Monday, June 16, 2014

June 15th, 2014

                                                  The House from the Birds??
                            His Companion
Yum Sushi

June 15th, 2014

Dear family,
 This week was really fun. On Monday we went out to the beach!
 It was beautiful and the weather was perfect!! It was a really fun
 day. Elder Williams who is from buffalo New York, brought with him to
 the beach a game called spikeball. It is a combination of four square
 and volleyball and is one of the most fun games I have played in a
 long time! We played it pretty much all day! It's hard to explain
 exactly what the game is and how it's played so due to the fact that
 everything is online, if you want to know more about what spikeball is
 I'll leave it to you to look up on the internet. I also think it was
 extra fun because with the soft sand all around it made it easy and
 fun to lay out and dive for everything! So we were covered in sand and
 sweat and sunburned but it was a great day!
 I also want to tell you that the drive to the beach was super
 cool. We drove through bodega and bodega bay. It's a cool little town!
 Do you remember the movie "the birds" by Alfred Hitchcock? So
 that movie was filmed in bodega and we stopped by the least
 we think we did. We don't know for sure if it was the right house
 cause there were no signs and we can't remember the movie but hey if
 not we were close by at least! So that was cool especially cause in
 college I watched that movie and had to write some essays on it.
 Well, Elder fallabella is a pretty cool guy. The half mission
 conference was good. It was fun to see a lot of friends from around
 the mission. I'm really going to miss seeing those guys around. I have
 a ton of future roommates at BYUi though so if I'm there in a year and
 not married that will be sweet! But yeah I loved the meeting. He
 talked to us a lot about how our missions our for us and how hey
 should make us better people and prepare us for our future lives! I
 was excited to hear him talk about that cause I feel like I have
 understood that principle but have had a hard time putting it onto
 words and learning more about it if that makes sense? And so it was
 cool to hear in vocal expression the feelings that I have had about my
 mission. So it was a good conference but once again it was way to long
 and in the middle I think everyone zoned out. We had this weird thing
 after lunch where these two guest families were introduced to us. They
 had just recently been baptized and we got to hear their testimonies
 and stuff it was cool. But then elder fallabella like went off for an
 hour just talking to them about stuff ha it was I zoned out
 at that part. But for me I thought I did pretty good.
 We were at the church all day long. From 7:30am to 5:30pm. I
 don't know of any meeting that goes as long as these meetings and I
 said this before and I'll say it again these meetings are way to long!
 Something cool I have noticed though is that whenever general
 authorities come a lot of what they say is just the same things
 that are usually taught in the church and I'm not saying that as a bad
 thing, but another thing I have noticed is that I always pick up on a
 few very simple but powerful spiritual truths that I didn't know
 before or didn't understand. So I'm thankful for that powerful
 simplicity. I hope I can be that kind of teacher someday.
 It's been frustrating in our area this week. We have found some
 awesome new investigators...kinda.... some of them are my old
 investigators! But they are so hard to meet with! We had a bunch of
 set appointments and then it feels like within an hour they all texted
 or called and said they had to cancel and reschedule. Ridiculous. As
 young missionaries we are pretty naive to the world sometimes though.
 All we do all day is missionary work and so when we need members to
 help and come out with us or when we want to teach people but then
 members cancel or say they are to busy and our investigators have to
 work we say "come on don't you care about The Lord and his work" or
 "come on don't you know how much this will change you life?" How can
 you be too busy? Haha but something I have learned is that people
 really are busy! We are focused on one thing only so we assume
 everyone else should only be focused on the same thing but what we
 don't understand is that people have lives and jobs and problems and
 families and their kids have things they are doing and need help with
 and they all have a million things to get done! I don't know why I'm
 writing about this I just think it's funny how missionaries think. So
 I'm thankful for good leader who helped me learn that when members
 have to reschedule or cancel or say they can't come out with us, that
 usually means exactly what it means! They are busy! Too many
 missionaries take the phrase I have to reschedule I'm to busy as a
 translation into I don't want to help you with missionary work or
 learn about the gospel! I think most everyone does want to help but
 life is busy. So I have really learned to appreciate it when members
 take the time to come out with us for an hour or two.
 I think what got me on that is that we had a great member come out
 with us on Thursday. Bro Christensen! He used to be the bishop when I
 was here the first time. We taught two lessons with him and had some
 great conversations about things. He is a smart man. So yeah that's
 how I got started on that haha. I'm thankful for great members. They
 continue to shape me every time I interact with them. And I'm thankful
 for sincere investigators. Teaching some one who really wants to learn
 about the gospel is my favorite part about the mission. It's a
 beautiful thing to see in someone's eyes that understanding that
 always comes when spirit speaks to spirit about the truths of the
 Oh man so I really want to go to the east coast to visit
 Stainback! On Friday we had dinner with the satterfields and bro
 satterfield was our ward mission leader when we were here together so
 we got pretty close to them. Anyways satterfield had told Stainback
 that we were coming over and Stainback called us during dinner but we
 didn't answer and he left a voicemail pretending to be president alba
 haha so we called him back and we talked for awhile. It was so fun. I
 love that kid! He is getting married at the end of this month! He told
 me I should come do school out there in Wilmington haha but anyways I
 told him that I'm coming out there at some point to see family and
 maybe an internship in DC and that we could hang out so I really do
 want to go out to the east coast and I want to go visit Stainback!
 That would be so fun. But it was just so great talking to him again.
 He is doing so good and I'm happy for him. We had some good times. The
 best times really. I think I have said this before but It sure stinks
 that everyone I have come to love is so far away and or going in
 different really makes me so thankful for all the
 experiences and relationships that I have made. Like I look back over
 the past two years and I just am filled up with gratitude for the
 blessings I have been given and for all the people I have met. It's
 I got an email from Megan yesterday! It was her last pday! She
 should be coming home this week. So that's pretty crazy. She said in
 her email that the second hardest thing she has ever done is leave to
 serve a mission and that the hardest thing she has ever done is leaver
 her mission to come home! I thought that was powerful because that is
 almost exactly what I wrote about last week! She also wrote about how
 much she has been changed and that the major reason she loves Mongolia
 is because that is where she became fully converted to the gospel of
 Jesus Christ. I love Santa Rosa for the same reason. I'm excited to
 talk to her and hear about her mission and experiences when I get
 home! Along with everyone else that is home and will be home. It will
 be a fun time.
 So I am so excited for this next week!! There are two zones in
 Santa Rosa and Our zone and the other Santa Rosa zone get to be
 involved in a mini mission!! It will be much like the Vacaville mini
 MTC I was involved in a few months ago except this time we will have
 youth come out with us for about three days! From Wednesday night to
 Saturday night! So that is going to be awesome! They will stay the
 night with us and everything! Some apartments are going to have like 8
 missionaries in them. We will have 8 but at least we have two
 bathrooms. There is a sister apartment that will have like almost ten
 I think but their apartment is huge and they have three bathrooms.
 Yesterday night we met with the stake young men's president and
 young women's president to help them assign the youth to the
 missionary companionships and figure out all the details like bike
 areas and how much space in apartments and which companionships can
 take two youth and split up. It was a cool experiences we definetly
 received some spiritual guidance as we assigned the youth. It was as
 close to helping P. Alba with transfers as I'll ever get!
 It was a long day of meetings again....we were at the church
 from 8:30 to 4:00. And then back to the church from 6:30 to 9:00.
 So we are excited for that. It really was a special experience to
 help in assigning those companionships though. I will always be
 thankful for the opportunity I have had to be a zone leader for so
 long. I have had a ton of great experiences and opportunities due to
 holding this position that I would have missed out on if I hadn't been
 one. I have sat in councils with some of the greatest men I have ever
 known. I'll always be thankful for that.
 Well this might be the longest email that I have ever's gotta be close at least. It should be an awesome day! We
 are going golfing with a recent convert and his non member son who was
 at church for the first time yesterday!! It's going to be awesome! So
 if I tap into the home card funds you'll know why.. We are doing 18 could be a long day!
 So for school I will talk to some people about maybe rooming
 with them. I don't know exactly who is up there except for one person
 who has already offered me a room. So I'll creep on facebook for a
 minute and see Who is up there. Like I said before. In about a year
 I'll have plenty of roommates!
 Well that's it from me. We are going to go hit up a thrift shop
 to find some golfing outfits...wish us luck! Have a great week!
 Love Elder Nelson

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2nd, 2014

Dear Family, 
     It has been a super weird week! Transfer week is always crazy and we had MLC (missionary Leadership Council) The day after transfers and then we had our weekly planning day after that so all in all we haven't been able to do a ton of proselyting but its been good. 
      Really though it has been a trip to be back in Shiloh park. Not much has changed though which is interesting. It doesn't really feel like I ever left! Most of the people we have gone to see so far are the same people that I was teaching when i was here give or take a few people. So it has been fun to reconnect. I'm really thankful that I am missing out on the whole new area thing. It always takes like two or three weeks to get to know everyone and to adjust to a new companion and get to know your investigators and your area and how things are done. I'm avoiding almost all of that! But my new comp is awesome so that really hasn't been a problem either. I don't know if i have told you but his name is elder Ashton and he is from highland utah. He went to Lonepeak high school. HE is really fun and chill and wants to work hard so no problems. It should be fun. The only thing that has been hard is realizing that i will be leaving for sure  in five weeks. I will be really sad to leave because things are going to be awesome here. So knowing that I wont be here for long is sad. But tha'ts alright. I also realized that after this transfer i will have spent 6 months in shiloh park ward! so I will have had two 6 month areas which is weird to me. 
     Anyways, this week has been good. Everyone is excited for me to be back for the most part and the area is in good shape so there will be plenty for us to do. I miss vacaville though. 
     Speaking of vacaville, Elder wride wasnt transferred so he is in vacaville with a new companion. I saw him at MLC and it was sad that we were no longer comps. our reign has ended for the moment. But hopefully he will come to BYUi and then the legend will continue. I almost had him talked in to coming but he probably wont until next year if he does at all. HE has a girl to chase down in provo before he can think about going anywhere else. SO if that doesnt work out then hopefully he will shimmy on up to idaho and we can party. 
      Oh also we have some sweet roomies here. Elder Deborah from mexico and Loramier from texas. They are awesome. IT will be a fun transfer. 
     Mom i really enjoyed hearing about your miracles! Thats awesome! So many people wonder if God even cares about the little day to day things we struggle with in our lives, it is always great to hear about stories that teach us otherwise! 
      Hopefully i will have more to tell you about next week, sorry this is short, we got a late start and have a lot to do today that usually we dont have to do. Perks of being a zone leader. Not. 
     I love you and hope your week is great! 
Love E. Nelson

P.s. What do you think about coming back to cali to visit?. . Anyways. love you! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

May 25th,2014

Dear family,
      Well here we are. Starting down the home stretch. I can hardly believe that I'll be flying home in 6 weeks! It seems unreal! It feels like I have been in Vacaville with elder wride for like my whole life and that it will never change! But unfortunately, things always change and nothing good lasts forever, (except for our families). So we got transfer information Friday night and for the last transfer of my mission I will be returning to Shiloh park!! My very first area!! Isn't that crazy? I still can't believe that. But it should be exciting. It will be cool to see old friends again that I made when I was there the first time! Except last time I was there I ate like I'm scared that I'm going to gain instead of lose. I have thought about just starving myself all day and eating all my calories at dinner but that's probably not the best idea...haha but I'm not too worried about you know. 
        I will be very sad to leave Vacaville. I have gotten very close with the members and my companion and so for that reason it will be hard to leave. If I could have come home this transfer it would have been the perfect ending! But that's from my perspective right now. I'm sure that will change...for the most part. I already know the ward is awesome and the area is awesome so hopefully my companion is awesome. It just won't be like my companionship now. Haha these last three transfers have been the ultimate companionship. We are legends (in our own minds)! But seriously it has been so fun!! It's been hitting us that are time Is finally over and it's been lame. I'm really gonna miss elder wride. We are like brothers. I don't know who I'll be able to talk to for the next six weeks!! Really, though it can't really express how fun it has been. It just won't ever be the same. 
       Bro beauchamp told us that in 4 and a half years of working with zone leaders we are his favorite! He also told me that him and pres. Pedderson(member of the stake presidency) both talked to president alba in an effort to keep us together for one more month. But it obviously didn't work haha. That would have been awesome. I will miss bro beauchamp a lot. He has been one of the most influential people on my mission. I have had a lot of questions come up over the past six months and he has really helped me understand and find answers. So I'm thankful for that. We had a BBQ at his house on Saturday so that was really fun. 
      We are going over to the hancocks for lunch today!! Sis Hancock is awesome. She is one of the members that I have gotten the closest to since I have been on my mission. On Saturday we went to a baptism in woodland for a guy named jimmy that elder wride helped to teach a lot. Jimmy asked him to speak. So we asked the hancocks to drive us over and they said they would! It was just such a fun night driving with them and seeing the baptism! On the way home we stopped at Krispy Kreme....I never knew how good those doughnuts were until this month....they are like crack!! So it was just a really fun night and I am really gonna miss them a lot! 
       Right now we are at the stake presidents house emailing haha press Bennett is awesome. I will miss him too. I have had the amazing opportunity to sit in many meetings with him and with his counselors and with other great great men and watch and listen to them plan and coordinate the work here in Vacaville. It has been priceless experience to be among such great men and powerful spiritual leaders. I will miss them. They have taught me a lot. 
       Well today is crazy and we have a lot to do so I will keep this one short. I love you and miss you! Today marks the beginning of the end! I can hardly believe it. I look forward to your letters! Have a great week! 
       It is so weird that it's a holiday! It doesn't even register in my brain. Everyone has work off and stuff today. It's weird. It's a normal day for me...well kinda...transfer pdays are the worst. anyways love you! 
Love e. Nelson

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sierra's Baptism May 3, 2014, Vacaville, CA

Vacaville Zone with President and Sister Alba May 3, 2014

May 5th, 2014

Dear family,
 We had a pretty awesome week. The highlight of course being
 Sierras baptism on Saturday! It was a great moment and a very
 spiritual experience for all who were involved. There were quite a few
 people who showed up and a few of them were less active and non member
 friends of Sierra. It was a great program. Due to stake conference I
 will be confirming her a member of the church and giving her the gift
 of the Holy Ghost this next Sunday.
 This weekend we also had stake conference! Sis alba had all the
 missionaries sing In the Saturday night session so that was
 interesting. When we were practicing it felt like a military choir or
 something. Sis alba was intense! She muted some of the elders
 including elder wride because they couldn't sing very well haha so
 they just stood with us and moved their lips but didn't sing it was
 pretty funny. But the session was really good and Sunday was also
 amazing! We had elder hayni from so cal come up to preside at the
 conference. Man that guy can speak! He gave some amazing talks and
 told some awesome stories! I was really impressed and enjoyed this
 stake conference a lot. Our ward mission leader got some really good
 training but he is moving in a week or two so he won't be in our ward
 anymore. It will be interesting to see who the new one will be. Elder
 hayni said ward mission leaders should give as much time a week to
 their callings as do bishops. I thought that was cool.
 Speaking of this next Sunday, it is also Mother's Day so that
 means we get to talk for a little bit! That will be exciting. I hope
 things with skype and whatnot will all be figured out.
 It will be my last call home! Haha it's time for all the lasts. My
 last zone conference was this week, and I gave my departing testimony,
 my last call home, my last temple trip, last companion last area, all
 that jazz. It is going by really fast. I have 9 weeks left but it
 feels like I should be coming home after this transfer. I wish I was.
 It would be a perfect ending. Great companion great area and just had
 a sweet baptism. But pres. alba told me that I'd probably be getting
 transferred. So that's lame. I'm hoping I don't get a scrub companion
 for my last transfer haha. It's weird but like with how fast time goes
 by, my mission is over. The past 15 weeks have been a blur so the next
 9 will go even faster. It doesn't feel like I will ever leave this
 place or get a new companion though. It feels like I have been with
 elder wride like my whole mission and it's hard to remember when it
 was different. I'm not looking forward to transferring though. This
 place feels like home!
 I am really excited to go home, but I don't ever want to leave,
 it is a really weird mixture of emotion. I have have been having a lot
 of emotional feeling lately as I look back over the past years, I
 can't even begin to describe how thankful and blessed I am for all the
 opportunities I have had and the experiences and the amazing people I
 have met and friendships that I have made! It is a little
 overwhelming. It is sad to think that it's all coming to an end. But
 that's the way it goes I guess.
 I'm back to eating healthy! I'm never eating out again. It's
 stupid. I will say I am so very excited to be in full control of what
 I eat and when I eat. That will be nice.
 Okay well I have lost focus and need to go play some basketball
 so talk to you on Sunday :) let me know of a time via facebook or
 email either way. Elder wride is talking 2:30 our time but that
 doesn't matter we can talk whenever it is most convenient. We have
 dinner at 5:00pm and our church is from 11:00am to 2:00 PM so let me
 know what works for all of you. Have a great week love you!
 Elder Nelson

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14th, 2014

Well I didn't get any letters this week so I'm thinking I might get
 them today if you sent them. I'm looking forward to getting the
 packages!! You don't need to worry about them not getting to me
 because I'm staying in Vacaville with elder wride!!!!! After this
 transfer I'll have spent 6 months in this place! Haha oh man I really
 wish you could have witnessed our reaction to transfer information
 when we opened it up!! We were screaming and laughing for like 5
 minutes. It was awesome!! So I'm really really excited about that!! We
 both are! I love this place and I love my companion! It has been and
 will be so great! We have been working so hard to get this town
 going!! It feels like everyday all we do is eat sleep and talk to
 people. We only have a few solid people we are teaching. Everyone else
 has flaked out. So we are just really in need of finding prepared
 people! It's a whole different area than I have experienced before.
 There are tons and tons of churches here so almost everyone goes to a
 church or is atheist. One day while tracting we talked to a very
 faithful passionate Lutheran who wasn't interested in talking to us,
 and then right next door to him we talked to a hard core atheist that
 was a jerk. Speaki of jerks, we have had it rough the past week. We
 think satan is working on us or our faith is being tested cause right
 before general conference we were talking about how everyone is so
 nice here and we haven't had too much run ins with mean people. But
 right after general conference it feels like every day we have run
 into people that attack us. One day the pastor for church of Christ
 pulled over to the side of the road and was telling us anti and that
 we were wrong and stuff. We have run onto several atheists who have
 told us stuff that makes us look stupid for believing haha and then
 there are just lots of mean people that we have run into. So it's been
 a rougher week for us but hopefully that means blessings are coming!
 Not that we haven't been blessed. We have found quite a few sweet
 potentials and part member families! And also on supa day we found a
 sweet family that had an uncle in like Oklahoma that is a member and
 he has just been starting to learn about the church out there. But I
 guess he has been emailing this family saying he is going to send them
 stuff and that they should check it out! So when we knocked on our
 door and she told us that we were like well, now you can tell him he
 doesn't need to send you anything we can give it to you right now! We
 are going back next week to teach her! So that was awesome. We are
 having a baptism on April 26th for Sierra Jensen! An awesome 11 year
 old who is much smarter than I am! We are excited about that!
 I don't have to much else to say! I'm thankful for all of you.
 I love you so much! Talk to you soon!
 Love elder Nelson