Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Where Did This Transfer Go? 22 Apr 2013


Well.. I'm sorry to hear the bug's been going around! That's no fun. I remember when I was with Sis. Wright she told me that she always thought it was a blessing to get sick, because sometimes it's Heavenly Fathers way of telling her to slow down a little bit, and to get some rest. She did alot in college. But maybe this is just Heavenly Father blessing you! .. Maybe. :)

I am so glad the sealing went well for Jordan and Sarah! That's so exciting for them and their family! Send my congratulations. :) That's the big picture, being together with our families in the temple.

Well.. Another transfer, came and GONE! But I am pleased to announce that Sis. Hudson and I are staying together! Yaay! She's the first companion I've had more than 5 weeks since December. Craziness. Sometimes people ask me where I've served and then I have to explain this whole long story. But I am so grateful for everything!

The transfers over and I finally feel like I have a grip on whitewashing! That I know the area, and starting to know all the active ward members and gaining their trust. We found 7 new investos this last week! Mostly through part member families. Ahh I am so excited to finally start teaching again! Not that we haven't been teaching, but to just be busy with appts. :) I feel really good about all the people we are starting to teach. Most of them have been taught by missionaries before, so we just need to figure out what their concerns are, and dig a little to figure them out and let them feel the spirit testify to them.

We had a lesson with Carl this last week. But! We changed locations. :) We had the lesson at our ward misison leader's home, and it went SO much better! The spirit was able to be there and he was able to focus a lot more. I stinkin love Carl. He's a little stubborn old man, but I love him so much! He tries to trick us with his questions, but then he cries when he feels the spirit. This last week he was really upset about the 8 year old that died in the boston marathon bombing. He wanted to know why God would let that happen. And it just so happens that we were teaching the plan of salvation! Perfect. He gets along really well with our ward mission leader, he is a hauli local, grew up in La'ie and is now a director over the PCC or something. But when he was helping us teach his pigeon was coming out! And.. I was just so impressed that he was able to teach in pigeon and have the spirit! It was pretty cool.

Also yesterday after church, Sis Hudson and I decided to do a little tracting. We were short on some of our hours this last week. And we got 6 blessings before dinner! I think every house we knocked on said yes to the prayer. And they were all really nice! Not like the pervious weeks.. But we were able to find one girl with is 20 and she said that at this time she is "church investigating." Her grandma is catholic, but they didn't get baptized because they wanted them to choose for themselves. Well.. Hey! I have a church you can investigate! :) We got a return appt. with her!

I am so excited about all these new investigators, but I'm sad we didn't find them earlier! I might only have 6 weeks left here :/, and I want to see them all get baptized. Usually that's what happens when you train, your trainee takes over the area. Guess I just need to stop being selfish. Everything will work out the way it's suppose to.

I am so happy for the Book of Mormon. I just finished 3rd Nephi.. And really all we need to know is in the scriptures. Jesus Christ when he's ministering in the Americas is quoting prophets. Isaiah and Malachi.. They are His words, yet He's quoting through a prophet, what He said. Listen to the prophets! I also compared some of 3 Nephi to Matthew, like it says to do. And it's SOO similar, but the only thing I found the bible to be lacking, is Jesus Christ in the Americas taught us how to be baptized. I thought that was really interesting. There is such a power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon. We really need to feast upon the words of Christ. That is how we are going to be able to be armed with righteousness. Heavenly Father can help us overcome anything, we just need to listen to what He tells us to do.

Well.. Things are going well. Just trying to be the best missionary I can be and to help others come into the fold! Have a fantastic week! :)

Love you all so MUCH!
S. Nielsen

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lead, Kindly Light 15 Apr 2013


Well I really can't believe it's P-day again! These weeks are seriously flying by! Dad..  A few weeks ago you mentioned that I was almost half way. AHH! I really don't know how to handle going on the down hill slope of things. I love being a missionary and it has changed my life. I love Hawaii. And all these people here. I cannot imagine my life without my mission!

Well Ewa Beach 2nd ward is doing good! I keep saying that it should be picking up soon.. But it kind of hasn't yet. White washing is a lot different as the trainer rather than as the trainee. We've been trying to contact LAPMs and we do and set up appts but then they haven't been home or cancel on us last minute. But we're working hard! And trying our best to be as obedient as possible, I know there are people here ready to be baptized. We just need to find them!

Sister Hudson is super awesome! She's doing an excellent job taking over the area for all these exchanges. It's funny being a trainer, I'm noticing how she's picking up on a lot of things I say and things that I've learned on my mission. Just little key power phrases that I really like. For example. Turning inward or outward. Christans don't argue with chirstians. Etc. Etc. :) I really do feel like a real mom!

We do have 3 investigators that we've been meeting with every week who the elders were working with before. The first is Shane, he's 9 years old and lives in a very rough home. His dad is a member and he lost his mom about a year or two ago. But he really loves primary and church and wants to be baptized! But his Dad is less active and an accountant (We all know how that is..) So they're super busy right now. He hasn't come to church at all since we've been here. So our game plan is to try and get the Dad more solid to take the whole family to church, because that really is going to effect his future. And the retention after he is baptized. We're hoping and praying for him. I really want to help this family. 

Our 2nd investigator's name is Carl. He's like 68 and on dialosis. He's old and stubborn. He really likes to give us a hard time. He's the last in his family to get baptized. The rest of them are convert baptisms of about 1 to 2 years. But he has a lot of questions and is just stubborn. Sometimes he gets teary eyes while were teaching him, I know he feels the spirit. But he keeps requesting that God give him a sign. Maybe we need to read the story of Korihor.. :) We talked to him and committed him to change his prayer, to ask if what we are teaching him is true or something more specific. But.. I'm not quite sure if he has done very well at it yet. We want to try and teach him in a place other than his home. Because the way his family likes to show their love is by teasing each other.. "Hey stupid!.." Things like that.. And we can tell it's really effecting him, especially while were there trying to help him understand things. So that's our new goal.

Last but not least! Dale. Dale is in the miliary and local. He's married to LeeAnn who is less active and when we first met with him we asked him what he remembers from the elders and all he said is.. Magic tricks. Hmmm.. Okie Dokie! Let's start from the beginning! We've taught him the first 3 lessons and everytime the spirit has been so strong. During our 2 lesson we committed to have him praying about the 27th of April to be baptized, and he said he would. But this last week when we went over.. He really didn't do it. I think he's afraid of the answer he's going to get. He knows the BOM is true and understands and believes everything that we're teaching him. But he was Catholic before and just can't get over his old religion. He said it's going to take baby steps. I really think we need to him REALLY read the BOM and come to church. They haven't been in a while. This last week we also watched the Robles Temple DVD and it really touched LeeAnn. She was crying afterwards and you could tell she really wants to be coming to church and things, but she doesn't want to go alone. Dale fell asleep.. I was praying for the spirit to go over there and wake him up. But I afterwards I think him seeing the impact it had on LeeAnn he really wants to watch it now. So we'll be sure for him to see it again.

Welp! That's about the work we're doing here! I also went on exchanges again this week to Waialua with Sister Kimmons and we contacted this old straggly man and he basically proposed to me. Don't worry I said no! It was suuuper weird. He was nasty. He believed in Aliens and God. You meet so many interesting people as a missionary.

I have a new favorite hymn that's really touched me lately! Lead, Kindly Light. We have been listening to BYU Vocal Point and they do an AWESOME arrangement of this song. I know that God is leading me and my life. I am so happy and grateful for all the blessings He has given me. I am trusting Him with everything because He can make a lot more of my life than I can. I love this gospel and I am SO happy I am here on a mission!

I love you all so much! Thanks for the prayers and all the support. I really do feel em.

Much aloha!
S. Nielsen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Some Testimony Pruning 8 Apr 2013

Aloooooooha my dear Nielsen ohaaaaaaaaana!

Well.. It has been such and eventful week! I have so much to say, but I will try my best to tell you everything that's in my head.

Ok. First off I love being a Sister Trainer. I don't know if I've really explained to you what that is. It's an additional calling, comparable to a district leader but I'm over Sisters. I coordinate exchanges and I go to an additional meeting on fridays and get to fill out comp reports to president at the end of every transfer. We also get to attend ZLC. Where Zone Leaders and President get together and talk about how we can help the misison. Theirs a sister trainer on every island and 2 on Oahu and Big Island. This week I went on 2 exchanges. I always go to their area that way I can see how they are doing. So Sis. Hudson is doing an excellent job taking over the area for a day! But I love these Sisters. They are so wonderful! At the end of every exchange we do an evaluation, and just talk about our day and how it went and what goals they have. And then I get to tell them how great they are and what suggestions I have for them. But I LOVE it. I love serving and helping them. It just makes me feel so good. They each are going through their different struggles and I know that everything I have gone through the first half of my mission, having so much success with Sis. Wright and then all my different companions and area changes were given to me so I could help these Sisters. I just love them. I know I came on my mission being 21 and at this time to I can learn and experience this wonderful opportunity to serve them. And help them with anything they need.

 My first exchange was with Sister Hammond. She's been out for almost 2 transfers now. Sis. Kimmons is her trainer and she's one from our first group of youngins. She is so awesome. Our day was good together! This was basically her first exchange in her mission and I think taking over the area was a little different that she was used to. On our exchange we ran into a Jehovah Witness. They are roaming this island like coconuts going on trees. We had an appt with a lady they had tracted into earlier. When we got to the house  we found a little boy who was about 9 was outside playing with his pet pig. We talked to him for a bit and he said that the lady we were looking for would  be home in a few minutes. So we just decided to wait and talk to him for a bit. We asked him if he went to church and he said that Carol comes over and teachs him about God and Jesus Christ. He then went and got his Bible to show us. I was looking at the Bible trying to figure out what translation is was when a car drove up and a woman got out of the car. She was wearing a skirt, and looked at us very suspecitiously. She had the same bible in her hands only a newer copy. I tried just talking with her and being friendly. She answered my questions and then we kind of discussed a little bit about religion. She explained to me the Jehovah is God. And showed me where it says it in the bible. I listened and then would try and ask her an inspired question. She was getting very.. Passionate about everything she was saying. The whole time I was thinking "Chirstians don't fight with Christians" I'd try to bear my testimony but she would just cut we off. We weren't getting anywhere. I felt like I was very calm and wasn't getting frustrated, but she didn't seem happy that we were at this family's home. Then the 9 year old said "Are you guys fighting?" I wasn't saying or doing anything of the sort! But if that's what it appeared to be I was DONE with whatever we were talking about. She assured him that we weren't but that we were discussing and said some things about us that weren't true. We left feeling not as good was when we walked up. I wasn't trying to fight, she was just so close minded that she wouldn't listen to a thing. Something I think that I am SO happy I don't have to judge people. Because I know she loves Jesus Christ. She gets door slammed in her face just as much as I do, but I don't have to judge her. Jesus Christ has that job. Phew.

On my second exchange I was with Sister Lebaron. She's been out for almost 2 transfers as well, but she's training! She got called to be a trainer after 5 weeks. We had such a fun day together as well! But the most strangest thing happen. By no coincident at all ofcourse. We had about 15 minutes before dinner and just decided to go knock on some doors. The first door we knocked on a little japanese woman opened the door and she allowed us to pray with her. Right after the prayer she said.. " I know who you are" she then explained to us that in japan she had met some misisonaries and gotten baptized. That she was a faithful member of the church for 30 years. She'd gone through the temple and send 3 of her sons on missions. But she always had a question and she could never get it answered. She then explained that when she started reading the bible she came closer to God than by the Book of Mormon. It was so.. interesting. We just listened and I asked her lots of questions. You could tell she had thirsted for knowlegde at some point and that she was reading the wrong material to find the answers. She mentioned things about Joseph Smith and the Propegi (sp?) (Pearl of great Price stuff) She had completely lost her testimony. We testified to her about faith and about Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. That we couldn't answer all of her questions, but that she needed to take them to God. We invited her to watch General Conference and she said she would. I know we were guided there for a reason. I really hope she watched General conference. Elder Hollands talk especially.

Ahhh! I'm running out of time! But I have one more story for you! It's a lot like the others I have told, but it was about Sis. Hudson and I tracting. And we ran into a black man, but started saying all this stuff about how we discriminated him with not allowing the priesthood to be given to blacks. Ahh.. It just been an interesting week. I feel like I've been thrown at by all this anti mormon crap and my testimony has just been a little bit attacked. But I want to make it clear. I KNOW that this is true. Nothing that they said is going to change what I already know.

General conference was SOOOO good! I loved it.
I love you guys!
S. Nielsen

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Aloha From Hawaii! 1 Apr 2013

Aloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooha and Happy Easter.. Yesterday! 

My week at a glance: 

Tuesday: Zone Conference!

Wednesday: Working hard and talking to everyone!

Thursday: Crazy week planning!

Friday: Easter Musical Fireside.

Saturday: Exchange to Makakilo!

Sunday: Easter. He is Risen.

We had a good week this week! The work is going good. Whitewashing is different, but we have CHOKE potential and I think the work is really going to start moving forward this week. I feel like we talked to everyone this week. Which was our goal, but it was tiring. Our ward mission leader used to be the Stake President, and he's also our mission President's second counselor ( I didn't even know he had counselors..) and he's all on board to get everything going. He gave an awesome 5th Sunday combined lesson on missionary work. I was really hoping he'll call us out of the audience and have us bare our testimonies, I just wanted to "Amen" to everything he said. 

Zone Conference was really good. President gave us an interesting statistic. He said that only 9% of people join the church because of the doctrine. So that other 91% join the church because of how they feel. I thought that was super interesting. The spirit really does everything. They taught a lot about how to be a better teacher. And I've noticed that in the scriptures Christ teaches the exact same way that PMG teaches us how to teach! 

We went on exchanges, I went to Makakilo with Sis. Flores. She's been out the same as Sis. Hudson and her trainer had only been out for 5 weeks! But Sis. Flores is 19. She's is so prepared to be a missionary though. We were able to tract into this lady named Debbie. And she came out ready with her gun loaded.  She kept saying all you need is Jesus. But it was so cool how the spirit took over and we were able to teach her principles about the BOM and to see the change in her countenance. It just made me actually realize how far I have progressed as a missionary. By the end we invited her to read 3 Nephi 11 and some pamphlets. She took them, still a little skeptical, but the spirit definitely touched her heart. 

I LOVED Easter this year! In our mission they give every missionary an "Atonement Packet" which basically has all these talks about the atonement. And from studying that I've learned SO much! So this Easter was extra meaningful because I feel like I actually understood WHY an atonement needed to take place. I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. And I love my Savior Jesus Christ. 

Sorry I feel like I really don't know what to say this week! Everything is going good. We'll be seeing miracles and the work is going to progress! 8 Months!? Ahhhh. This is just flying by! I'm just trying not to think about it. 

Have a great week!! 

Much Aloha, 
S. Nielsen 

P.S. The pictures are from the hike we went on this morning!