Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24th, 2013

Dear Family!
      I guess you are all dying to know about what happened with transfers! Elder farnsworth and I will be staying together for another transfer. Elder Kunz is getting transferred and Elder Volkson is coming in to be with Elder Skidmore. That is actually pretty crazy because they were MTC companions and they both go home at the end of this transfer! So we have two dying missionaries in our apartment. Unfortunately Elder Skidmore is already checked out. He is pretty much done. Love the guy but he is really distracting and makes it hard to focus. Not to mention he is hindering the guidance of the spirit in our planning and studies becuase he is always interrupting and trying to talk to us. So annoying. But its all good. I am so excited that Elder Volkson is coming to our apartment! He was in the same zone as me in woodland and we got to know each other pretty well. You probably dont remember him. But it will be so fun because he is hilarious! It will be interesting to see how things go with two dying missionaries... It also is funny that I am hitting my year mark this transfer as well. So i hit the half way point as they both go home. Pretty funny and its interesting to see where he is compared to where I am and to be able to see how I dont want to be at the end of my mission. It is probably a good thing for me to see! Oh and My companion and I will be co district leaders together so that will be fun!
     Were you able to watch the missionary broadcast on sunday? We did! It was so sweet! If you didnt see it the following paragraph wont make sense so i hope you did! It was great to hear and learn more about what role the members should play in sharing the gospel. They especially talked about how the bishop and ward mission leader are huge parts to the wards missionary effort and that alot is expected out of them. I loved it and i learned a lot! But guess how many people from our ward council were at this meeting? 1. Our relief society pres. Our bishop left halfway through and our elders pres and high priest group leader and most importantly our ward mission leader were not present at the meeting. Which basically leaves us at the same point we were before. I dont know how we are going to relay all that to our WML to help him realize how ineffective he is at his callling. That is harsh, but it is true. The Lord expects so much from him and us and a huge part of our success involves the members. They are the key! So that was frustrating. Hopefully our relief society pres has lots of people to fill our planners with because i dont think we will be getting much from anyone else. It is sad. 
     I have to tell you though, Felice Came to church and it was PERFECT!! The talks were perfect the members did exactly what they were supposed to and it was just so great. During sacrament she said jeez these talks were meant for me and after sacrament members were coming up to her and meeting her and the stake pres was there and met her and our bishop came up to her and met her(okay i take that back my comp elder farnsworth was the one doing the introducing so he gets a lot of the credit) but yeah and gospel principles was decent, Personally I thought it was horrible but for the ward it was decent. But anyways, the point is that For once, Our investigator coming to church for the first time turned out great! I am sure you all remember on your missions when you brought that investigator for the first time and the talks were boring and about weird things that first timers would have a hard time understanding and none of the members introduced themselves and the gospel principles lesson went way off track and got into deep doctrine about heavenly mother and, yeah those STINK! But when they go right, oh it is so good! Felice loved it and felt very important and loved and after church she said Ill be here next week!! I am so pumped for her! Her baptismal date is on the 13th of july! So that was the highlight of the week. We saw felice and her husband twice this week and had Great lessons with them. 
      Oh before i forget I want to thank you mom and dad for your letters this last week. I really enjoyed them! it made me miss you both alot! I loved your rameumptom comment dad and Thanks for the update on tyson! I am happy for him and that he is still playin ball! He will do great. I also like the "ur" comment from the cedar post! I love that book!
     Mom you are too still a spring chicken! It is funny how You know me so well!!  You are right, i still have plenty of contacts! :D I am jealous you get to go to DC to watch the kiddoes!! That will be so fun!
  One of my least favorite perks about the mission, You always have things to do and you have a time limit on getting them done, and most of the time it is super inconvenient! (laundry+emails+ shopping+ writing letters+cleaning+ activities= not enough time to get it all done before 5)
    HOLY COW before i forget, Did you see Quinn on the video they played during the broadcast on sunday?? I freaked out! I almost yelled out but then i remembered I was in a chapel with other people so i quietly but excitedly told my companion. I thought it was so cool! he looked like a stud!
    Lets see what else... oh yeah  it makes me nervous when you bring up school dad haha. I have no idea what i am going to do or where i am going to go...So i dont know how we are going to work that out when the time comes. i am not to familiar with how all that works but i do remember that getting transcripts is so annoying so i will let you worry about getting all my stuff from barstow sent to wherever i apply. But seriously that doesnt matter now! So anyways!
      I am super excited for this transfer it will be way fun! Although the ward here is not the geatest there are always those few people that you just love to death in every area and there are four or five of those people here that are just awesome.
      I loved in that meeting that they said that the best missionaries are the ones the act out of love! I think i was inspired a few weeks ago because i felt prompted to make a greater effort to love everyone and to diligently seek for the gift of charity. It has been amazing the small changes that come as you consciously apply the things that you learn. My capacity to love has increased! I think one of the reasons charity is the greatest of all attributes is because it contains within it all of the other attributes. So I have for a while now been working on that . I love the Gospel! I know without a doubt that it is true! it is so true that it scares me sometimes! I know jesus christ lives and that he is my personal savior! i know that as i humbly excersise my faith in him and strive to become more like him I will be strengthened and enabled to become more and be better than i ever could relying on my own power. Truly the gospel is all about change. Changing to become more like jesus christ. I know thats true. I have experienced it! I love each of you so much especially you mom and you dad! I truly felt your love So strongly in your last letters and I longed to be with you! Sometimes on sundays, I let myself get to thinking about the great times we had on sundays together as a family. Those were the best times!! I miss you and you are always in my thoughts and prayers! And yes that means all of you! greg,jenny nathan, roma,liesel, dan, jason, tyler, stewart, mom dad. I love you!!
Love Elder Nelson!

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17th, 2013

Dear Family,
       Hello!! So I cant believe it but it is week 6 of this transfer has gone by WAY fast. This friday we get transfer information! Pretty crazy.
      Well I guess I should let you know that I didn't catch any fish last P-day. Nor did a I catch anything this P-day. But we did go diamond hunting in this dry stream bed that a member brought us too and I found some sweet diamond pieces! So that was cool. But i really want to catch a fish. The funny thing is that last monday after fishing for a couple of hours we needed to go get some stuff done and get to an appointment but patrick, the member who let  us use his poles and dock, told us to leave our poles out and come check them later. So we did. And not a half hour after we left they called us and told us one of our poles(my pole) had a huge fish on it! Unfortunatly we didnt have time to drive back and reel it in, so we just told them to reel it in and take a picture. As it turns out, it was the biggest one they had ever caught!! a 26 pound catfish! I was SO MAD! Hence the reason I went fishing today, but still nothing. We left our poles out though...hehe. So anyways I attatched pictures of patrick with his(my) catfish. And Patrick is awesome by the way so dont judge him by his picture! He used to be a thug.
      This week was great! Elder Farnsworth and I spent a lot of time talking to people in an effort to find more people to teach and we were blessed with two new investigators! We also continued to help some of our current investigators start to progress. Felice, probably our most solid investigators declared in one of our lessons this week that she was going to be baptized! She has really been a blessing to teach! I think you will be impressed with her studies! She has watched the restoration video 3 times and read the restoration pamphlet at least twice along with the Plan of salvation pamphlet and the word of wisdom pamphlet, and she is in chapter 4 of the Book of Mormon! So if she doesn't see blessing and the spirit in her life more it will be easy to pick out what she is or isn't doing! She wasn't able to come to sacrament meeting but she did come for the last little bit of relief society! So we hope the sisters stepped up and went to talk to her and find out who she is!
     Elder Farnsworth and I continue to work together well and get along and we are happy and excited and doing our best to work with the ward! He is pretty frustrated with the ward and I think that has worn on him during his time here. One thing he said to me this week was that , "sundays are supposed to be spiritual and destressing, but here in this ward I only ever get upset or stressed out." And its true, we are always worried about what new thing the ward will be mad about or that they will ask us to do a bunch of menial labor. The good news about that is that last week I mentiond to the relief socoety president that we were only allowed to do 2 hours of service a week and she was suprised by that and told us she had never heard that rule before. So she talked to the bishop about it and i guess all service projects that need to be done have to go through the bishop now before they get to us so that he can prioritize what needs to get done or what they will need our help for.
     I wish we could fire up our ward more about the people we are teaching. Especially the ward council. This is the worst ward in regards to ward council meeting that I have ever been too. When we tell them about our people they only care about if they have a car and a job. And they have absolutly no faith that the people will be worth anything. Even our Ward Mission leader is terribly negative. There was a little bit of a stir when we told them about Felice and her date for the 13th of july, but even then the only help they offered was in the form of a few words. I dont feel like the ward really appreciates what we are trying to do. They never have people for us to see and we dont have a top 15. So we have just done our best to work through some of the lists we have printed off and hope that the spirit will guide us!
      Well I love you and cant wait to hear from you this week! Ill let you know about transfers next monday! Love ya!
Elder Nelson

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10th ,2013

Dear Family,
     So lets see, what happened this week... Oh yeah we went to the temple on thursday!! It was so fun! I LOVE going to the temple. I could stay in the celestial room all day. Also I can talk about pretty cool things in there with other elders that we cant normally talk about! It is so fun! I got to see alot of my mission buddies because it just so happened that like four other Zones also decided on that day for their temple trip so it was super fun! Ill attatch some photos.
     Ken and Felice accepted a Baptismal date this week! It was cool. I was a little nervous when I invited them because I got the feeling that they were more wanting us to come over to study and learn than to change and commit. So it was a little tense for a moment or two but then they agreed! I always feel the spirit so strongly when I invite someone to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. It is pretty cool to think that the only ones who can open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the people in this area is us, the missionaries. Our president has the keys to all convert baptisms but his keys are exercised through us. We are the only ones with authority who can invite others to be baptized. ( i dont know if that is doctrinally sound comment but you get what i am saying)
   We truly have a great work to do because it is through us the lords Servants that the Purpose of God is fulfilled, Gods purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal Life of man. By fulfilling my purpose as a missionary I assist God in fulfilling his purpose. And it is the same for all missionaries member missionaries included. No wonder the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel!! I love thinking about that. The work I am about is so great and I love being a small part in it!!
    Guess what! Today I am going fishing! So I will need to cut this a lil bit short so that I can get to it! I am going to catch a huge catfish! (clear lake is like number 4 for catfish in the nation) So hopefully i have some good pictures for you this next week!
    I love you all!
Love Elder Nelson

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3rd, 2013

Dear Family,     
     We had a Great week this week! Elder farnsworth and I were able to find and teach 3 prepared people! Melissa Martinez and ken and Felice Spencer. Seriously  one of the coolest moments of my mission was this week when we were teaching Ken and felice and Felice was reading us a part of the Restoration Pamphlet.(She had read it on her own and highlighted it and wrote notes in it and had questions ready for us!) She read in the section "The restoration of the Priesthood" where it says, " After he received priesthood Authority, Joseph Smith was directed to organize the Church of Jesus Christ again on the earth. Through him, Jesus Christ again called twelve Apostles." Immediatly after she read that to us Felice Exclaimed, "I believe that!" And she went on to say why wouldn't Jesus do again what had been done before? It just makes sense that he would call another prophet and more apostles! And it was so funny because later on in the lesson as we gave her a Book of Mormon and testified about it she said, " Oh boy, The Holy Spirit is crawling all over me right now!" It was so sweet! And they are just so excited for us to come over again and they call us and make sure we are still coming and they are just truth Seekers! So that was a great experience for us and we are so thankful that the lord Placed us in their path!
     We had found Ken and Felice through a street contact. We literally intersected each other. Elder farnsworth and I had parked the truck and were hurrying to get to an appointment that we were late for. As we went to cross the street we noticed a couple walking down the street right at us only a few yards away and so we said hello and it went on from there! They were looking for a church and she was looking for "sisterhood" so we told her about relief society and about Jseph Smith and they told us we could came tell them more about it.
      If we had been one minute earlier or later we would have missed them and they would not have ever been presented with the truth that they had been kept from. Isnt that amazing? Well I have something even cooler to tell you. The investigator that we had been going to see wasn't even feeling good and if I remember right we had a brief conversation with her. But the night before in our planning session we both felt like we needed to come see that investigator... I know without a doubt that it was not the investigator that we were supposed to see. We had been inspired to be in a certain place so that the Lord could place in our path a pair of prepared Truth seekers. We have taught them twice this week and it is at this point going amazing! We didn't even have to offer them Books of Mormon, They requested them so that they could read them and find out what it was about! So cool.
     the other investigator, Melissa martinez, is a pretty cool story as well. She was actually a media referral. We got a text message saying that she wanted requested a Missionary Visit. Along with that message came her phone number so I called her and she seemed at first to only be interested in obtaining a free Bible... But as I talked to her I just knew something more was going on. She didn't just want a bible. So I asked her if we could come by tonight and bring it to her. I cant really describe it but how she responded just hinted really strongly that she wasn't expecting just a quick drop off and was way more excited than she should have been. So My comp and I made up a game plan on how we would approach her and what we would say in order to make it more than just a drop off.
     It turned out to be much easier than that. We went over and she came out and we sat out in her front yard on some patio chairs and it was SO obvious that she had been through this before. How she set up the chairs and offered us drinks and it waws just all to obvious that hse had met with missionaries before! And it turns out that she had!! It also turned out that she had had one heck of a life. I feel as though I should not tell you too much about her, but I will say that she has battled mental issues and has tried to kill herself among many other things. As we talked at first she was very apprehensive but I think the spirit settled in nicely and she quickly understood who we were and represented and she opened up to us and told us quite a bit about her life and struggles. She expressed one of the most sincere desires that I have ever heard on my mission. With all the bad things she had done as a result of her mental issues and the people that she hurt and the pain she had caused and felt one of all the many desires that she epressed to us the overarching theme was that she needed to repent and she needed to feel forgivness but she very directly told us that she didnt think that God would ever forgive her. She thouhgt she had done to much.
    How sad is that? Doesn't it just break your heart that anyone could possibly think that they were to far gone to ever be forgiven? That the atonement does not apply to them? What a horrible way to live! to think and believe that there was no way that she could be forgiven. that her fate was sealed.
     I felt so much love for her in that moment. And I will always and forever be thankful for my own experience with the atonement and for the spirit backing my words as I testified to her of the power of the atonement and that she could be forgiven. That the Lord on conditions of repentance would remember her sins no more! And that Nothing in this world can seperate us from the Love of God and of our savior! No matter what we do our heavenly father will always love us and desire what is best for us.
     As we finished the lesson you could see in the hour that we spent with her that she had a new light about her. the light of HOPE. The light of excitment and anticipation and of faith. She has a long way to go yet, but it was truly a special moment for me to see somone go from utter darkness to a realization of the Hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was so awesome.
    Sometimes all you can really say is thank you. And I feel so thankful to Heavenly Father for allowing me to have these experiences and to bring the hope of the gospel into peoples lives.
    Well I was going to tell you more about the little details of my life since mom is into that stuff but i dont have any more time :) so i have to go!
    I love you all and i am so thankful once again for all of your influences in my life and for your love and prayers. They are being answered in the form of wonderful people to teach! Keep Praying!
   Have  great week!
  Love Elder Nelson