Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chee-hoo!! I love being a missionary! 29 Oct 2012

Hello Nielsen Family!

Soo have officially survived my first tsumani! :) Don't you worry, I was all ready with my life jacket, flippers and snorkle. They provide that in our 72 hour kits here. ;)

Idk if you guys heard about it.. But it was crazy! Friday night we had a baptism for one of the elders in our zone and while they were standing in the font this really loud alarm goes off outside. They have this huge alarm system for isumani warnings and hurrianes. And that alarm alone will make you panic! But it was kind of exciting! Definitely a baptism I will never forget! We returned to our pad, and got news that we were on higher ground so we would be fine. But driving home, people were going crazy! So many people at gas stations and then hearing from members that people at the stores are just hording water and food and stuff. The tsumani hit around 10:30 so right when we were going to bed, and we found out the next morning it was only about a foot. It didn't do any damage. Which is definitely a blessing! But it just goes to show how prepared you need to be when those situations come!

Well.. This week was sooo good! we had 10 with member lessons! So we're keepin consistant! We have so many investigators and I just want to baptize them all! Especially since transfers in on the 14th of november. :/ I'm ready for change. But I just want to see them baptized first! We have a goal of 11 people baptized for November! Just in our area, but we have the names! So its going to happen!

Yesterday for Pday we had a "sisters day". It was super fun! All the sisters on O'ahu drove to La'ie and we had Barbara Barrington Jones speak to us in the VC. I stinkin love that woman, she's so inspiring. And then all had lunch in the stake center across the street. It was good to be with all the other sisters. I actually ran into a VC sister I went to EFY with in taylorsville!  It was crazy! Who would've thought back then that we would both go on missions and be called to the same place! But I am really glad I'm not VC, I love being full pros. I get to be with the people.

This last week, I feel like we've been teaching a lot about the word of wisdom. To our investigators and recent converts. But it's amazing how the spirit works on people and they then have the desire to change. One of our investos-Kenny, is an alcoholic. We committed him to be baptized last week for November 24th, and when we taught him about the word of wisdom he told us he was already trying to stop drinking. BAh! He's already trying to stop! Because he knows that this is what he wants! Our recent convert-Mariko, she is also an alcoholic and she is trying to get into a rehab center, but she doesn't want to come to church until she is completely sober. We talked about how the atonement is the best recovery program there is. She hasn't been reading her scriptures or praying either. So we committed her to do those things and promised her she will recover if she builds her foundation on Jesus Christ. Gah! It was just a powerful lesson.
Dad I remember when you could come back from lessons with the Cabias(?) (that family from peru) and say, "The spirit was so strong you could cut it with a knife." I now understand what you mean. I get it! And I LOVE those lessons! They are SO powerful!

Ok so you are probably wondering about little Alex Hackett who we were hoping for a miracle baptism this last Saturday. Well.. His Dad freaked a bit, said he didn't care if they got baptized but he wouldn't go. And he also would've give a written permission. Soo.. We are just letting things cool. But Alex wrote him a cute letter about why he wanted to be baptized and taped it to his door. Gosh, these kids faith is so incredible to me. And then teaching Alex, he had so much more confidence than I have ever seen him before, with the thought of him getting baptized. He didn't care if his dad was there. He just wanted to be baptized, because he wanted the holy ghost. We'll definitely get him there this month. We are still prayin and I know it will happen.

Sooo Tai is getting baptized on SATURDAY!! Oh also.. I need to somehow get to American Samoa next November, I have a sealing I need to go to. Do you think you could call my mission president and pull some strings? ;) Because I'm invited! Ahh! I want to go sooo bad! I stinkin love Tai, he's kind of been my first everything in teaching the lessons, and he'll be my first baptism. He's so ready. He's going to be one of those solid converts! S. Wright and I are soo excited!

I'm sorry and sad to hear Elder Sanft got ETed. You guys don't talk much about his companion.. I take it Elder Sanft was the favorite missionary. Haha. That's awesome he was called to be a Zone Leader! He's a very young ZL too if he's only 8 months! I'm sure they are good hard working elders. Are you helping them with their investigators? HELP THEM! We can only do so much as missionaries.  Get me his address, I'd like to write him about you guys. Ha!

Gosh I wish I could write so much more, I have so much to say! But just wait till I get home and then we'll just gather around for story time. :)

I love being a missionary and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for this wonderful opportunity!
I love you all! And I'm so glad Cody, Erin, and Dad got some bonding time on top of a mountain. ;) Adelaide, Carly, and Summer-I'm sure you both look smashing in your halloween costumes! Go get some candy for me tomorrow night k! Chelsea and Brian, I stinkin love your blog! You two are so cute. Mom and Dad, your thee best parents ever. I am so thankful to you both. :)

Have a wonderful week!

Love, S. Nielsen

P.S. Tell Tucker and Tiffani I love them! And take lots and lots of pictures for me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Choke Miracles! 22 Oct 2012


Oh my heavens.. This weeks has been CRAZY!! It feels like a month! I seriously don't even know what to tell you because there is SO MUCH!

Ok. To start out, we had 11 with member lessons. 11!!! The most we've ever gotten is 6. The most lessons we've ever had in a week is 12. This week we had 18 lessons total. I was so physically and spiritually exhausted everynight. We also had 8 investigators at church!! 8! AHHHHH! It was so good.

Sister Wright and I have been praying to see a baptism this month. We thought it was going to be Alex (the runner) but now.. We know that it's probably Alex Hackett. He's 10 years old and in a part member family. He goes to church every week and wants to be baptized! Both him and his little sister Katie want to be baptized, but she's only 7. They need their dad's permission he wont let them get baptized till they are 12 or 13. He's athiest. We taught their family this week and Katie reads the book of mormon almost everyday. She told me that she prays that her dad will let her be baptized when she turns 8 every night! And that sometimes she'll leave her BOM in the kitchen or on the couch to see if maybe he'll read it. Talk about the faith of a 7 year old! Alex read the BOM too. They are such great kids and they hold there family together. Katie also invited her dad to the primary program this week. So sister wright and I were fasting that buddy would come to the primary program and his heart would be soften. On Friday, we went to a members home and Sister Hackett was there. She told us that Buddy has changed his mind, that they now just have to have an adult conversation about why they want to be baptized. Hallejuh! Miracle! So.. On sunday we pulled Alex out of primary for a little while and asked if he would like to be baptized on saturday. And talked to him about talking to his dad, kinda role play it out. He's gets really nervous and can't find words. The bishop gave him a blessing for courage and that his Dad's heart would be soften. We haven't heard anything yet. But S. Wright and I both fasted on Friday, she fasted on saturday and then I fasted on Sunday. (We didn't do that on purpose. But kind tag teamed fasting. haha) Gosh. I have never fasted so hard in my life! I want Alex to be baptized on Saturday SO bad! We haven't heard anything yet. But.. Ahh. Still hoping and praying.

I love you all and I will write more next week I promise! Sorry my time is about to expire! :(

Love, S. Nielsen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hon-West Zone is.. Hon-BEST Zone!‏ 15Oct 2012


Mom.. I loved your email, especially about the popcorn fire story! Its hard to not bust up laughing in a very quiet library when I'm imagining my family running around and you getting upset about your grass burning. Hahaha! Love it! My companion keeps looking over at me and asking, "what!?" :)

Adelaide is potty trained! That's so exciting! .. Nah, it's not a missionary term. I just think I'm funny sometimes. :) But they do refer to things as .. I was born in Aliamanu. And then my last area I will die there. Soo.. I'm just a baby missionary still!

Ok.. You guys keep talking about Elder Sanft, and I'm trying to figure out what ward he's in. But nobody seems to know him. Soo.. Ask him for me. And tell him I say hi and I like his hometown. :)  And how long has he been out?

Soooo.. This week has been awesome! We've had choke good numbers! But the hardest thing is trying to get investigators to come to church! Gah! It's kind of frustrating, especially when they ask for a ride. So you find a memeber who is willing and then they don't answer their phone, you go to their apt and they aren't there.. Church is important people! But we'll get there. One step at a time. :)

For some reason also this week we've been runnin into and talking to alot of drunk people. They are very nice and friendly to us, but I don't think they really remember us when we go back and see them when they are sober. But in once incident, we contacted these guys and then there was one who wasn't drinking and just kinda sitting off to the side and made a comment about something like, "the bibles have been translated so many times, it's all changed and hard to know what to believe." Having this come out of his mouth was very shocking. He's 21, white, and just looks rough around the edges. After a while I started talking to him specifically and asked him what he believed and why and how he knew that. He said that he's read the bible 6 times! And that the concept of death just really interests him. He's experienced it at a very young age. But he's read all different versions of the bible. I then whipped out a book of mormon and asked if he's up for additional scripture. :) I explained to him the background and stuff and then he said himself. "So it's just adding to the bible." Halejuh! Yep! I asked him if he would read it and he said he sure would. He doesn't live in our area though, he lives over by ewa beach. So I got him information and asked if some missionaries in his area contacted him and taught him some things that we believe. He was all for it. This kid is SOLID! I was so dissappointed when he wasn't in our area. But we later found out that that was only the second time he'd come to hang out with those guys and that he doesn't make it around there very often at all. AH! Definitely NOT a coincidence.

So remember the Salimedas family? I love them. Soooo much! We taught them last monday and ahh everytime we go there I just leave soo grateful and I just LOVE them! Our plan was to teach the plan of salvation, but we get there and they've already been taught that. (Past missionaries) But we ended up having an awesome conversation about baptism. And.. I just love them! We ended with the Doctrine of Christ DVD. (Have the Elders shown you that yet? Please request it! It's SOOOO GOOOD! And we used it ALL Da time! ) It's about a family (Robles family, in San Diego) that was being taught by the missionaries ended up getting baptized and then a year later going through the temple. And it's powerful! But the Dad was so touched, and he was like.. "Thank you for showing us that, that really gives structure of what you guys do and how we can do that for our family." (Something like that) BAH! I want to see them baptized SOOOOO bad! They just need to come to church, and the mom needs to know for herself. She's kind of the one who's not helping the family progress. They'd be in the font by now if it wasn't for her. But I still love her!
This morning I was reading Alma 4 and 5, and it was crazy! I was having so many fast back of Elder Hollands talk from this last conference. They are sooo similar! I'm giving you homework to study both and tell me what you think. :) I wanna hear your insights.

I love ya'll! And I pray and hope you are doing well! Have a fabulous week!

Love, S. Nielsen

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What the What!?!? 8 Oct 2012


I'm so sorry my email last week didn't get to you! That's weird, I wrote one. And it looks like you're going to have two emails from me this week! Think of it as a blessing. :)

OH MY GOODNESSSSSSS!!!! General Conference was NUTS!! I was freaking out when Pres. Monson made the announcement about the missionary age changes. Flip, I'm going to be a Gma compared to the new missionaries that are gong to be coming! But I have never felt more excited and more confident that this is so right for this time! And S. Wright and I were talking later, this is a sign of the last days! We need more missionaries to penitrate the earth with this gospel. The entire conference I felt was a request for all worthy young people to serve. If you are able to serve-they want us. We are God's Army. This is a battle between good and evil. And if you really understand that battle we are facing everyday, you would have the desire to serve a mission. I am SO happy and blessed to be on a mission. I seriously love it. And I feel like I have already answered to the call. That is why I have made this choice, to be part of God's Army. And I get this wonderful opportunity! This is the Last Days. I really think the Savior is coming sooner than we all expect. Elder Holland said "This is the Lord hastening his work." Everyone will either be in the church or against it. The refiners fire is happening now.

Ahhh. I stink LOVE general conference. My favorite talks were difinitely Elder Hollands and Elder Uchtdorf. So incredible. I am still so pumped and just ready to go!

K. Well.. This week has seriously been SOOOO long. So many things have happen that it's just make everything seem like it happen in a months time! But it flew by and the same time. Idk, weird weird thing time is.

Soooo.. One of our investos.. Chris, his wife is a member and he has anxiety about church buildings. (I think I've talked about him before right?) Well.. He prayed! Ahh! It was so great! He's been very good and keeping committment and reading the BOM and I can definitely see a change in him. This week we taught him the Doctrine of Christ and asked him to say the closing prayer and he prayed! Ahh! One of the BEST moments ever as a missionary. He is on him way. We haven't asked him to come to church yet, we're working on just activities first. He has anxiety about church buildings, his whole life he's been taught that they are bad. We took him on a church tour and he said his heart was just racing the whole time. We'll get there. But it was just stinkin exciting!

Also.. We have another investo, Cara. She is 25 and living with her RM boyfriend. She's been taught all the lessons and knows everything is true. The first three weeks we'd teach things like.. How to prepare for General Conference, or share mormon messages. Just things that she hasn't probably heard before. But that's not focusing on our purpose much. So this last week we had a lesson about desires. We shared scriptures about Alma and they people at the waters of mormon and how there desire was to serve God and be baptized. We asked her if she even wanted to get baptized and she said Yes! We then asked is she wants to marry the John. They've been living together for 5 years. And again she said that yes that is something she wants to do. But John.. Is kinda a very lazy son of God. She's the one trying to drag him to go to church with her, and she's the one who remembers to read scriptures together. It's all her. He's holding her back. Her RM boyfriend is keeping her from getting baptized! (.. I though of him during Elder Hollands talk) But it was so good to hear from her of what's going on! We definitely had woman bonding, just able to get out all that fuzziness. We joked and asked if we could plan her wedding and she said. "oh that'd be so fun!" just gotta get John on board. 

We had some training from our district leaders in our zone this week, and Elder Takahashi (he's a convert from Japan) did an incredible job! He talked about praying for "how to make things happen" not just set our goals. He said the example of our zone leaders last week of the month asking for a baptism. And then thinking that they are crazy. But then compared it to Nephi building a boat. He just asked how, how can something be done. It was really good! Us sisters call in miracles everynight that happen through the day to our zone through voicemail, and Elder Takahashi called us one day to report his miracle. He'd been fasting and praying that his investigator would be able to somehow find a way to come to church. And then.. She got fired from her job! So now she is able to come. "It was a miracle!" He said in broken english. Hahaha. Love it!   

Also. Today I am with Sister Haupeakui!! We're on exchanges, Sister Wright has to go to ZLC since she's a sister trainer now. And Sister Haupeakui's companion is also a sister trainer. So.. We've had a great reunion today. :) I love this girl. We've just been talking story and reminiscing MTC all day!

Hey mom. Will you pretty please send me an absentee ballet so that I can vote? That would do me wonders!
I better get. But I love you all so much and I hope you have a fabulous week!! :)

Love love love love love, S. Nielsen

I'm Officially 2 Months Old!! And almost potty trained. :) ‏1 Oct 2012

My Dear Family, 

Aloha! I love reading your emails, it's always so fun to hear about little miss Adelaide and baptisms and the latest updates! I love Pday. Just for that reason. 

This week has been good! We taught 8 lessons, and had an investigator at church! Remember Alex? The one we taught in the dug out? Well.. He came to church, and with fast and testimony meeting and all I was so nervous and worried about every person who got up to speak. But we have a really young ward, so the first.. 15 minutes consisted of kid after kid after kid. Bearing sweet sincere testimonies. Which was good. It was crazy.. That was probably the first REAL adult investo we've had at church. I think he felt a little overwhelmed afterwards, but.. Oh well this is our church! And this is how it goes! 

Transfers are this week.. And it's CRAZY!! Everyone is so excited and there so much rumor flying around the mission. We had a missed call from President Dalton during church, he left a message for Sister Wright to call him back. Which got me suuuuuuuuuper anxious! All these crazy thoughts started running through my head.. "She can't leave! I'm still being trained.. We have so much work to do! I can't take over the area! We both have to see Tai get baptized! Ahhh!" But! She has been called to be a SISTER TRAINER! (Basically like a District Leader for sisters) She'll be soo great, that just goes to show how much of a baller missionary my companion is. :) She's nervous, but I have no worries that she's going to be GREAT! 

We ate dinner at a members home last night and their daughter's name is Adeleah. She 3 too. With blonde curly hair, she's so stinkin cute. Just reminded me of Adelaide. She was fun. 

We had a really sweet experience last.. Monday, after all our Pday activities. We went over to a former investo home. Salimedas, family of 4. 16 and 12 year old children. We just sat and talked, they told us about their past experiences with the missionaries, how they felt kind of pushed. But then we started talking about the Book of Mormon and asked if they'd read it. They read what the missionaries assigned them to read but that was about it. We showed here 3 Nephi where Christ visits and explained about what the BOM does and the background and then it just clicked in her head, and she then was like.. "This sounds a lot like Matthew.. Oh so this is just what other people have written about Christ, like the Bible." She said a lot more, but I'm just paraphrasing it. She then went and brought out this piece of paper, and let us read it. It was basically a prayer that she had written down, asking for the things they were struggling with. She closed the letter/prayer saying that she was His daughter this is her asking and knocking, that he now needs to answer. And then a day later we knocked on their door and asked when we could come by and see them. She said after they had stopped taking the lessons other elders would stop by and she wouldn't let them in. But when she saw sisters and it was right after she'd written that letter she thought this time it'd be different. BAH! It was just SO COOL! Heavenly Father knows exactly what he's doing. We're meeting with them again tonight, so hopefully it's just as successful. 

We have a lot of scheduled appts again for this upcoming week, I love it when that happens! Makes planning so much easier! The work is progressing! Ohh have I told you that Hawaii is one of the highest baptizing missions right now? Our mission is on FIRE! Every companionship prays everyday at 7:55 for vision 130. Basically so we can have 130 baptisms in a month. I think we've hit it the last 3 months. It used to be vision 100 when president Dalton first got here. Stinkin sweet! 

Well I love you! And I miss you lots. I hope you have a fabulous week! .. Enjoy Conference at 9am. We have to get up and be at the stake center at 6am to watch it. But I'm super excited! 

Love, S. Nielsen 
P.S. The pictures I'm sending are of the hike we went on last PDay, (Socks and slippers are very acceptable here. EVERYONE does it.) and a Hawaiian Sunset :), the cockroach trap in our car. Yeah.. We've had a little problem. We've caught 9 now, and named them Korihor, Shiz, Amalikiah, Laban, Sherem.. And so forth. :) These are just baby cockroaches, I the one in our sink was a lot bigger!