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