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 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Moroni 10:32. 16 Sept 2013

My Dear Family.. Aloha! 

I am SO EXCITED for Erin going to Peru! What a perfect mission! But.. December 18th!? Goodness me that is so soon! I didn't even know that they had an MTC in Peru. Start working on your visa now! I hear sometimes they take forever! I don't know much about them.. Just to get it done quick!  I'm sad we're going to miss each other, but obviously Heavenly Father has a time and a place for everything. This is His plan. Erin needs to get to Peru quick! Start practicing that Spanish! What a blessing.. to have TWO missionaries from our family serving at the same time! :)

Well this week has been really crazy and quite a blur actually. Time passes by so quickly sometimes. On Tuesday we met with Meg, and had a really good lesson with her! We read from the Book of Mormon Moroni 7. She kept comparing the things we were reading to the Bible and how they relate and go hand in hand. She then paraphrased the whole restoration for us of how she understands how the Book of Mormon plays a part. She gets it! She said that she has been praying but doesn't quite feel that she has received an answer yet. We then committed her to a "HW assignment" to help her find answers. Find a quiet place that you wont be bothered, think of a question you would like answered and write it down, pray out loud and ask for the spirit to help you understand, read ... from the Book of Mormon. Pray again. We think prayer is so simple sometimes, but really getting answers and praying with real purpose takes WORK as the bible dictionary says. She agreed to the Homework assignment and committed to come to church just for sacrament because she had to work and also because we were singing and speaking. Well sacrament meeting came and she called us and told us that she is just over whelmed right now, that she can't come to church and that she doesn't want to meet with us this week because of everything that's happening in her life right now. Oi.. We were really excited that our lessons were finally starting to go somewhere, but of course the adversary just has to make her busy and she doesn't have time for us. Or to pray and receive answers. Come what may.

We had Zone Exchanges on Wednesday evening-Friday morning. I was in Kona for a day, I was with Sister Tuimoala, she's been out for about 2 months, Tongan and lived in Samoan, but moved to Utah about 3 or 4 years ago. We had a good exchange. In the morning we did service for some of their older members by helping pick up mac nuts. That was really fun and quite refreshing actually! The old auntie explained it like an Easter egg hunt! Look for the green ones! Later the elders asked us to help them find this woman in their ward who's mom was requesting that they go over and give a blessing to, she is very less active and wasn't expecting them to come. So they asked if we would assist them. We walked around forever trying to figure out where this lady lived. And Kona. Is. Hot. We finally found her and then she was in a hurry and needed to leave.. But it was a good day/exchange!

Friday Morning was Zone Conference in Waimea combined with Hilo zone.  First one with President Warner and it was really, REALLY good! I definitely felt so pumped afterwards and knew the areas I need to improve on. The Zone Leaders and I had a training to prepare. We trained on using time wisely with a theme of 'fishers of man' and I thought it went well. I learned a lot from the whole conference, they even gave a "health tip" and we watched a little clip that I'd seen before in one of my Health classes at college. Which I thought was really fun!

Sunday Sister Weaver and I sang in church and also gave talks. We sang with our ward mission leader! He played the guitar and we sand "How great shall be your joy" Do you remember that song? I know we have it on some CD. The spirit took over and it was really good. I spoke on how sharing the gospel can bring us joy. And I read parts of the emails you've been sending me about Whitney and how much our family has been able to have joy and the spirit by sharing the gospel. I ran out of time. But oh well! I really enjoy speaking in church.

Well.. Everything is going well. This morning for pday we got up at 2 am and watched the sun rise on mauna kea! It was so beautiful. I am so grateful to be serving my mission in Hawaii. I could not think of a better place I could be. I love these people and I love the time I have to serve the Lord. Moroni 10:32 has been on my mind a lot recently. Come unto Christ, give Him EVERYTHING and let Him perfect you.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Aloha and LOVE!

S. Nielsen 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My own personal BOM challenge. 9 Sept 2013

Alooooooha my Nielsen Ohana!

Well. ERIN'S STATUS IS ASSIGNED!!! Ohh my goodess. That is just so crazy! I remember those exactly feelings. Ahhh.. Well I've been trying to think of my guess all week and I really cannot decided just one! I would love to say. HAWAII HONOLULU MISSION! I would love you be your trainer, that would be so cool! But in real life I'm going to have to pick New York-State Side or Ghana or Nigeria for foreign. Yep that is what the spirit has revealed to me. Next week/Wednesday is going to be crazyy! I'm so excited for you Erin!

Well this last week has been good! We are definitely seeing small and simple miracles. But great things are going to be brought to pass! We were really struggling at night with our planning, we have a few potentials, but it's like beating a dead horse because they really aren't that interested. And we can't pick names from the ward list who are less active because we don't know where they live with P.O. boxes. But one Wednesday we decided to go see our ward mission leader who know everyone in Kohala. We explained our situation to him and he gave us 14 referrals! That is amazing! He just told us to throw his name out there. We've contacted a few and one said that recently she has been searching for a church. (Church shopping.) Well I have the church for you! So we are seeing some prepared people. :) Now we just gotta teach them.

We also went out with one of the ladies of the relief society presidency and she showed us where a lot of PM families live! SO amazing. That is really the only way we can learn where people live is if a member takes us out. That was really good.

We have about 2 progressing investos. Meg and Patrick. Meg is an older lady and has been turning lately into an eternal investigator. She loves the church and I think she has more of a social concern than a doctrinal concern. She loves the fellowship. And when I first got here I didn't really know how the situation was, but really it was the missionaries just sharing casual messages while talking story. So I've been trying really hard to help her understand our purpose, and Sister Weaver and I are both on the same page now of what we need to do. Last night we watched the Joseph Smith movie with her and I think that has helped alot with her praying about JS and the BOM. We're praying and crossing our fingers for a miracle.

Patrick is the 14 year old boy I talked about last week. We had an awesome gospel of JC lesson with him and he prayed 3 times last week! Like we asked him too! He has a hard time understand the if God is really there but he prayed 3 times!! I am just so happy! I have really grown a love for this kid. He murmurs alot but deep down I know that he is really searching and wants this happiness and joy that we have. Ahh I just want him to get baptized so bad.

This last week I was feeling pretty junk in my teaching. I knew the doctrine, but I just felt like it was all fluff. Like the spirit wasn't with what we've been teaching. I woke up early one morning and just starting studying PMG-teaching skills/making and keeping commitments, trying to get back to the basics of what I was doing wrong! And I realized that I needed to use the scriptures more in my teaching. They bring the spirit and teach us everything we need to know! Also I just feel like I need to read the Book of Mormon again. Cover to cover, Fast!  But I don't have time to waste! My studying time as a missionary is limited, especially as time keeps going faster and faster. So I've decided that I want to wake up an hour earlier and just read the Book of Mormon. Like a story book. I remember when the missionaries in Elko had to read it in one sitting, (Sister Little and Sister Judd) And I just want to refresh myself in the whole thing. So I have made a goal to read the BOM and finish it in 2weeks or before General Conference. I haven't started yet. But I will keep you updated on how it's going. :)

I love being a missionary. This work is so important. I cannot believe how fast time is going and how quickly things change. Blows my mind! Hope you have a wonderful week! Send me pictures of the mission call opening! I love you all. "Missions are a family affair"-President Monson.

Love and Aloha!
S. Nielsen

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ask and ye shall receive 2 Sept 2013


Well another week come and gone! I cannot believe Erin's papers are IN!! That's just.. CRAZY! And kind of makes me sad a little. I'm not going to see my darling sister for .. EVER! :/ Good thing we're sealed and have eternity together. Heavenly Father's plan is so good! Crazy how fast things change.  
Well this last week was a little slower number wise. We didn't teach as many lessons but I feel like we know where we need to improve and how to get our investos progressing. So all is well.

We are teaching this one kid named Patrick. He's 14 years old and friends with a lot of members in our ward. He suffers a little bit from depression and a low self esteem. Soo teaching his is sometimes a little bit of a struggle because he answers every question of.. "Sorta.." or "It's alright".. Not a lot of concern. We've invited him to come to church and he didn't want to come because he had to "wake up early". So we decided to give him a church tour. On Saturday our bishop came with us with his son (who knows Patrick) and we tried to give him a 'fun tour' we're really trying to get him to trust us. Bishop was even able to take us "upstairs!" (all the vents and dakine) .Everything went so perfect! Our Bishop bore powerful testimony in the chapel about the sacrament and explained it in a way that he could understand. And he agreed to come to church! He complained a little bit.. But that's just him. Murmur murmur. Bishop set him up with a white shirt and tie and volunteered to pick him up. Heavenly Father was definitely guiding everything. And I think he liked church a lot more than he anticipated!

We dropped our investigator Anne who was Buddhist. She basically said that she feels like Buddhism is the path for her. It was a good lesson, we talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and how it testifies of Christ. It was interesting we went in there not knowing if we were going to drop her or not. And the lesson was going so well that I thought maybe we wont have to! And so toward the end of the lesson we were starting to give her her next reading assignment and this time I wanted to give her questions to think about as she read. And to pray about these questions. I was trying to figure out which questions to give her. Alma 7 popped into my head for her to read. But I was fighting a little bit about the questions I needed her to think about. After we gave them to her she we invited her to come to church and she expressed her concern that Buddhism is the right path for her. And I knew that we couldn't continue. But the questions I left with her were.. 1. What is the role or purpose of a redeemer? 2. .I can't remember.. 3. How would accepting Christ change us? All about the Savior! And Jesus Christ. I know that it was definitely the spirit prompting to write and ask those questions. To leave her with something to think about if she does get around to it again.

I was able to help out with our District Meeting training this last week. To kick off the transfer and get everyone exciting. We had our zone theme like I told you last week. HE>i Bring on the Miracles Mormon 9:18-19. I'd put all these negative excuses in one room and then in another the theme and 20 everywhere. To just look out the windows in each room and see what they saw. I feel like the spirit was strong and hopefully our missionaries will have the faith to see miracles this transfer. I'd had this training earlier when I was a new missionary and I remember it having a big effect on me. I really enjoy doing training..

On Saturday night.. I was just struggling a bit. Maybe discouraged or whatever. And I was just seeking and looking for comfort. It was amazing to me how fast my answer came. I said a quiet prayer with faith and opened my scriptures. I opened to D&C 31. And it was exactly what I needed. A letter from Christ to his missionary. I love how much Heavenly Father loves each of us. Especially those who have the faith.

MLC was today! Sorry that's why your getting a late reply. It was really really good. Our mission president is making some changes now. He's doing a really good job. 

I love you all so much! Have a fabulous week!

Love and Aloha, 
S. Nielsen