Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A hui hou Kohala. 30 Dec 2013

Aloha my Nielsen Fam!

Well.. This week seems like a blur. With Christmas and everything, it really didn't feel like Christmas this year. It's still strange that's Christmas can be warm. But it was so good to talk and SEE you guys. So crazy, but good! They rest of the day we worked on getting skype to connect to Tonga for like 2 hours. But we finally did! I was praying that Sister Lauhingoa would be able to talk to her family. We then went to Waimea and to cruz with the other missionaries.

Just for a little update! 2 weeks ago the whole mission got interviewed by a general authority and President Warner. Because of some drama that had happened in the mission they came and interviewed everything and committed us to be 100% obedient. But after talking to everyone else about the interviews it was amazing how really inspiring they were. They added a little something different in each one that personalized to them. In my interview President explained what they were doing and then asked if I would be obedient. I said yes. (Of course) Then he called me a "seasoned missionary" and shared a scripture from Luke 22:31 and taught about the importance of being an example as a leader and that Satan has desire to have ME. That my weakest points become the other sisters because they watch me. It was interesting because we had just listened to a talk by John Bytheway on the drive down where he was talking about being an example of the believers. I guess sometimes I don't really think that I am an example to other missionaries. It was a good reminded. :) Elder Richards then told me that my mission is preparing me to be a better wife and mother.. YIKES! 

We worked last monday (and took our p-day on Christmas) and on Tuesday till 2pm. We actually still had a really successful week! We taught a total of 19 lessons! So close to 20. But we saw so many miracles as well.

On Thursday I went on my last exchange as a Sister Trainer with Sister LeBaron. (I'm getting released) It was so good! She was one of the sisters I was over in Ewa so we were able to reminisce about our other exchanges. She'd actually been a Sister Trainer on O'ahu before she came to Big Island and so we talked about our callings and our responsibilities. Her zone was very disobedient, but she didn't want to hear about it and was so oblivious to everything that was going on. I guess President was expecting her to report things as a leader, but she really didn't know anything. It was a good talk, and a good exchange we taught to many lessons! She's such a good missionary. I look up to her a lot.

While on exchange I talked to the assistants and they told me that I was being transferred. It was such a strange feeling. And I don't think it really hit me at that time since I was in Kona. We exchanged back Friday morning and then Sister Lauhingoa and I headed to my DLTM meeting  in Kona. My last one! The Elders were funny at the end they asked if I would share my words of wisdom since I had been in Leadership for a long time. I'm like a grandma in the mission.

We then headed back to Kohala. It was a rainy day and everything was so green, I think that's when everything sunk in. I didn't want to tell Sister Lauhingoa since we really weren't supposed to know yet. The elders called later that day and said, "You're leaving." --"I know" (They always call the airlines and find out things). Sister Lauhingoa and I just sat in the car for a while, we both ended up crying a little bit. I've never been so sad to leave an area before. I really thought I was going to finish my mission here. She told me, "I was wondering why you were acting so strange.. You kept saying, "Look how green everything is.. Ohh it's so beautiful." "Josh can we take a picture with you?" " Guess I was getting a little sentimental about everything.

Kaya Lee our investigator was scheduled to be baptized on Saturday. Thursday she was suppose to have her interview while we were on exchange, but Tina (her cousin- member) called and said that they wanted to push it to the next week since they were in Hilo that day and couldn't make it for the interview. When I got back from exchange I just left a message that transfers was this next week and we knew that one of us was leaving. Tina's served a mission and knows how that feels. She then said she would see what she could do. We got a text Saturday morning that Kaya would be baptized the next weekend. I was so sad, everything happens for a reason.

Sunday was Sister Lauhingoa's birthday! So I woke up at 5am and make her breakfast. (I feel like it's just tradition now.) It was complete with pancakes, burnt bacon, sausage, kohala oranges, and rambutan. :) Sister Lauhingoa said that she had a dream that Kaya got baptized today. We kinda shrugged it off like, well that probably wont happen. We then got a call from Tina saying that Kaya wanted to be baptized that evening! Ahhh! We were so excited. We quickly made preparations and she was baptized that evening. We had to cancel our member missionary class but it was so worth it! I love that girl so much. And I feel like I feel complete to leave now. Heavenly Father is so good to me.

Well tomorrow morning I'm headed to Honolulu-Kahala on O'ahu. This is the area I was over with Sister Smoot before, and then again with Sister Fong and Sister Kuok. Rich area. When we were in both Aliamanu and Kahala. I never really got to know that ward very well since we were in 2 areas and I loved Aliamanu. I am glad that Heavenly Father still sees fit to refine me, even this seasoned grandma missionary before I come home. I know that there is a reason for me to be in Kahala. This morning I remembered an experience of being in Kahala and eating dinner with a part member family and having the thought that I could come back to Kahala later in my mission to teach them. I don't even remember who they are. But here I am.. Headed back to Kahala for the 3rd time. Obviously there is something Heavenly Father wants me to do. I'm so sad to leave Kohala, but excited to see the miracles that will come this last transfer.

I love you all so much! Have a happy New Year with many resolutions! (Dad.. I'm so happy to hear the basement is getting worked on! Cheehoo!)

Sister Nielsen

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Be where you're suppose to be, and when you're suppose to be there. 16 Dec 2013

Aloha my dear Ohana! 

Well this last week was.. Crazy fast! Ahh I really cannot keep up with time. I cannot believe that Erin is leaving and Christmas is next week! Freaks me out. Ohh just for some housekeeping.. President Warner is allowing up to skype on Christmas Day. So I was wondering if there was a time that would work best for you guys. I already asked Sister Elam if we could use her computer and she said that was fine. Soo if we skyped at 9am here it's either noon or 1 your time.  I can't remember is there's a three or four hour difference. So I don't know what you guys have planned on Christmas. But just let me know!

I remember something that was said from a BYU-Idaho devotional at the beginning of a semester by Pres. Clark. He said, "Be where you're suppose to be and when you're suppose to be there." He was referring to classes and work things, but I have always remember that and it definitely was able to apply to missionary work this week. 

Well our investo Andrew is.. missing. He was scheduled to be baptized on Saturday, but he had some court case on monday and we haven't heard from him since. :/ He wasn't even sure what was going to happen to him, but I think he's locked up in some sort of institution. But Heavenly Father is in control and He knows what's going on.

Kaya Lee as was also scheduled for this week, but has been pushed back for the 28th just so we can fit in all the lessons and her mom will be able to come on that day. She's such a superstar and so solid! She's like a sponge and absorbing everything we say. 

I went on exchanges with Sister Hodgsons to Waimea on Wednesday. We had a really good exchange. She's from Rocklin California and knows our dear cousin Sarah! We had a lot of fun and taught a lot of lessons. I hope and pray that I was able to help her in any way that I could. She's a solid missionary with a desire to be exactly obedient. 

On Saturday we went to go and teach a PM family that we had been visiting, we've invited Keoki, the nonmember, to be baptized and he agreed. He also came to church the week before since we invited him. He is not married to the member he is living with and so we went with the plan to teach them the law of chastity. Keoki was working but we just started having a nice chat with his "girlfriend"(?), Lani, she mentioned that they were not married and then we just started to ask her questions. It turns out that she's the one who doesn't' want to get married and that Keoki wants to. She was the exact person whom we needed to teach the law of chastity too. We had a really good discussion and asked her to read the pamphlet and to pray to know if Heavenly Father wants her to marry Keoki. Heavenly Father totally set everything up for us. Keoki came to church again yesterday. I think this really is his time for change. 

Later that day we stopped by to visit another investigator couple to invite them to come to church. Kimi and Sione, they really love what we're teaching them but are having the hardest time coming to church. Sione was resting and we were able to just talk to Kimi. It was so good because she was really able to open up to us about what was going on. She's going through a really rough time right now. They are living in an overcrowded home with all of their extended family, and it causes her marriage to be on the edge a lot because of miscommunications. They want to find a place of their own but financially they are struggling as well. Then she explain about Sione, how he's been struggling with alcohol and drugs. Heavy drugs. (They are really bad here in Kohala) And how's it been effecting her and the kids. She was able to just unload everything and I was so happy we were able to be there for her. Everything she said she was struggling with reflected to a gospel principle or commandment we need to live. She then admitted that when we came and had our little sunday lessons at their house they always felt better afterwards. It was exactly the time that we needed to be there for Kimi. We truly are the Lord's hand and representatives being lead by His spirit. And it was such a blessing to be that we are doing what Heavenly Father has intended for us to do here in Kohala. 

I was reading in Alma about the stripling warriors and I realized that this is exactly what were going through right now. We're at war, and we need more soldiers. So we need the younger kids to come and help us. That's exactly what happen with the age change. So Erin, always remember that you are part of the stripling warriors! And not one of them were slain because of their faith. You will do amazing things on your mission.

I got an email today from Sister Wright. She's engaged! And they are getting married on February 22nd and she's asked me to be a bridesmaid. I am so excited for her! Soo if you could try to schedule my homecoming talk to be on the 16th that way I can be there I would love you forever!

Well that's about my week! We really are working hard and trying our best to be exactly obedient. I keep praying for a miracle. And lately I have been able to witness the small miracles each and every day that Heavenly Father is giving us. This is HIS work. I am so grateful to be a missionary.

I love you so much! A hui hou!

Sister Nielsen 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dying Testimony..‏ 9 Dec 2013

Aloha my dear Ohana! 

Well this last week seems like forever long, but it flew by at the same time! We did a alot!

On Monday-Tuesday night I went on exchange with Sister Pantelakis in Waimea. We had a miracle happen as well! The zone leaders drove up from kona for us to work on the training for Zone Conference. When we were just about ready to be pau and head to lunch break one of the elders looks outside and there's this guy out there, "That looks like Isaiah.." He goes outside and talks to him. We sisters were like.. Ok food! And headed to the pad (which is on the church property) to go get some lunch. About 45 minutes later the zone leaders knock on the door and say that they have someone for us to teach. It turns out that the elder who recognized this guy served in the Sisters area before, it was his greenie area and now he's back in the zone. Isaiah was the first person he taught on his mission. Isaiah has been humbled by the Lord and has hit rock bottom. His wife left him and he's just been very depressed and binge drinking. He knew he needed God in his life, so he started at the Catholic church and went in there and read from the Bible. After that he said he knew there was another church and he made a u-turn and came to the chapel. That's where he was reintroduced to the Elder. We went and talked to him and taught a little bit about how and why God gives us trials and introduced the Book of Mormon. We then invited him to be baptized on the 28th of December and he said that that is something he'd like to do. It didn't sound like a solid "yes" at the time. But it was definitely a miracle for us! The sisters taught him more that week.. He's read almost the whole 1st book of Nephi and came to church. He's so ready to be baptized now and is so excited. Heavenly Father is preparing people all around us! 

The rest of the exchange went really well. I love Sister Pantelakis, we've been here in Kona for almost 4 1/2 months together so we've gotten to be good friends. Her companion and her are really different. And I know that they struggle a little, but neither one of them are willing to show it or admit it. Our evaluation at the end of the exchange was really good. We talked a lot of things out and it was amazing how the spirit was guiding my words of counsel. That's why I love being a Sister Trainer, serving my fellow missionaries is such a blessing for me!

The exchange was Sister Lauhingoa's first time taking over the area and she did such an amazing job! I was so proud of her. They worked hard and she knew her way around the area. It's funny being a trainer.. I literally feel like her mom! And if I mess up her training I would feel so bad. She'd had the 1st transfer to watch everything I do and to follow.. And now it's time for me to let her find her wings and fly! She's doing such a good job. I'm a proud momma trainer. :)

On Friday we had Zone Conference. Ohh I loved it so so much. I love President and Sister Warner, they are so full of the spirit and inspired. You can see how they are giving their missions their all of how to help us missionaries. We are starting a new thing called QGCs.. (Quality Gospel Conversations) Pres Warner went to a seminar with Elder Ballard and he talked about how there are more missionaries than ever but baptisms and s@c attendance has dropped.. He said that us missionaries aren't talking to enough people! And counseled that we need to talk to atleast 10 new people everyday. So we aren't accounting for Blessings anymore and we have to just talk to everyone we cross paths with! There were a lot of trainings on that and it was really good. Since it was my last zone conference I had to stand up and bear my testimony. We missionaries call it a 'dying testimony" when you start your mission you're born.. And then when you go home you die. It was awful! I hated it.. And I told them that too. I was the only one who was going home. All the other missionaries were green and were giving there greenie testimony. I hate that everything little thing or person has to remind you that I'm almost finished. But at least it's done. I cannot believe how fast time is going.

Well update on the work in Kohala. We had 2 with date! Kayalee is suppose to be baptized on Saturday, she's so solid but we still have a lot to teach her so it might get pushed back. Andrew our fire fighter friend we taught him this last week at the church with the senior couple and our ward mission leader in the building.. He wants us to be very cautious. It was good though! Sometimes I wonder if he's understanding everything, but yesterday he mentioned something that he has to go to court today and he doesn't know if he's going to come back. They might lock him up. Apparently he's not taking his medication and they want him too. He too is suppose to be baptized on Saturday. We haven't heard anything from him today.. But we'll see what happens. We're praying that he wont got to jail. Such an interesting situation. 

Phew.. Well I love you all so much! I love Hawaii, I love my mission and I promise you all I am not getting trunky. I really don't understand the point. I don't feel as energetic as I did when I first came out, but we're still working and wanting to see miracles. :) 

Keep being amazing.

Sister Nielsen 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm dreaming of a WHITE Christmas. 2 Dec 2013

Aloha my wonderful Family,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful day! Fills with thanks and givings. :) We had a wonderful day. I really loved thanksgiving. It's probably one of my favorite Holidays.

We started with going on a hike for morning exercise. We hiked down Pololu Valley and while we were going down we ran into these two hauli men, we wished them a Happy Thanksgiving and asked where they were from. One was from Michigan and I can't remember the other. We explained to them that were Mormon missionaries as they were surprised that an Tongan and hauli girl would be hanging out together. The one man from Michigan then continued on his hike down the mountain to the ocean. I don't think he really wanted to talk to those Mormons. We got down the mountain and then sat on the rocks, starring at the ocean. It was so beautiful! How lucky I am to be a missionary in Hawaii! We'd throw rocks in and every time saying something that we were thankful for. It was really fun! We'd say serious things and also the small little things that nobody really thinks about. While we were sitting there this same Michigan man came over to us and said "I don't know why the spirit told me to come over here. But I've learned to just obey it." I thought at first that we were going to have a full Restoration lesson right then and there! Then he continued and said that he used to be Mormon, but that he's learned that all you need is Jesus to be saved. Jesus is love and He will save us all. He then mentioned something about Joseph Smith and the gold plates and how all you need is the Bible. He was only talking to us for about 3 minutes, then he said, "Well the spirit is gone, I need to shut up" He encouraged us reevaluate what we believe and then he walked away. Put on his flippers and swam into the ocean. I was really upset that he didn't even give us a chance to say anything back to him. But it also, it really had no effect on me. I am so grateful for my knowledge and testimony of the Restoration! The priesthood has been restored back onto the earth, what a blessing for all of us! I felt so sorry for this poor man who has fallen away into the tempters snares. I feel like I understand now what President Uchtdorf means when he says "Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith." I can see how Satan tries to use that as a tool to deceive us away from the truth. It was an interesting experience all together, but we still had a blast!

We then headed over to our members home, the Nui's for dinner. Sister Nui had to work at 1 so they started there Thanksgiving dinner at 10am. It was so much fun! We started with a little devotion and shared a scripture of graditute. Then we ate! We had a typical thanksgiving dinner with turkey and mashed potatoes, (with rice on the side. :) ) It was so delicious! Afterward Bro. Nui was teaching us all to play some songs on the ukulele. He taught us Mele Kalikimaka and a few others. I've gotten pretty ok since I've been in Hawaii actually!   Sister Lauhingoa turned to me during our little jam session and said, "Do you know who Sister Elam is talking to?" ..-"no, who?" --"She's talking to your mom" What!? Yep that was a surprised for me too! I had no idea! I looked at Sister Elam and she had this big grin on her face. She's so cute. It was so weird to think that you were so close! Yet so far. She told me to come over and that she was going to just put in on speaker that way I could hear your voices.. But I said no thank you. I'll be talking to you soon enough. No need getting trunky now. :) After our dinner we headed over to Waimea and hung out with the other missionaries. We had a turkey bowl and played sports. It was just a good day!

As for our missionary efforts.. We had kind of a slow week. Everyone was preparing for Thanksgiving. A lot of our appts fell through we were still able to see some miracles! Arianna was confirmed yesterday in church. She is such a cute cute girl. I love her so much! And we still have 3 with date! 2 of those 6 that we had a few weeks ago dropped. We haven't seen or heard from Ainsley in a while. I don't know what's happen, he was so into everything! But we're hoping to contact his this week and figure out what's going on. Also Brianna, our 9 year old dropped too, her Dad is suppose to be coming home in December and so we're going to wait for him to get home before she's baptized. So we just have to reschedule. But our 3 with dates is.. Kayalee. She's like 100% solid. 11 year old who's been coming to church for about 3 months and attended the primary program. Alexis, a woman the Rapiers were teaching before. Her date we still need to make more solid. And Andrew.. He's new! So apparently he was "infatuated" with Sister Weaver when she was here that's how he first came in contact with the missionaries. But he's been coming to church 3 or 4 weeks in a row! He looks a bit rough on the edges. Skinny, and dirty. And our ward mission leader Bro. Kupuka'a said that he has a history and isn't safe. I guess he stabbed a fireman or something. So we were told to keep our distance. He's very protective of his sister missionaries. But this last Sunday I just keep feeling bad, our dinner appts keep asking about him and if we're teaching him. I really don't think anyone should be kept from the gospel. He actually called us yesterday evening randomly and we asked him why he keeps coming to church, he said because people talk to him and he's mostly alone a lot. That he like the church and is learning more things. We committed him to be baptized and he said he would like that! So we set him with a date and that set up an appt to teach him the lessons at the church. We also invited the Elams and Bro. Kupuka'a just to make him feel better. Soo.. all of our baptisms are scheduled for December 14th! Heavenly Father loves us and is pouring his blessings!

Well.. I think that's about about our week. Zone Conference is this Friday and it's my last.. Meaning that I have to give my dying testimony as a missionary. Waaaa waaa waaa..:(  I really don't want to.. I still have 2 solid months to be a missionary! To find, teach, and baptize. I kind of feel like the mission wants to kick me out early. And I don't like it! I love being a missionary. December is going to be full of WHITE! 

I love you all! Have a fabulous week. Work hard, be good, have fun, don't fight!

Sister Nielsen 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving.. Already!? Again!? 26 Nov 2013

Aloha my wonderful family,

Well I'm glad to hear that Cody had a good birthday! I cannot believe your 17. I guess as a missionary you just think that everything back home stays still. But it doesn't and then it's weird to comprehend..

Well transfers came and went! So last week was a little crazy for us. We worked all day Tuesday and then drove to Kona that night. One of the sisters there was being transferred and the other needed a companion for the wait time in the morning before her new companion came in. So Sister Lauhingoa and I slept on the floor and got all that transfer stuff done. We were able to make it back to Kohala around 1 and then worked the rest of the day. But exhausted for not having a very good sleep.

Thursday we had our baptismal interviews for Joshua and Arianna. And they both passed! Thank goodness! That always makes me a little nervous, because I would hate to be that missionary who's baptisee didn't pass their interview. Just would mean that the missionaries didn't prepare them as well as they should have. They are both so awesome and were so ready! 

The rest of the week we were squeezing in lessons along with trying to prepare for their baptism on Saturday. I think I forgot how much time and preparation goes into having a baptism service. I kept forgetting so many things! But in the end Heavenly Father smooths everything over and it went so well! My favorite sound is listening to the water fill up the baptism font. It's the best!

Both of their nonmembers families came to the baptism. We knew Arianna's mom would come. She's been so sweet with helping us teach Arianna. But Joshua's family hasn't shown really any support. So we were really excited to see that his mom brought him to the baptism and she and his two little sisters attended. He looked so good! One of the members bought him a white shirt and tie with dress pants. :) Sister Lauhingoa talked on Baptism and I talked on the Holy Ghost. I love the spirit at baptisms, there is something powerful with watching the priesthood in action and witnessing an ordinance. After they were baptized I kept watching Joshua's little sisters and I saw the older one, (she's about 12 or so..) turn to her mom and say, "Mom, can I be baptized?" :)

On Sunday Joshua's two sisters attended church. Josh was confirmed a member of the church, we were waiting for Arianna but she never came. We didn't really know what happened, but we stopped by after church and she was sick with a sore stomach. So she will just have to be confirmed next Sunday. 

Yesterday was MLC so I'm sure you figured that out since I'm emailing you on Tuesday. :) I flew to O'ahu bright and early with my zone leaders. It was really good. It's crazy how much the mission has changed since I first started my mission. I was the oldest person in the room who had attend MLC the longest. There may have been 1 other elder. But still I'm one of the old grandmas now.

I cannot believe it's already Thanksgiving week!! That's so crazy. My second round of holidays are comin up. I feel so grateful for so many things. My life is so blessed. I love being a missionary. And pretty soon our family will get to have 2 missionaries! 

I love you all so so much! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am grateful for the amazing family that I have. :) 

Sister Nielsen

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

21 Lessons and Full of Miracles! 18 Nov 2013

Aloha my Nielsen Ohana,

This week has been SO BUSY! And I LOVE it. We have worked so hard and saw so many miracles!

As of right now we have 6 with date! Yes your heard me 6! I don't think I've ever had 6 with date my whole mission! But Heavenly Father just blessed us and they came. I don't even know what we really did to deserve them. We're just working I guess and being effective! On average Kohala usually teaches about 10 lessons a week on average. But I know that Elder Perry has made a promise that if you teach 20 lessons a week you'll baptize.. or something like that. So our goal this week was to teach that many lessons. And we did it! We were so busy but we've been so blessed!

Joshua and Arianna will have a combined baptism this Saturday. There is a funeral that day so we're not quite sure of the time and things yet. But they are both so ready! It's amazing to see how Heavenly Father has prepared them so much. One thing I really want to start with this ward is having the member teach the after baptism lessons. I've never had a ward do that before. We'll see how that goes.

We were able to teach a family Tuesday and it was amazing! We've talked to the husband before Miki and he isn't a member.The mother is Less Active and the rest of the family isn't members. We had a member come with us who lives 2 houses above them. We taught the plan of Salvation and the spirit was so strong. You can see how it has been working on them and preparing them for the gospel and for this woman to come back to church. I love lessons like that.

Wednesday was the craziest day of my life and we didn't even have time to eat lunch! But it was so good. We taught 7 lessons total. And committed 3 more people to be baptized. Kaya was a part of the primary program last week and her auntie came up to us and said she wanted to be baptized. We taught her and she will be ready by Dec. 7th! We also popped by a girl named Brianna, she was taught by the senior missionaries before the Rapiers. They had a baptismal record filled out and everything and then something happen and she wasn't baptized. We'd stopped there once and when we came back she said that she did want to be baptized! she too will be baptized on Dec. 7th. The last people who has been added to our with dates is Alexis. The Rapiers were teaching her and she was suppose to be baptized before they left, but she had a little word of wisdom problem and they didn't feel good about it. But we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed her to be baptized on December 14th. She said she will prepare for that day. It was so amazing! I was so exhausted, but the spirit somehow gives us strength.

Another miracle that happen is I found my planner! Thank goodness. It's been lost for about 2 weeks and one of our members said that her brother in law's ex wife found it. Coconut wire went a little slow this time around. But I was able to retrieve it and no harm was done. Such a blessing!

Last night we started our 1st member missionary class. We had a few people show up. I felt really scatterbrained walking in there because we had had such a busy week. But hopefully the spirit took over and we were able to help our members understand there part. We taught the first principle of member missionary work. We succeed when we invite. We talked about what keeps people from sharing the gospel and how this class is to help overcome all these things. Fear of rejection is overcome by knowing that our success is in the invitation. I'm really excited about this class, the next 2 classes really hit the bullzye of member missionary work. Hopefully they all got something out of it.

Ahh.. I wish I could tell you everything and every experience that happened this week. It was so good. It reminded me of working in Aliamanu. How grateful I am for my companion who is willing to work! And who isn't afraid to committ people to be baptized. I feel like we both have the same purpose and the work is just going!

I am so grateful to be a misisonary. Today I start my 2nd to last transfer. (Yes I'm staying in Kohala with Sister Lauhingoa. We're training.) Lately I am been thinking about how my life would be if I didn't serve a mission and come to Hawaii. I think I probably wouldn't know a thing about the gospel! This has been the best experience of my life. What a privilage it's been to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I will forever cherish this time. I am SO happy too that it's not over yet! I still have 2 transfers to do the Lord's work. :)

I love you all so much. God is so good. He gives us mountains to climb, but it's such a great view from the top. And from on top we'll be more in perspective of Heavenly Father's wonderful plan he has for each of us. Come what may and love it.

Ofa atu! and Aloha!

Sister Nielsen

Tai and Eileen temple pictures!‏

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Member Missionary Class! 12 Nov 2013

My Dear Nielsen Ohana,

I am so sad to hear about grandma passing away. That really was unexpected for me. I thought she would be alive when I got home. But everything is in Heavenly Father's timing. I'm happy everyone is taking it well too, and that she did go peacefully. Now we got the Nielsen couple on the other side doing work! What a tender mercy. How was the funeral and burial? 

Well this last week was really really good! We are seeing miracles left and right! We now have 3 with date! Chee-hoo!

Arianna our just barely turned 8 year old will be baptized on Nov. 23rd. She wasn't able to come to church on Sunday and we need her to come one more time in order for her to be baptized. So her date has been pushed a week. But it's still happenening! Satan has been really trying to play his game to make it not happen. Arianna was really sick at the beginning of the week. She went to Kohala hospital, they referred her to Waimea and then to Kona. They said they think she had mumps.. She wouldn't move her head very much because she has some lump or something on her neck that her. We were suppose to have a lesson on Tuesday and Sister Udell, her grandma, came with. Sister Udell really wanted her to get a blessing so she drove up the street to get the stake patriarch. He came down and gave her a blessing by himself. It was such a powerful blessing! In the blessing he said.. "I dispell the adversary out of you." I didn't really think that the adversary could take the form of a disease of sickness but he did! That was a way he could stop the baptism from happening. That was such a crazy experience. It blew my mind!

Joshua now has a baptism date for Nov. 23rd as well! We taught him the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chasity and he said that both will be easy to live. Phew! He's doing so good! He comes to church every week and is reading from the BOM.

Ainsley is committed for Nov. 30th! We went over on Wednesday and were planning on teaching him the Word of Wisdom. Then right before I turned to my companion and changed it to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We started with the Robles Temple DVD and when the family was getting baptized he started feeling the sprit and was freaking out a little bit. "What is this!? Ahh I have chicken skin. This is the same feeling I had that one time. Ahh man!" Haha. We explained the spirit and told him that the things he was seeing are true. He really wants to be baptized. So then we said "in order to be baptized there are some things we need to prepare before had, one of those is living the word of wisdom."  Funny how the spirit works and sometimes just changes the lesson right in the middle. I thought he would have a problem with smoking. But he doesn't! He said that sometime he will roll his own, but he never buys them and that he would definitely live the Word of Wistodm. MIRACLE! He didn't come to church last week like he said he was going to. So we decided to give him a church tour. It went really well and I think it helped calm his nerves with coming to a foregin church.

He came to church on Sunday and LOVED it. It was the primary program and his son, Racin, was involved. He even participated in the discussion in Gospel Principles! Our next lesson is the Law of Chasity. He is living with his girlfriend.. So we're going to need to plan a wedaptism. But he is committed to be baptized on Nov. 30th! :)

We are really trying to focus on getting our ward more missionary minded and trying to bring them out with us more. With this we are starting a member missionary class this Sunday! I'm really excited about it. It's a 3 week outline from Elder Clayton Christiansen of the Seventy. And we'll rotate active members in the ward to all attend it. This is something Ewa Beach was doing and it was so great! Our ward mission leader taught it. But I want to start doing it here.

I love being a missionary! This is the best! I am so happy that Sister Lauhingoa and I are WORKING! And unified! This is an answer to my prayers. All I want to do is work these last few months.

I recieved an email from Sister Wright and she's been talking to Tai and Eileen. (My first baptism a year ago!) They are going to the Washington temple to be sealed this weekend! I am so excited for them. What a blessing it's been to be such a small part of watching their growth in the gospel!

I love you! Have a fabulous week. :)

Much Aloha,
Sister Nielsen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lost Planner.. 4 Nov 2013

Dear Nielsen Family,

Well as you can see in the title I lost my planner. :( I haven't seen it since Friday and I am really sad about it! That's almost like my journal where I know what happened everyday. I'm praying that I'll find it. It's probably lost, alone, and wet! Hopefully I'll find it soon.

Well this last week was good! We went to the temple on Tuesday morning, it was wonderful as always! Then we had a zone exchange and I brought Sister Kim to Kohala. She's a VC sister and she goes home in January. It was so different to be with a missionary the same age as me. Us older sisters, there's not much of us left! But we had a lot of fun together. I went on exchange with her before when I was in Hon-West.

We had an awesome trunk or treat on Thursday evening. I really cannot believe Halloween has come and gone! It might have something to do with not having seasons here though.. It just always feels like Hawaii!  We had a lot of nonmember and less actives come to the activity! And I got to see the Jensens! She's right, I didn't recognize them at first! Haha, but it has been years in my defense! It was so nice of them to stop by. :)

Our investigators are doing well! Ainsley has read almost the whole book of Moroni! We taught him the Plan of Salvation on Wednesday and it went really well. He was suppose to come to our Trunk or Treat and church on Sunday, but Idk what happen. He didn't come. Daisy said that that wasn't his thing. But we're hoping this next week to see him and resolve some of his concerns! Maybe a church tour so he's not so afraid of church.

Arianna was sick this last week so we weren't able to teach her and she didn't come to church either. :/ This is probably the only thing that will keep her from being baptized on November 16th. The trial before the smooth sailing. But she wants it! So I'm not too worried about it.

Joshua is doing really well too! We had a really good lesson with him about how to pray with purpose and with real intent. I think he's starting to understand and feel the spirit more. He did come to trunk or treat and church! He's a quiet kid with not many words, but his actions are loud. :)

We dropped Patrick, he has kind of taken a nose dive. Doesn't want to read or pray or come to church. It was a nice little last chat we had and I will be forever grateful to have met him. He's an awesome kid. I know Heavenly Father will take care of him. :)

We found a few new investigators this week too! We were out tracting and this truck honked at us and kept going, then he wheels on back in reverse and starts talking to us. I thought he was a member at first but just less active. Turns out he just wanted to stop and thank God's people for spreading the good word. I think he was a little drunk, but he was Tongan and when him and Sister Lauhingoa made that connection they just rabbled on and on in Tongan, and I just stood there for a little while. We ended up praying with him and he agreed we could come to his home. We went over on Sunday and his wife is the one who was more interested than him. They both sat in and we shared the Restoration. I think his wife, Kimi, is going through a lot of struggles right now. She was crying off and on through out the lesson and said that she was been praying really hard lately. I know that we're the answer! I'm not sure if she knows that yet, but we will get there. What even more interesting is that we had a referral for that home to talk to her dad! So in some way, Heavenly Father knew we needed to come to this home. It's so interesting how amazing his work is! Definitely not a coincidence. Heavenly Father is blessing us so much!

Well.. Sister Lauhingoa and I are doing well. I think she's been a little bit homesick the past 2 days. She's never been away from home before and she keeps mentioning that she misses Tongan food. Last night the new senior couple fed us.. Southern food! We had a cheese potato soup and it was delicious! I haven't had anything like that since I've been here. Sister Lauhingoa ate it, but later told me she didn't like it. I don't think she's ever had anything like that before. But I'm just trying to love her. All will be well. :) She really is such a wonderful girl.

Well I love you all so much. I love being a missionary. I've been trying really hard not to think about time and to just work. Last week the office called and asked what airport I want to fly into. It's crazy how little things like that get to you! I do not want to be trunky and only serve a 15 month mission. How lame would that be! But I now understand how hard it really is. I feel like I am truly learning the principle of Enduring to the End. I love everything about Hawaii. But everything has it's time and a season. Time will come and go faster than I know. I'm just trying to love every second and be the best missionary I can be. 

Thanks so much for everything! I have the best family in the world. :)

Love and aloha,
Sister Nielsen 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When I in awesome wonder.. 28 Oct 2013

Aloha Nielsen Ohana!

Well I blinked and it was Pday.

The Rapiers left on Tuesday, and the we now have the Elder and Sister Elam! I served around them on O'ahu. They were a military relations missionary and there just wasn't much work for them. They were going to go home, but President suggested that they come to Kohala for their last 6 months. I just love them already! Just country people from Tennessee. Accent and all. :) I was able to talk to Sister Elam a little bit when they first got her. They both has such an amazing story. Both have been married like 3 or 4 times, but found each other! We took them around a little bit on Tuesday.

We definitely had some miracles this week! We were feeling kind of bummed because we dropped 2 of our investigators, they weren't keeping commitments and it was beating a dead horse. But then we gained 2 new investigators who were prepared and ready to act! First one, one of the aunties in the ward contacted us and said that she wanted us to teach her granddaughter. Neither one of her parents are members and she turns 8 on the 2nd of November. CONVERT! Her name is Ariana. She is so cute and so little! I don't think I've ever taught a 7 year old. I was trying really hard to simplify everything. She is so smart though. But she has a baptismal date for November 16th!

Our second miracle: On Thursday we went to go and have our normal lesson with Patrick. We had a kid with us who recently returned from his mission in Japan. He wasn't there and so we decided to go and visit Kekai's (the RM) friend whom he had kind of told us about. We went there and Ainsley's (the friend) mom, Daisy is a recent convert! She was baptized on Mothers day. Daisy took us the back porch outside and Kekai sat inside and talked with Ainsley. After about 10-15 minutes or so.. Ainsley and Kekai came out by where we were and Ainsley said, "Do you have another copy of this book?" Hoping Kekai's BOM. We gave him one and he was so excited he wanted to read it! I was in shock how excited he was about it! We then set up a time to come back on Friday. I asked Kekai what he said to him after we left.. He said that he explained he was home from his mission and then Ainsley shared an experience where he was watching TV and the guys was teaching people how to repent through a prayer. He repeated the words that the man on TV said and he felt this warm peaceful feeling that he couldn't really describe. Then Kekai showed him Enos and how Enos had kind of the same experience. He was so excited about it!

The next day we went back and taught the Restoration. He was so ready to for everything. He accepted everything and WANTED to read the Book of Mormon. He said that he knew what we were saying was true and agreed to be baptized! We committed him for November 30th. He's living with his girlfriend who he has a 4 year old kid with and I'm pretty sure he smokes. So we have some work to do, but I really think that the spirit has already spoken to his heart of what he needs to do. It's amazing how the Lord prepares people and all you have to do is be there to guide them and listen to the spirit!

Everything else is going well. I really love being a missionary. Heavenly Father is blessing us, I just hope that I am doing all the work the Heavenly Father has prepared for me to do. I love Hawaii. I can't imagine leaving. I'm not throwing in the towel now. I finally should know what I'm doing. Kind of, I'm still learning new things every day. It's amazing all the experiences that are so very personalized for me that I've had. Hawai'i is the perfect mission for me.

I love you all! Have a fabulous week! Ofa Atu.

Much Aloha and LOVE! 
Sister Nielsen 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just add water. 21 Oct 2013


Happy Birthday Adelaide! Can you believe that when I left she was 2!? That's just weird.

Wow this week feels like it's been forever long! But at the same time suuuper quick. Tuesday we had appts and were able to get a few lessons done. We taught Joshua who is doing really really well! He'll definitely be baptized in November. :)

Mission Tour was this week with Elder Schwitzer of the quorum of the 2nd 70. We had MLC Wednesday Morning from 8-12. He was doing a training with all of us leaders in the mission. We drove to Kona tuesday night and I flew to O'ahu and stayed the night in my old pad in Aliamanu! Sister Weaver is now in that area, we talked Aliamanu and Kohala the whole night. She's struggling a little adjusting to the city/ghetto. I loved Aliamanu so much. It was good to reminisce all the old memories I'd had there. It seems like I'd never left, but at the same time been gone forever!

MLC was really good! I was so exhausted from not sleeping very well on an airbed. I wish I would have been a little bit more alert to get more out of it. What I did get was really good though!

After MLC they had a HUGE lunch, all the missionaries from Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, and Molokai were there. (All the missionaries except Big Island.) It was so much fun! I got to see a lot of people who I haven't seen in forever. Including old companions. My zone leader who I was with actually has an ex-girlfriend serving in La'ie VC. And she was there as well. They had been kept on different islands for their whole missions and now they were in the same room together. He really didn't want to be there. So I talked to Sister Warner and told her the situation and that we were going to borrow someones car and leave. She was fine with that. Elder Schwitzer was coming to Big Island to give the same training on Thursday.

We left and I was able to go and visit some recent converts! I got to see Tiressa and Erika and Kehnie! Ohh it was oh so good! T hasn't been to church because nobody comes to get her. Nobody even visits her from the Halawa ward I guess. But she broke her foot last April and was in the hospital till June! Poor thing. She seems to be doing well though, they renovated her little appt/room and it's really nice! Erika and Kehnie are doing awesome! They are set on going to the temple. I really want it to be 1 year to the day because that's RIGHT when I go home! What better way to go home that have a sealing? :) They said that they are trying to figure everything out, but it has stuff to do with adoption papers for Oshen. Also Erika is pregnant! 2 months. :) She's due in May. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I told you. I tried to stop by the Salimedas, but nobody was home. :( I heard from Sister Weaver's companion they are starting to come back to church though. I hope they are doing well. 

We flew back to Big Island Wednesday evening, and then I drove with the Kona sisters to Waimea. Sister Lauhingoa was already there. We all stayed at the Waimea Sisters pad and then woke up early to drive to Hilo for our Mission tour. None of us ever drive to Hilo and we were really late. They waited for our zone and President Warner didn't seem to happy. I think he was just stressed because he had a General Authority with him. The Tour was really good! I learned a lot for it. He taught doctrine, but just so simply. 

Saturday we had interviews with President. It was good. I feel like every interview I've ever had has been like.. "How are you?--Good! Do you need anything?-- Nope. Alright. Good to see ya!" Atleast I'm not a problem missionary a guess. Haha. 

Well.. The work is moving along well too! I think Sister Lauhingoa and I want to have 7 baptisms in November. We're hoping for this month, but they haven't come to church enough times. But Heavenly Father is definitely blessing us with miracles. All we'll need to do is add water. :) 

I love being a missionary! I cannot believe how fast time is FLYING! Is it really the 21st of October? That is just so crazy. I cannot keep up with it. 

I love you all. Have a fantastic week! 

Much Love and Aloha,
S. Nielsen

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Malolelei! Kohoku lingoa ko Sister Nielsen. :) 14 Oct 2013

Aloha Nielsen ohana! 

Well this week was really crazy. Transfer week always is.. Sister Weaver said goodbye to everyone on Tuesday and she left early Wednesday morning. Then my daughter didn't come to the Big Island til Thursday Morning. So I brought a single adult with me to be my companion. Her name is Bethany and she's 18. She's so sweet and been coming out with us to appts for a while. We love having her with us.

We didn't get much work done on Wednesday. We had to work on planners and we're in Kona most of the day. I was getting a cold and that day took the most out of me especially since I didn't get much sleep. I felt bad because I think Bethany was expecting to be doing missionary work, but she got to see all the craziness of transfers. We drove back down to Kohala and had our Ward Cordination meeting and we were asked to go to girls camp and give a devotional. It was fun to be at camp! We taught some fun camp songs that I think they all enjoyed as well.

I was talking to the APs while my new daughter was in orientation and at transfer meeting. They told me that she was really big and didn't know english very well. So I would just have to be patient with her and help her learn. Yikes! I was so nervous. Thinking we'd have to have 4 hours of study time and I didn't know how we were going to communicate. And she could squash me! But Heavenly Father's plan is right and this is what he needed for me to do. 

Thursday we went and picked her up from the airport. She was nothing like the APs explained. We greeted her and helped put her bags in the car. Her name is Sister Lauhingoa. She looked green and tired. Once we got in the car she told me that the APs told her to pretend like she didn't know English, but she forgot. Thank goodness! She does speak English, it is broken and sometimes we don't know what each other is saying. But she loves to laugh and is very go with the flow. She has even been teaching me a Tongan word everyday! I can now say "hello my name is Sister Nielsen." ^^

Friday for District Meeting me and another elder were in charge. We were so busy with everything else we threw something together Thursday night on phone. He said he had a fog machine, and so we fogged up a room and put the baptism sign with each area in the room and everyone had to go in and find their baptisms. Everyone really liked it! We had 20 baptisms in the room and just tried to emphasize that God has prepared 20 people to be baptized in October and we just have to go and find them. We have 15 with date as a zone for October! High Water is so close.. But  we just gotta keep it in the missionaries minds.

Friday Evening the ward threw a Farewell Luau fro the Rapiers. It was very nice and LOTS of food of course. Hawaiian entertainers from the ward, and some YW hula dancing. I'm going to miss the Rapiers a lot. They have done so much good for Kohala. They leave next week.

The Ironman was on Saturday! The turn around point for biking was in Hawi. Sister Lauhingoa and I were only planning to go for like 15 minutes. We went and sat by one of our members by the water station that was being run by one of the local football teams. All of a sudden there was a mass of bikers and they couldn't get the water out to them fast enough! We were then put to work transporting water from these big garbage cans with ice blocks to a table and giving them to the football players. I even gave 2 ironman bikers their water! It was so much fun!

Phew.. Am I missing anything else!? This week was very eventful. And this next week we have mission tour. Elder Schwitzer of the quorum of the Seventy is coming. We have MLC on Wednesday and a zone conference in Hilo on Thursday.

Well that was the week! I love being a missionary. This gospel is way true. And Heavenly Father is oh so good. Have a wonderful week!

Love you so much! Ofa atu. :) 
Sister Nielsen

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Daughter #2. 7 Oct 2013

Aloha Family! 

Conference was AMAZING! Ohh I feel so pumped up and ready to go. I received answers to questions that I wasn't even looking for. But it was so so so good! I really loved every talk. My favorite I think was Elder Holland's- I tend to be around those kinds of situations a lot.. and Elder Soares about meekness. We even had one investigator show up! Here conference starts at 6am and 10am. So sometimes it's hard to get them to come out (especially 6am..) But our new investigator Joshua and Sister Weaver was referred to on exchange came! He's 14 or 15 years old. He came and 6am Saturday morning and afterwards had the BEST questions! "How do you know he's a prophet?" "What's zion?" and "What is the Holy Ghost that they kept talking about?" Ahh SO good. Miracle! He will for sure be baptized soon. :)

This last week has been really good! We taught a few lessons and worked hard. We dropped our investigator Meg. It was a really good ending lesson, I was praying and studying all morning of what needed to happen. And I just knew that she'd already made up her mind and there wasn't much that we could say to change her mind. The commitment just wasn't there. But we went in there and just focused and bore testimony of how this will bless there family! I feel like I gave my dying testimony to not give it up, that it will bless their family and to read the Book of Mormon. It was a really good lesson and the spirit was really strong.

We also taught Patrick and he was being kinda a punk. He hasn't really read the Book of Mormon, but when we ask him about his prayers he says the same thing every time. "Unanswered." We emphasized a lot that he's not reading the answer book. That he's just waiting and looking for signs. I think he was having a bad day though. He was kind of playing devil advocate and saying what if it was written by a lunatic.. Sort of thing.  Later on in the week we talked to our Relief Society Pres who is really close with the his dad. Patrick has had a hard life. He lives with his dad and his mom doesn't really show her love for him very much and it's effecting him. I hope that he will embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ and let this heal his heart. I really love this kid. 

We have come to the end of another transfer. Have I really been in Kohala for 3 months!? I feel like I just got here. On Friday I received a training packet in the mail. Which means that I will have another daughter! I am excited, but also really really nervous. I guess it just brought back memories of my last experience training, it was hard. But I know that this isn't suppose to be easy. And I think I knew long before that packet came that I was training. Last week when we were watching the Relief Society broadcast and seeing all those sister missionaries in the choir, I just knew. And it feels right. Heavenly Father's plan is so perfect. I will be here on Big Island for another 2 transfers. And then I will only have 1 transfer left. (One the transfer board I have a green dot next to my name.) I have 4 months to baptize all of Hawai'i! The Zone Leaders have told me her name and it's sounds.. Tongan? Idk, but they are saying I might be getting a FOB. (Fresh Off the Boat.) Eeee.. God's in control! 

Well I love being a missionary! I cannot believe how fast time is going, but I am so happy and grateful for.. EVERYTHING! Life is just so good. Have a beautiful blessed week! I love you! 

Sister Nielsen 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ahh.14. Months. 1 Oct 2013


Carly dear.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You're 9! That's so.. Weird! You were only 7 when I left. Be watching the mail. :) I love you!

Well this week has been really.. good I guess. Kinda a blur. We had President Warner come yesterday and we listened to Elder Holland's talk from O'ahu. So that's why I'm emailing you today! It was really really good! I got a full 3 pages of notes. He talked a lot about how they expect a lot out of us missionaries and that he doesn't apologize for it. This is grown up work. And they need us at our best. They shouldn't have to ask us to be obedient, be faithful, work hard. We agreed to that when we accepted the call. So rise to the occasion. He also emphazied teaching with power and authority. And always making sure that we aren't just a 2-some. But a 3-some having the spirit be our third companion. It was really really good! I love Elder Holland. I get to hear from him 3 weeks in a row! I am so excited for General Conference.

I don't know if I really have anything good this week.. Our investigators are doing good. All still kind of in the same state. And we are working hard to get them progressing. We still have our 3 with date. Patrick, Reyanna, and Maya. And they are all not super solid right now. But I know we can get them ready by October 19th! Everything will happen in God's will and in His own way.

We went and saw Meg last week and she was running around like a chicken with her head cut off and trying to talk to us at the same time. She was babysitting her 2 grandkids and it was just a crazy place! And inbetween running around she would try and talk to us. She was trying to say that she has been praying more than she ever has been, but just can't come to terms that Joseph Smith is a prophet. Sister Weaver and I both just sat there and listened, not really responding. Then we offered to help her and she let us cut bananas. The conversation died and Cassidy, her daughter got home. I just felt like it wasn't the right setting for her to drop us or for us to drop her. After talking a little bit, I asked them what were some of their goals that they had in their life. With that came out that Cassidy's boyfriend/baby daddy David had left the home and wasn't living with them anymore. We had a good chat and then left with a prayer. Both Sister Weaver and I feel like we need to focus more on Cassidy than Meg. We're going back on Thursday.

We've been taking a Young Woman who is 17 out with us a lot this week. Her name is Bethany. We didn't really know them very much since they just moved back here from Utah. The father grew up in Kohala. But we had dinner with them and really got to know them. They are such a wonderful fun family and I just love them! They suggested that Bethany come out with us and so we took that offer us and she's come with us 3 times since Thursday! She's so cute and fun. And has even given us some people to go and visit. I remember the effect that had on me when I went with the Sister missionaries. Definitely something I will never forget and was a part of deciding to go on a mission. I hope that I can be that example and light to her to go on a mission. It's so interesting. A lot of locals don't see a lot of options for their future. But if they go on missions it opens their eyes to so much more than just the islands. Everyone needs to go on missions!

I am so happy to be a missionary. I can't imagine NOT serving a mission. I am forever changed. 14 months out. I've been a missionary a long time. It's been so good. I am so happy and blessed that Heavenly Father gave me this opportunity to serve a mission. I'll be honest, being home in 4 months is a really scary thought. I try not to think about it. But everyone somehow reminds you about it. I can't remember whats it's like to NOT be a missionary. Pre-mission life seems so foreign. Hearing my first name is weird.. But everything has a time and a place. I know I need to live these last few months up, and love every second I have to represent my Savior and do His work. All is well. :)

I love you all! Have a fabulous week! Thank you so much for your support. I really cannot explain how much I LOVE my family and how grateful I am to have the gospel taught in my home.

Sister Nielsen

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Elder Holland.. On da island! 23 Sept 2013

Alooooha Mai Kakou Dear Nielsen Ohana, 

Howz it!?.. I am so happy to hear that Whitney's friend is getting baptized! What a miracle! I am so happy she too gets to experience the joy of the gospel! How did her family respond to it? That would be SO cool is Whitney and Tricia went on missions.. Look at what happens with the power of ONE!

Well to answer your question.. Yes I think the lice is gone! Thank goodness. If it is still living in my hair I haven't noticed. Ohh the joys of a mission! 

Well this week has been pretty darn eventful if I may say so myself. Update on Investigators: 
Meg asked us not to come over this week, that she was just too overwhelmed and didn't have time. So we honored her wish and haven't seen her all week. But we really wanted her to come to Elder Holland's special conference and she was ify if she could come. We asked a member to invite her and to give her a ride. Both Sister Weaver and I agree that she knows these things to be true. It's just to commitment and changing her lifestyle. She enjoys a cafeteria style of obedience. I hope she felt a difference in her life with us not coming over.

Patrick: We committed him to a baptismal date! October 19th. :) He still doesn't feel that his prayers have been answered, but we explained to him about faith and how setting the date as a goal is showing Heavenly Father his faith. Asking, "I am willing to get baptized on this day, if you let me know these things are true." Our lesson was really good. I stinkin love this kid so much! He was suppose to come to Elder Holland, but it's 1.25 hour drive to Kona and when our fellow shipper went to get him at 6am. He said he was too tried and needed to sleep. Boooooo. :(

Reyanna and Maya: The Rapiers helped out alot with this one. Maya is 9 years old and the most darling thing I've ever seen! Brown hair with freckles. She can up to the Rapiers after church and said, "Auntie Rapier I want to be baptized!" Her mom might be a less active member, I don't know how she is connected with the church. But her cousin is Reyanna. She's 12 years old and the sisters before were teaching her, but she told us that they were pushing for her to be baptized and she just felt like she didn't know enough. So she told them she didn't want to get baptized til next year. But the Rapiers set up a time for us to teach them both at the church and we committed both of them to be baptized on October 19th! Reyanna was a little unsure, but she agreed. We'll work on her becoming more confident in that decision. And then I guess Maya's dad or step dad doesn't like that she is being taught. So we have some hearts to soften, but it feel SO good to have with dates! I love these girls so much!

I went on exchanges with the Waimea sisters on Tuesday and it was really good! I brought Sister Pantelakis to my area-Kohala, and we had a really good day! Found some new investigators and we also committed some people to have a with date! She played rugby for the BYU team before her mission. Suuuuper cool. She's been out for about 4 months and I feel like the exchange was more for me than it was for her! She's just got this greenie fire in her and it was inspiring to see. And reminded me of how I was in my first area. I remember wanting to baptize at bad as I wanted to breathe, I was excited to work everyday, and hit my pillow at the end of the day exhausted knowing that we'd done everything we could have that day. But I think through the struggles and stress of missionary life.. ET, 2 areas, struggling comps, etc. it's been hard to keep that focus of 'baptize'. I feel like those first 4 1/2 months of my mission we're just SO perfect! I loved my companion, we both wanted to be obedient and work hard and as the result we saw so many miracles. "This is how you do missionary work." And then Heavenly Father started throwing all these curve balls at me, "Now try and be a missionary.." And it has been hard. Not how I anticipated trials on a mission would be like. But I know it's just His way of refining, and helping me to become the person He needs me to be. I am so grateful for every experience I've had on my mission thus far. But being on exchange Sister Pantelakis reminded me of so many things. You cannot control every situation that happens on your mission. But if I have one prayer, it's that these last months I will be able to feel like the effective missionary I can be. To help others come unto Christ, and see the amazing miracles unfold. To be exhausted and feel the joy of fulfilling my purpose. But if Heavenly Father needs me to be with a troubled missionary and to help them, I will do it. President Warner said something in Zone Conference- "Sometimes your convert in that area is your companion". I have definitely known that to be true. I am not perfect, and have so many things to improve on, but I want to be a effective missionary.

Wow.. There's my ramble of everything on my mind for the last week or two. But all is well, with whatever happens. I just hope I am doing a serving the best I can for my Savior. I hope an pray I am a consecrated missionary.

Now what you've all been waiting for. Drum roll please.. ELDER HOLLAND!! Oh my goodness it was AMAZING! We were a bit disappointed that none of our investigators came. It was quite a long drive. But I think I was more frustrated with our members for not inviting their friends. But it happened and is over.. And it was amazing! I was sitting in the 2nd row and he was literally like 5-10 feet in front of me! (I could see his spit collecting on his lips as he spoke. Haha) He didn't really have a topic. He started off with reading from JSH about the angel Moroni visiting Joseph, and it happened 190 years ago to the day. That the Book of Mormon is why he is a member of the church. He said, "I don't need to be here today to strengthen my faith, I am already a believer. But everything we do.. We do it for you." That's boggled my mind a little bit. How do you get to that point? Where nothing can deter you away from your faith.. He also bore testimony and described the prints in Christs hand and feet, and the wound in his side. Hearing that was incredible, it just made everything seem so much more real. The gossip story chain was so short! Me<--Elder Holland<--Jesus Christ. He lives. And because He lives we all will live again. He said the job of an apostle is 2 things: testify and bless. He left the most detailed apostolic blessing, that it wasn't just for everyone in the room, but for everyone that we prayed for who wasn't there with us. That was the first time I'd ever had an apostolic blessing. I took most of my personal study this morning to just write in my journal everything that I'd learned and wanted to ponder more about. So good. What a blessing to hear from an apostle!

Well.. I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful week! I know my Savior lives. He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him. (-My Missionary Commission.)

S. Nielsen