we hadn't gone back to see her at all since that day. Which brings me to yesterday! Yesterday we had the neighbor of a member call us and ask us if we could do some service! Her name was Debbie. Apparently the Richardson's gave them our number and told them we would be able to help. So we agreed and went over to assist them in stacking a bunch of wood into their backyard! It was good to do some work and they really appreciated our help but were not interested in learning more about the church unfortunately. BUT the cool thing is that Debbie the lady we did service for is the mother of Katie the lady that we talked to on the street! And katie just happened to come over to her mothers house while we were there doing service! Which as i am sure you figured out lead to us talking to her again and finding out that the reason she didn't answer was that they had just gotten back from walking their dogs and one of their dogs stepped on glass and was bleeding really bad so they came in and were bandaging the dog and couldnt answer the door! She had been expecting us and was willing to listen to our message! She said we could come back to see her this week!
Isnt that crazy? how does that happen? Ill tell you how! It is because the Lord is directing this work and the people that need to hear the gospel will be lead to us or we will be lead to them! (PMG pg, 167) I am excited for the opportunity to teach her!
Well, Sorry this is short, and no it isn't because i was emailing other people! I am still a district leader just fyi but my district did increase in size so that will be fun!!
I love you all so much!
Love Elder nelson
                                       Andrew and his ZL with a scary statue. Try to guess which one is the statue!
                                           Andrew with his District and Zone Leaders
                                              With Bro. Jones in front of Lake Mendocino
                                     Elder Monhondo who came out last transfer and is in Andrew's District