Dear familia, It has been a great week! I can't believe how fast the time goes. Each week feels like two seconds.....I wake up and then go to bed in what seems like a few minutes hhaha. It is no wonder that there is a whole chapter on using time wisely in PMG! You gotta make it count! So we had transfers and what not this week. Elder wride is pretty awesome. He is a quiet guy but we have made a good connection I think. He was in the MTC with me as well and so interestingly enough we are at A similar place in our missions. Similar goals concerns and challenges that is. As well similar views and opinions on the work and what needs to be done. So we are already getting along pretty well! We should be able to get good things going! I don't think I mentioned that elder wride actually served here in Vacaville once already! He was in second ward a year ago and now he is in first ward so he has been a little tripped out being back and seeing people and places he has been before. It is weird how much like home your old areas feel like. You just love the people and the places so much that coming back feels like coming home from a long trip. And he isn't just visiting he is serving here again so I can imagine that that is a weird feeling! He is excited though and happy to be here. He is from Ogden Utah. Transfer week is always slow, Monday is transfer pday so packing, cleaning, and saying goodbye. Tuesday is a normal day but some time is also spent saying goodbye. Then Wednesday is transfers so driving and picking up people and dropping off and then transfer meeting and then transferring luggage and driving and picking up and dropping off and yeah it's a stressful day because we have to plan out the ride situation and figure out how to get everyone where they need to go with their luggage and bikes. It went good though. We had to stop in Fairfield and Vallejo to pick up and drop off. So super funny story. On the way back from transfers we stopped in Vallejo to pick up an elder coming to our zone. We parked on the side of the road and loaded him up in our van. Then when we were leaving the elders who were following us to vacaville turned out in front of some guy and got hit on the front left side! Even funnier is that Elder Blackhurst from Gville was driving the car!! Haha so that was quite the situation. The elders in the car had no clue what to do haha. I can now say that I know how to use the packet in the glove compartment that says, "what to do when you have an accident packet." Haha the guy who hit them was super nice and everything was taken care of pretty quickly and the car was still driveable. So we made it back to Vacaville but not till later. Haha it was an interesting experience! I will attatch some pictures of the the poor carolla. So we had a pretty cool miracle this weekend there is a family here named the Gregstons that everyone in the church knows because a while back they were about to baptized. They had been interviewed and everything all they needed to do was get dunked but on the day before the baptism someone in their family died and the baptism was postponed and they fell off the map after that. I have previously talked to them once or twice but just on the doorstep. But this Saturday we went by and it just so happened that they were home they let us in we talked for a good ten minutes and we set up an appointment with them on Tuesday! It was so sweet! Everyone in the ward is all excited about it! They said when we talked to them that they have missed studying and have felt a difference in their lives and want to start up again! So that is the big news that we were able to make that contact. We also had a member text us on Sunday night and ask us if we could be at his home on Thursday night to teach his friend the first lesson! That was an awesome surprise!! So a couple of great things happened this week with more great things to come! It should be an exciting week! Also, in our zone is an Elder Sommers? He said he knew Stewart from something....so yeah....pretty crazy. Anyways I love you! Love elder Nelson
Monday, January 27, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
Dearest family! I hope your week was great! The niners lost on Sunday so everyone is ticked here. Haha kinda funny. Too bad they didn't win. People would have been going nuts! It was really fun here when the giants won the world series. But I guess now all the Mormon niners fans can keep the sabbath more holy by not watching the super bowl , and maybe just maybe they will go do their home teaching instead?? One can always hope. We got are transfer information! The whole zone is pretty much changing! I will be staying here in Vacaville and getting a new companion and Elder Boswell will be leaving! My new companion will be elder Wride! Interesting enough he was in the MTC with me as well and we came out together! Most of the elders who came out with me are in leadership so if I serve with more of them I wouldn't be surprised. But it should be good! My MTC companion is coming here to Vacaville as well and I am very excited about that! We have been waiting to serve together our whole missions, so even though we aren't together at least we are in the same zone and will see each other a ton. It should be a really fun transfer!! This week we finally had this girl named Bryanna come to church! She is a less active and we have been working with her. She is in a bad place with addictions and living with a loser boyfriend. It was so cool to see her finally come to church and feel the spirit. She needed it. We got her an appointment with the bishop and an appointment for us to teach her at the church. So for the second time ever I should tell you that I am emailing you from this very comfortable couch in a members home on my iPad. Pretty cool eh? Myldsmail account is linked to my iPad now so emailing is going to be totally awesome from now on because we will be able to stay at the members houses where we do laundry and not run back and forth all day! We can knock it all out at one time!! Laundry and emails the two biggest time factors done by 11:00!!! So sweet. Except today will be boring because we are supposed to deep clean our apt. And Boswell has to pack. No sports allowed. Lame right? That's two pdays a transfer we lose now!! I need my pdays haha. Thank you so much for all the birthday stuff! It was great! Not much happened here for the bday. Pretty normal. We didn't have a celebration or anything. Well, I did go to hometown buffet for lunch and splurged a little and I also got a free vanilla bean frapp (no coffee) (they are MY FAVORITE) from Starbucks and that was great I hadn't had one since I was with elder Borland in Shiloh park my first area!! So that was good! Let's see what else.... On Sunday we taught in primary and they sang happy birthday to me so I got to stand up front with a cupcake mask thing and dance for the primary haha it was ridiculous. Ill send the video if I can and some pics! They are on my iPad so I can do that :) I know I haven't sent any pics. Been slacking and don't want to spend the money! Too much other stuff to buy! February is coming up. The first picture is The Kaai girls at dinner. I got a good workout in!I got distracted from my writing to send pics haha I love you and
thanks again for the birthday package and letter and shirt! It made my day! I love you all! Elder Nelson
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I got your letters! I got the journals! Still nothing from liesel though... Maybe it went to arcata? I dunno. Anyways I think the mail is still somewhat trustworthy!
We had such a good week. I will tell you what. God knows what he is doing. And I can testify that he does hear our prayers and he does answer our prayers, but in his own way and his own time. It is sure hard to be patient and trust in The Lord but as soon as revelation comes it is easy to look back and see the growth that comes from enduring in faith.
For the past few weeks I have felt somewhat stuck. In a slump I guess you could say. And I have been pleading with The Lord every day to help me know what I should do. What I can change, and how I can really make these 6 precious months really count. Not just in regards to the work but also in regards to myself and my own conversion and sanctification.For a few weeks now that has been my prayer.
Nothing came for awhile and I have struggled emotionally and in spirit to understand why and what I could do to get the answers that I need. I think it is funny that when we ask The Lord for things and don't get an answer right away we immediately begin to question our worthiness. So dumb haha. In all reality that might be a problem but I knew it wasn't mine yet still somehow that thought crept into my mind...I think that happens to a lot of people when things get hard and answers don't come. Question worthiness and testimony. Fortunately we have all the guidance we need in the scriptures. Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. It is one of the hardest things ever to trust in god and endure in faith Patiently, until we receive further light and knowledge from our father in heaven.
I am so thankful that Heavenly Father loves us enough to let us struggle and learn from the opposition in our lives. Sometimes the opposition is simply to wait on The Lord and patiently endure. His answers and guidance always come at the right time after we have exercised our faith and learned sufficiently.
This week we had the opportunity to spend about two days at camp liahona in the redwoods. This is my third time going there on my mission! Once for a service project, 2nd for an all mission conference, and third for missionary leader council. Or MLC. So all the zone leaders and STLs (sister trainer leaders) in our mission along with a few others were in attendance.
We spent over 12 hours in meetings. We were trained on a lot of things regarding leadership. I can pretty much tell you that I don't remember much of what was said by the people. I'd have to go over my notes. But I do remember what was taught to me by the spirit! And it was and is exactly what I needed to hear.
Basically, the first night president alba set the scene he told us straight up that we need to change and that his hope and the whole purpose of this camp was for the intent of us having a single moment of inspiration to catch the vision of high expectations. I probably didn't tell you this but elder Ballard came to Cali and taught the mission presidents that we need to have higher expectations and develop a culture of high expectation. There is a lot more detail to it than that but that is the basis. So he told is frankly that we were to leave this camp all the way in on the new expectations and goals for our mission.
What was cool is that the first night when president set the scene he taught us about what we needed to build our high expectations on. It was funny because I was super pumped to have the moment but I did not understand anything that he taught us that night I didn't understand how it was supposed to change me or the mission. So I was a little bit sad that that was what was presented. I prayed that night for understanding and for a moment to change me.
The second day was super long and we were taught a ton of stuff about leadership. It was good and I learned some good stuff about being a leader but I was still looking for that moment and understanding.
Finally in our last meeting, we were having a good discussion about our mission and having high expectations. I don't remember anything of what was said but there was a point when president alba totally received revelation and I finally had my moment. I was taught by the spirit. I literally felt the quickening of my mind as understanding entered into my mind and my heart. I can't explain what I learned very well, but i know exactly what I need to do and I have a clear vision of what I can accomplish and who I can become over the last six months of my mission.
The thoughts I received go much deeper into my heart than I can express but essentially what I was taught is that we meaning me and our zone and our mission and everyone everywhere need to build our high expectations on the promises of god. We need to bank on God!!
We have had several General authorities come to our mission, and we have been promised that if we would meet certain standards we would double and triple our baptisms. We have not yet gotten anywhere close to doing that. And it is because we have not been banking on Gods promises. God is bound to bless us by laws irrevocably decreed in heaven. And his servants have given us standards that If we meet we will have the windows of heaven opened upon us. All we have to do is exercise our faith and trust that god will fulfill his promises to us! I don't know how to say it other than that. It is a simple truth but my understanding has been deepened and I have been filled with a new desire!! I am so thankful for it. It came at the perfect time! Let us test God!! Pay your tithing and see what happens! Keep the sabbath holy and see what happens. Get 20 contacts a day and watch our baptisms double. I am so excited. I have no doubt that we will see miracles as we apply this new way of thinking into our missionary work. Tomorrow we will teach our zone what we learned. Pray it will go well! We also got new guidelines involving the iPads that will most assuredly cause some murmuring and that will cut the guilty to the center. It will be interesting. As zone leaders we have to go through the missionaries iPads on exchanges now or at random time because so many people think the iPads are their own personal tool. But really it is the lords and needs to be treated as such. Everything in our iPads must reflect who we are and who we represent. So yeah a lot of people aren't going to like that... If there is bad stuff we are authorized to call pres and take away their iPads. 5 elders lost them this last week. It is sad. O be wise! What can I say more??
Well that's it from me I am doing wonderful. The Lord is taking care of me. I'm so thankful to be a member of this church and a servant of Christ at this great time! I love each of you and am thankful for all the support and the letters and the love! You are the best!! Have a wonderful week.
Monday, January 6, 2014
January 6, 2014
I hope you each had a wonderful week. Our week was great! We spent a lot of time out and about finding and talking to people and We had a classic tracting experience. We decided that we needed to go tract morales court during weekly planning. So Wednesday I think it was, we went there in the morning and tracked it out. No one was interested on the entire street until we got to the very last house and this guy named Sam I think, opened up and he immediately started to talk to us in a way that told us he has had experience with missionaries in the past. He said he was busy with a bunch of people from work but wanted us to come back! So he gave us his number and we gave him ours and he said To give him a call in a few days!! It was pretty cool. So one of those last door experiences. After the trail of your faith right? And it was funny because that street we ran into a few people that were punks and tried to argue. Baptists... But anyway. We just bore testimony and left. So it was good to find someone solid in the end.
So I'm a little distraught about mail...I haven't gotten any this last week. Maybe you should just email...of course maybe that is what you did and why I got no mail. But either that or send it to the mission office first and maybe that will help...I don't know. It's dumb.
I went on exchanges this week with elder Alcivar. He is a Spanish missionary here from New York! It was fun to get to know him and hear about life in New York! I guess it is pretty crazy over there growing up. He was one of two Mormons in his school and his graduating class was like 900! What was mine like 60? Haha. Pretty big difference.
I don't know if I told you but next week we are going camping again! It is going to be a lot of fun! We will head up there on Wednesday and get back Friday. Happy birthday Stewart!! I hope it was a good day for you and that you had funfetti cake. Love you all Elder Nelson.