Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29th 2013

Felice got baptized!! It was a sweet weekend!! The baptism went perfectly except for Felice had to be baptized twice because the first time she didn't go all the way under...then the second time it was really close...but we thought she made it. elder Volksen and I were witnesses. 
    So that was great. The spirit was super strong! And the cool thing is that Felice's daughter and Husband were both in attendance. The daughter Shay, told us that she wanted to be baptized after the baptism...she knew that as her mom entered the waters of baptism that that was what she needed to do as well. And Ken, Felices husband in a lesson on Sunday agreed to be baptized on the 17th of august and he said he was for sure going to do it! 
     It was a sweet experience actually, while we were teaching ken, I didnt feel like we were saying what we needed to and so Finally the thought popped into my head to really help ken understand the spirit. So I started to do a compare and contrast sorta thing. I asked him about how he has felt as he has studied, and how he felt at the baptism... and then i really felt prompted to ask felice to bear her testimony to ken about her baptism and how she has felt over the past few weeks...It was powerful. I think that was the tuning point of the lesson because after that he began to open up. He said  , you know elders I just need to be straight with you guys, I have mixed feelings about joseph smith because of some things that i have heard but I do want to believe and I want all the blessings you keep promising me so I am going to get baptized, im going to do this because i really want it to be right, I really want to believe! 
     I was pumped when he said that!! The first thing that came to my mind was elder hollands talk about believing! And it just so happened that Felice had one on the desk so i grabbed it and read the story about the 14 year old boy that told elder holland that he didnt know the church was true but that he believed it was!! We told him that The first step is to believe. to plant that little seed of faith and nourish it so that it could eventually grow into a huge tree!! "Be not afraid, only believe."  He really understood it at that point. And I then felt that I should promise him that if he would stay away from alcohol and continue to pray and study with us and on his own that by the time his baptismal date came he would have an answer! And he said okay! I will do it. I want this! Super cool!!
    I know that the lord is working miracles in the lives of this family because just like the pioneers of old, Felice was a pioneer for her family in joining the church and now because of her example her family has been touched and wants to come to where she is. it is awesome!! it has been a great experience!
     And felice our awesome new convert is already doing more missionary work than all of the other ward members combined. She called us today and told us that she had two friends that she had talked to about her baptism and they both wanted to study with us and learn more about the church so they are coming to our next lesson with Felice! I am pretty sure that felice is going to get called to be a ward missionary!! How great would that be!? 
      On Sunday I was able to confirm Felice a member of the church and give her the holy ghost and blessing!! Afterwards she just sat in the chair and cried and looked around at all of us.. When we asked her about it later she just said that she felt so much peace!! And when she was looking at all of us we all just looked so beautiful and bright and she felt so much love for all of us and for the gospel and for the savior. It was pretty sick. It truly was a GREAT weekend. Felice is going to help this ward so much!! 
     On a less spiritual note, I caught another catfish this week!! It was huge! 25 pounds!! So I was pumped about that!! Elder Volksen was ticked! He still hasn't caught a fish yet!! We did a lot of service this week. We do our best to limit it but sometimes you just gotta help people out. We helped a Less active member remodel his bathroom so that he wouldnt get kicked out of his house. I guess the manager of his house was ticked at some of the damage and he had to fix it so we helped him. It is crazy the things that you learn out here. I have learned a ton about construction especially. Tearing down and putting up siding, painting, caulking, laying cement, laying tile and grouting it, bucking hay, building retaining walls, it is nuts! But i love it! 
      This week should be pretty crazy!! It is volksen and skidmores last week. They are so ready to go home. They sure arent helping me keep focused, but it has been a blast and i will be really sad to see volksen off. he is the best!! 
      I hope you each have a great week! love you!! 
Elder nelson
                                               A fisher of men (Felice's  Baptism)
                                          And a fisher of fish- a 25 pound catfish

                                         Looks like he does eat them.  We were wondering
                                          what he did with all that fish.

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22nd, 2013

Dear Family!
     Don't worry Mom I wasn't super serious about the every other week thing. I wouldn't do that to you! 
     So on Saturday this week Felice had her baptismal interview and she is good to go for next Saturday the 27th! I am super excited! Our ward mission leader is baptizing her and I get the great opportunity to confirm her on Sunday! It will be my first time so I am a little nervous! But I have given countless blessings to many people on y mission and I have come to learn that the spirit will tell you what to say if you are listening. 
     This Friday I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Alvarado, one of our ZLs and we had a great experience! Probably the highlight of the week actually, it was awesome! So you probably dont know but something we have been implementing into our mission is offering and leaving blessings on peoples homes. So for a simple example in a contact you could say hi we are Servants of Jesus Christ and we would love to leave a blessing(prayer) on your home and family. And then if they agree you go in and pray with them and help them recognize the spirit that the blessing brings, anyways, it is Amazing when they invite you in to say it. it works every time if they let you in. 
      So anyways, Elder Alvarado and I went to follow up on 2 former investigators, Yadi and gilbert. When we got there Gilbert was out on his porch fixing a bike so we went over and staerted to talk to him and eventually we asked him about his previous lessons with missionaries. He told us he respected us and that if we were in the neighborhood we could stop by and talk to him anytime about Jesus but that he had already done the whole missionary thing and wasnt to interested in doing it again.So that was cool but we weren't going to let him off that easy so we asked him if we could leave a blessing on his home and family and he said okay! ( he has six kids!)  So he called all his kids inside because they were out playing and we gathered tofgether in the living room. We talked to them a little bit more and introduced ourselves and then we asked them what kind of things they were in need of as a family. What kind of blessing they could use in their lives from their father in heaven. And they had a lot! we had to write them down haha. After that we invited them to enjoy a moment of silence after the prayer to listen and feel the spirit. Elder Alvarado said the prayer and it was great, he prayed for all of them specifically and asked for some great blessing to be poured out on this great family. After the prayer we kept quiet. We as missionaries dont talk until the investigators break the silence. Gilbert broke the silence after about 30 seconds by saying thank you very much. 
    We then preceeded to ask them how they felt as we prayed and listened.( this is the crucial part. you have to help them recognize the spirit!) So we asked the oldest son and the parents how they felt and of course they said great, and happy and they felt closer to heavenly father! And that is where we get them. Because after they said that we followed up with the question, dont you wish you could have this happy peaceful spirit with you all the time? Of course they said yes. then comes the best part, we testify in the name of jesus christ that it is through obedience to the commandments and the gospel that families and individuals can have his spirit with them always! Can we come by another time and teach you more about how you can have this feeling in your home every single day? 
     They said we could come back and teach them more. and they were very thankful for the blessing!
     Isn't that sweet?? It doesn't go exactly like that every time but that is the general idea and that is pretty much how it went for us that day! Gilbert and Yadi who both at the beginning weren't interested in meeting with us READILY accepted a return appointment after they felt the spirit enter their homes and hearts as we prayed for their specific needs and current concerns and testified in the name of the savior. 
     It was a great experience and I love leaving blessing on peoples homes. it is just such a simple way to help people recognize the spirit and sets up perfectly the question or invitation to came back and teach more. We pray and invite the spirit. We ask them how they feel. they say good or happy or peacful or whatever. we say would you like to have that with you all the time?? Of course they say yes. Who wouldn't want that?? then we tell them that we can teach them how. it is the best! So simple direct and effective. 
       Let's see what else happened this week... We had a sweet lesson with a recent convert who is having troubles with a wayward daughter. We shared with her the story of alma the younger and it really raised her spirits. the scriptures are the best!
       We have been having a blast. Our apartment is the best! This transfer is flying by because we are having so much fun and doing so much work! 
      thank you for all your prayers in my behalf! I feel them I am so thankful for all of you. I Truly have the best family in the world! I love you and look forward to hearing from you this week! 
Love Elder Nelson
                                               We loaded and unloaded all this hay
                                                  Gone Fishing!
                                                       The one that didn't get away.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15th, 2013

Dear Family,
       I am terrribly sorry for not writning last week!! I felt really bad! But I actually kind of like the idea of writing every two weeks because I have way more to talk about! But I guess These past two weeks are unique in that it was the 4th of july and we had some SWEET miracles that I can't wait to tell you about! So I will do my best to re cap everything important over the past two weeks!
       The week I didnt write was pretty slow. Elder Farnsworth got really sick on Monday night! He got Heat stroke! We were out Fishing in the sun that morning and playing foot ball later in the afternoon in 100 degree weather...I guess that wasnt the smartest thing to do! I have been playing out in the heat my whole life so it didn't bother me But Elder Farnsworth got hit pretty hard!. He threw up twice that night and then all during the night when he was sleeping he kept having to get up and throw up. He was a wreck the next morning! I felt bad for him. So tuesday he was out of comission and Wednesday we had to be really careful to not be in the heat too long otherwise he would just get hit with it again. At least that is what our mission nurse said. So wednesday we didnt get a lot done either.
      Then of course we had the holidays! Your 4th of July sounded super fun! I am glad things are great at the homestead and that the Garden and trees and backyard are doing good! My 4th was different! Here in clearlake the 4th is a holiday but the fireworks and parade arent until the 6th. So everyone was out boating and doing activities and stuff but there was no usual 4th things going on. But our 4th was good! We had lunch with one of our investigators and his member girlfriend and their daughter Beth. I dont know if I have told you about them or not but they are the best!! We see him them usually once a week and he always feeds us super good and we have so much fun. I feel like we have known them for way longer than 9 weeks. They are my favorite family on the mission I think. I hope things work out between Russ and Bobbi so that ZI can come visit and have them all live in the same place. russ lives here and bobbi and Beth live in sacramento but come out here like every week. So we had lunch with them and it was great and then we went over to a members house that night for dinner and she fed us a tritip dinner with ice cream sundays for dessert. they also bought us a bunch of popper fireworks so we went outside and had a crazy popper war...our white shirts had little black spots all  over worries though, they came out!!
      Then on the 6th it was fun because we got to go walk around at the fair and the parade and we got to talk to some cool people and get a couple of potential investigators to go see and we got to watch a little bit of the fireworks. We were on our way to the apartment when they started the show. It was really cool beacuse they shoot them out over the lake and so tons of people get in their boats and got out on the lake to watch the fireworks! it was sweet!!
     Now I have to tell you about the coolest part of possibly my mission!!
     I have to explain something first. So When Elder Gaverrett of the seventy came to our mission way back when he asked us why our mission seal had the 101 on it. And president alba told them it was because of the hwy 101 runing through our mission. But elder gavarret siad well that should be how many baptisms you have a month as a mission or something like that. And of course that started a big commotion about Thee 101. The new baptismal goal for our mission. And I am pretty sure, at least from what i have heard that this month, July, is the month elder gavarret said that we would be able to meet our goal by. Either that or President alba set the goal to meet the 101 by July. So that has been the buzz around here this month. to have 101 baptisms this month. And it is looking really good right now. I think we have at least double 101 in baptismal dates.
    So now that you know that I can tell you this. For july, three weeks ago we had three dates. But as you know we lost all of them. Felice our most solid investigator, was espcially a hard loss for us. She was so stinikin golden. There is no way she could keep up what she was doing and not feel the spirit and get baptized. She was studying and praying and learning way more than anyone I have ever taught and way more than pretty much any member. She is awesome!! And as you know Elder farnsworth and I went over after she told us she wanted to stick with her own church and tried to rtalk some sense into her. I asked her what she had to go back to after finding out through the spirit that this church was true and that joseph smith was a prophet. I did my best to help her see that she had nowhere else to go now. But she said she had made her decision.
    Well, Like I said, with the amount of things she was DOING there is no way she could not KNOW. (john 7:17) So on tuesday we went over to her house and we taught her about the authority of the church about why it was important and necessary and about baptism by the right authority and what makes it different. After we had talked to her about it she said, " you know elder nelson I have been thinking about what you said, about beptism last time you were here. And I have been reading and praying and studying about all of this and I think that I need to get baptized!"" and then the best part, She said" I can feel the holy ghost right now as i say it telling me that it is right and that i need to do it!"
    HAHA I about jumped out of the couch and screamed!! it was AWESOME!! It was one of those moments that you usually hear about from other missionaries but dont expeince. Finally, for the first time, I have been able to help someone actually recieve a definite answer fron the spirit that they need to be baptized and join the church!! That probably sounds bad but I guess what i mean is that she actually told me she had that sure answer and witness. Other people had more of the desire to believe and were still working on the sure witness. I hope that makes sense. It does to me but it doesnt sound good written out. But anyways it was awesome!! And you can just see the difference in her now. She has that witness and now everything is making sense to her like it never did before. her concerns are gone and all the questions that she had are not there anymore all becasue she knows by the holy ghost that the book of mormon is true that joseph smith is a prophet and  she needs to be baptized! SO COOL!! The other miracle that we found out is that she has a sister that lives in sacramento that is a member of the church(when we found that out it explained a lot) and she is going to come out for the baptism! We also set a date with ken felice's husband for the 27th but he is a little farther behind. So we set two dates for the 27th of july!  and one of them is for sure which gave me a lot of peace in my heart becasue I did not want to miss out on being a part of reaching the 101. that would have stunk. So you can imagine my dismay as felice decided to not get baptized, and then you can also imagine the great joy that I felt as the lord answered our prayers and touched her heart with the spirit!! I am so thankful for that!! It was an awesome experience.
     That was the miracle of the week and pretty much of my mission. I didnt tell the story too well but you get the idea! it was a great week!
    Also some news is that we are all on facebook now! The whole mission! So my account is back up! I dont have my camera cord so i cant upload pics but i really doplan on sending you a ton of pictures soon!!
     Oh yeah!!! I caught a 12 pound catfish!!! it was sooo legit!!!! So i will get you some pics ASAP!!!
 I hope this letter makes up for last week!
     I love you!! Thanks for writing even though i didnt write you :)
Love Elder Nelson

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1st 2013

Dear Family,
     Hello! I hope you all had a great week! I don't have to much time, we have lessons to get to and it is 5:00! We dont have a dinner tonight though so that is good! I wanted to let you know that we spoke in church on sunday. All four of us elders did. It was sweet! I hadn't spoken in a long time! So it was good. I am really glad you sent me those talks dad because I used one of them a little bit! I think it was centering faith in jesus christ.
    But I dont have anytime, which stinks, if i get time tonight i might try to come write a little bit more but we really need to get going.
    I have some sad news. Felice our golden investigator called us yesterday and said she wants to go back with her church. She doesnt wasnt to be baptized but"we can still be friends" I was so sad. She was the only solid person we are teaching that was going really really good. We went over to see her Sunday and I did my best to help her see what she was doing. I asked her if she believed that joseph smith was a prophet. and if she knew the Book of Mormon is true and she told us yes she believed in both of those things. I then told her that if those things were true, if the true authority has been restored and the original church of Jesus Christ has been restored in its fullness,with Prophets, apostles and additional scripture then what do you have to go back to? Wouldnt the only thing that makes sense to do be to move forward? But she didnt see it. Her answer of course was pathetic and she knew it was pathietic but whatever.  All we can do is invite. It was really sad because we love her so much. She told us her dad had been a pastor at her church and his picture is there and she likes that and she said her friends there missed her. That was her reason for not wanting to keep going in spite of believing our church to be totally true. It is all the same God right? ha. Truly satan has blinded the eyes of so many people.
     Anyways, that was negative so i should leave you with a positive note. The ward is picking up a little bit in excitment because of the missionary meeting and becasue of our talks that we gave in sacrament! It is pretty cool! They are only small flames at this point but we the missionaries plan on waving those things on as much as possible! So we could really use your prayers this week. We need to find more people to teach and people that are Ready to be baptized. Our mission goal is 101 baptisms a month and we are set to blow it up in JUly. So we need to be a part of that and that will require finding people that are ready to be baptized very soon. We lost our only date this week :(  But things are great our apartment is crazy fun and we are doing our best to fulfill our purpose and invite others to come unto christ.
     I love each of you very much and I am sorry for the short email, We did somethings early on in the day that set us back big time in our pday necessities. (i will admit that one of those things was a huge nerf gun war at a members house during fun!) But anyways, I will write you more next week and let you know how things go! Thank you for all your prayers!
Love Elder Nelson