Thursday, November 3, 2016

Utah Bound

Utah Bound.

But first: Tender Moments:
Pamela Hale is still in rehab. We had some very nice visits and did some service for her.

Asking permission to paint her nails. Even in rehab, a woman should feel pretty.
Giving service: Painting her fingernails.

A tearful goodbye when she was feeling stronger. I love Pamela Hale. What a privilege to teach her the gospel.
Something Good:
I know I'll never repay the Fasts for all the kindness they have shown to us as misisonaires. Here is a fun last event at their home as a District. We carved pumpkins on Sunday night. It is a tradition in our family that we carve pumpkins at home just before Halloween. This year our theme was "Animals" (real ones) so I guess technically I would not get to win, but my pumpkin is a winner to me. I am so excited to be back home in Utah and see my family again! So here we are, having a good time with pumpkins!

Sister Fast says we must begin with a clean pumpkin!

Ready to carve!
The work begins!
First The stencils then the cutting starts!

Cutting out UTAH!

Lessons Learned:
I don't really know where to start, but I feel like I just started my mission yesterday. I can't believe that this is the last week on my mission. My heart is just so full to a loving Heavenly Father for letting me serve in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. It has been the hardest thing I have done in my life so far, but it has been the best thing I have done in my life so far. I would do it all over again for all the wonderful experiences I have had. 

Missions are full of up's and downs.

There have been so many times for me that I have wanted to give up, times where I have felt at my lowest, times where I didn't think I could do it, and times that have challenged my faith, but overall I am so thankful for all those times, because through those moments I have had the best moments to see the Lords hand in my life, he has taught me through the spirit and his love how to keep going when it is so hard, how to find the joy of trials, and the happiness of the Gospel.

I know now what it means to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and where true happiness and love comes from. I'm not the perfect person, and I still have a lot to learn and I am so grateful the opportunity to keep progressing in the Gospel. 

I know that all that Heavenly Father asks of us is to keep trying, we don't have to be perfect, but we do need to try to be better. The Gospel does bring True Happiness and the Best Light that we have to go through the darkness that we face in our lives.

 I know that the Book of Mormon brings comfort to our souls and truth to our hearts. It indeed testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know it. I know that Heavenly Father is real, he is our loving Heavenly Father and he does everything to help us to come back to him. 

I love missionary work, it definitely is NOT easy, but the Joy that comes from it, makes it 1,000,000 worth it. 

Y'all, I just love the Lord so much. He has been nothing but the best to me. I know that everything that I shared about the Gospel is true, and if the Savior asked me to serve this mission again, I would do it in a heart beat. I love my Jesus! He is my Master, my Example, my Redeemer, and my Friend. 

I feel so blessed and so lucky to be apart of the Lords Kingdom on Earth! Thank you everyone for all the love and support while I have been out, I can not express with words how grateful I am.

 I thank the Lord daily for everything he has given me in my life and the blessing he gave me to serve him. 

Goodbye Florida sugar sand! I have loved my stay here!

Something Sweet: 

Gifts from Brother and Sister Fast - an After-Mission Journal  and some lovely bath and body things! Thank you, dear Fasts!

Trinity Fast drew this beautiful flower as a going away gift! What talent! And how sweet!

Goodbye Kisses: 

I will miss my dear companion, Sister Law. Spending time with her "on the Beach" has been truly a wonderful experience in finding, teaching and serving in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love yall!! See yall in the 801. :) And for those who are in the 801, see you at my house on Saturday from 4:30 to 7:30 for a Meet, Greet and Eat!

Sister Sabrina Nielson

P.S. In Transit:
Photos sent from some kind, knowing someone at the Atlanta airport where very excited missionaries are ready to board the aircraft to Salt Lake City  and jump into the arms of their waiting families.

See You SOON!!!

Thunder Week on the Beach>>>>>>>>

Quote of the week:"The Lord will shape the back to bear the burden that has been placed upon it."-Pres Monson 

Some of the 50,000 Harley's at Thunder Beach Week at PCB. Crazy!!

Something Good: Okay, well this week in PCB was something called, Thunder Beach Week...and for us with busy schedules, it was something else! For those who don't know what Thunder Beach is, well its a time for ALL the bikers in the world to come to the beach and have the biggest Harley Davidson convention ever. Someone told us that there where about 50,000 bikes and people there just for the convention! It was crazyy!! It was cool for a bit, but after being stuck in traffic for an hour and crazy bikers..I was more than happy to see them go. :) But it was cool! 

And ya gotta have that good old American Flag is ya got bikers, right? Traffic was insane!

Earlier this week, we were able to have lunch with Sis Morse, which was so fun, it was good to see her! (she is from Lynn Haven)
The Calloway Sister Missionaries joined on P-Day and we got to take them to the beach! Awesome!!

Last Monday the Sisters from Calloway came down and we where able to spend time with them and take them to the beach! Memories for daysss!

 The Turnages wanted to make us dinner before I went home, so this week we had dinner with them and a lesson! They are doing so well and progressing, each one of them. Patsy and Aaleiagh where able to come to our Super Saturday for relief society and they LOVED it. We went and saw Miss Pamela, on Sunday, which was her birthday! She got moved to a new rehab center and is still getting better, she is doing a ton better, she is so excited to be baptized when she is well, I might not be there when she is, but I know she will be 100% happy when she is, and that makes me 100% happy. :) Paul and Paula came down and we had a wonderful visit! Paul told me that he received the Melchizedek Priesthood just recently and I am SO proud of him, and so proud of Paula for progressing in the Gospel. I sure do love them with my whole heart! This week has been crazy busy, but I am so thankful for the ability to have so many things to do and so much service to give! 

A Tender Mercy:  So something Sis Law and I keep noticing in our companionship is that whenever we have a conversations that we don't realize that are spirit led, it can be so random, but that later in the day we end up using what we talked about earlier with the person we are helping and than we realize that the spirit was preparing us to know what to share with those we see. This has literally happened to us ALL week. It has been amazing. I am so thankful for a wonderful companion who is more than just a companion but a friend. I sure do love her and I am so thankful for all the spiritual moments we have had together! 

Something Learned: This week I was reminded that there is opposition in all things. I have been struggle with a lot of mixed emotions about the end of my mission and what really hit me was our lesson yesterday! Sis Ballif a lady in our ward taught relief society and the topic was the talk by Elder Oaks about Opposition. And for some reason I didn't really understand opposition till coming on a mission. Here I came on a mission to serve the Lord, I thought missionary life would be so fun and nice and easy...but man! It is those things, but little did I know how hard and difficult it would be. I love his talk because he says..."Opposition permits us to grow toward what our Heavenly Father would have us to become." And dang! He is so right! Everything good and everything bad have a reason for us, there are lessons to learn in the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There have been moments for me when all I am trying to do is my best, and I still have opposition, even when we are doing the right things, I think it is the way we take the opposition that is most important, that's when we see what Heavenly Father is teaching us or how we are growing. Check out the talk! It is one of my favs!

One of my favorite little sayings that Sis Dann always says when we have lessons with her and she feels the spirit is..."Thank you Jesus!"
Gotta add my little "Thank you Jesus" for all that he does for me! Yall have a happy week!!! Love you peaches!! 
-Sister Nielson

Sunday, October 23, 2016

18 months! Say what!?!?!

Happy 18 months on my mission to me! What a great experience!
Saturday, October 15 hit my 18 month mark!!. Where did the time go?!? But that's cool I guess! 

So the reason I am not home just yet is that the MTC went back to keeping new missionaries longer, so that meant that I stay till Nov. 3, the next transfer. 

I only had 10 days in the MTC. They must have decided that was not long enough after my turn there. So lucky me - I get almost three more weeks on my mission! 

Then on transfer day, my transfer is back to chilly Utah - but it will be warm because that's where most of my family and friends are!  I'm blessed to be here and blessed to be loved by my fam!

Celebrating 18 months as a Missionary!!!
This is my itty-bitty person photo - maybe this Candy Bar Ice Cream Sunday will help me grow up! (Not out.)

Nelson Street (almost Nielson Street)

I found a street sign that is almost Nielson Street!- Nelson Street.  Pretty cool. If  you look closely at the house, you can see that the heat and humidity are really hard on houses. That's the South! And big deep porches help people survive the heat by creating important shade - and a place to go when you can't stand the sun any longer!!

And this other street sign (below) is for my big brother, James - not just a street, but an Avenue! That blue metal fence is an overpass wall.

This one's for my big brother, James. Love you, Bro.
Something about the South - there is green everywhere - lots of trees and growing things!

With Sister Call in Calloway for a day!
Something Good: So this past week has been pretty peachy! First! We went on exchanges with the Calloway sisters! I was with Sister Call in Calloway..and let me tell is like a WHOLE new world there than the beach, but we had a great time and I just love and adore her! I love to meet new people;  it is wonderful! It was nice to be in a different area for just a day, but it was good to be back home on the beach. :) A funny though, while we where on exchanges..Sis Law and Sis Crosby went to one of the most expensive places on the beach to eat dinner with a LA named John..and while I was in Calloway we had Subway sandwiches..haha! The day I am gone for a single day, they have the best dinner appointment ever. Haha! #Missionlife. Anyways! We have had some good lessons with LA's that we are working with! We were able to pick up on of our former gators, so that is great! :) Also, to celebrate my 18 months on the mish, I burned 4 skirts that I would never wear again because they had been worn so much that they were super gross. So that was fun! ;) Overall a good week! :) 

A Tender Mercy:  A cool little thing that happened to Sis Law and I was on Monday night we decided to contact referrals and none of them were home. As we were driving our car tire pressure sign popped up, saying that our tire was low, so we decided to go fill it up. We get to the gas station and don't really know how to do it.Well this guy drives up in a jeep and sees us struggling, and asks if he could help us. It turns out to be that we had to go to a different gas station but he let us follow him there so he could help us. He paid for the air in our tires and was so nice and so helpful. We decided to give him a book of Mormon and a pass along card...and we came to find out that he did a whole report on Joseph Smith (but never had read the book of Mormon) for his Master's degree and dated a Mormon girl who wanted to get married in the temple! What are the ODDS!?! He told us he was Christian, and that he had twin daughters our age and if they where ever in our situation he would hope someone would help them like he helped us. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and promised him that he would see a blessing in his life for helping us that night. We told him that the Book of Mormon would bless him, too, and that we would follow up and text him Sunday night to ask him what tender mercy or blessing he saw that week. We followed up with the text and he was actually really surprised that we even remembered, but he did see a few blessings this week! So we are hoping we can see him again! It was awesome!! Something with our car y'all - it seems that when something goes wrong with it that it always turns out to be a good thing. :)
I live in a place of pure beauty! So thankful for my time in Florida! It has been so great!
Something Learned: This week I have really looked back the 18 months that I have been able to serve, and wow, I am just so thankful and so happy that I have been in Florida. I would not trade it for anything. I have been thinking about the things I have learned and the moments that have impacted my life because of this mission, and I cannot express my gratitude enough to my Heavenly Father for everything that he has let me do and the experiences that he has let me have so far. One of the most important things I have learned about missionary work is Christlike Love. 
We go to see Miss Alice! Many people retire to Florida  and we are so lucky to get to teach some of them!
I have come to see the blessings of loving everyone, no matter who they are or what they do. I really know that the Spirit works only with love and gentleness and kindness and goodness. I am SO thankful for this mission that I have been able to be a part of - it really is the Lords mission, and I am just his little helper! So thankful I still have time to be here! :) 
The FTM is the best mission in the world! Sorry y'all who are in other missions. ;) "The Work of our Missionaries is a Magnificent Expression of our Lord's Redeeming Love." I sure do believe that! :)

What can I say? I'm in Florida!
And lastly - Only in Florida!! This sign made me laugh! Maybe it is in honor of the people we teach who don't a a whole lot longer to live - but then the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just for this earth - it's forever! What a beautiful thing to embrace it's truthfulness and take it to the next life with you!

Love y'all friends!
-Sis N

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"So you're the short ones." -Elder Sitati.

Half Mission Conference and happy reunions with some awesome missionaries:
Sister Kinghorn my babyyy!! I love you boo thing!!!!
The only Sister Stradds!!! (Stradinger) from the MTC!
Something Good: So funny story about being short...We had a half mission conference with Elder and Sister Sitati this week, which was AMAZING by the way! Anyways, Sis Sitati was talking about having good relationships with your companions, she asked us to share comments about how our companions help us, so I shared a story about how Sis Law and I are kinda short and small and that we where going to go see someone and Sis Law had a strong impression that we needed to leave, so we left, so my comment was that companions can help us to be physically safe, even though we are "fun size." So after the meeting, we ran into Elder Sitati and he said hi to us and said,"So you're the short ones." Hahaha! It was funny, but he is right! We are the short ones! ;) But man, this week was another week full of spiritual growth and spiritual happiness! Something I loved that Elder Sitati shared was that our purpose as missionaries is to be diligent, to study and to practice. I feel like the more I study intensely the more the Spirit will teach me new things. Some other good things! We had a wonderful stake conference too! Again we where able to hear from Elder and Sis Sitati! It was great! 

At Half Conference with Sister Lehman! Sure love her!

This week has just been full of tender mercies and blessings. I am so thankful for the Gospel and the truth and happiness it brings to my soul. :) Something sweet, my RC (recent convert), Michael, sent a text to our phone this week and it said.." Sad to see you go, for now. Hope your last month here in this mission is wonderful." He just makes me happy. PCB has the best people in Florida. Another good fun thing I was able to do this week was color Tamera's hair! She is less active, but we were able to do her hair and it was so fun!! :) This week was just the bomb. 
These are photos (above and below) of my missionary friends at Half Mission Conference!
Elder Atu, a friend from the beginning of my mission
Elder Baldwin - He's a homie, too! (from Utah)
A Tender Mercy: The more we look for the tender mercies in our lives, the more we find them. A sweet little tender mercy this week was our lesson with Sister Dann. We where supposed to go and pick her up, but we where running about 30 minutes late...(of course:P) So she decided to walk home in the dark! Scaryy! So we went to her work to try to find her, and she wasn't there, so we decided to drive around to find her! And we found her! So we were able to have a great lesson with her. She is a blessing in my life. :) I am grateful for all the wonderful people that we have the chance to work with every week. They are all amazing to me! Another tender mercy: 
Teaching Pamela about the connections of the Gospel of Christ

Listening to Pamela Hale
These photos of Pamela Hale were taken on October 6 when we visited her and taught her in the hospital. 

She is now in rehab and doing well. She is still planning on October 29 as her baptism date!

That will be a great going home present for me, as my flight is on November 3. I am praying she will be well enough for her baptism. 

She is such a darling lady, and has been such a joy to teach. I have learned that everyone needs the gospel, young or old, and no matter what their situation in life. 

In Preach My Gospel is says 'People become converted as they live the principles they learn and feel the Spirit confirm that what they are doing is pleasing to their Father in Heaven."

I have seen that this is true as I have witnessed people accept the doctrine, and live the principles of the Gospel. It is so wonderful!
On the PCB pier with Jeanette

It has been so wonderful to be in this beautiful part of the United States. We had the opportunity to go to the Panama City Beach pier with less actives, Greg and Jeanette and get these very cool photos taken along the PCB Pier.

It makes me realize why people want to come visit Panama City Beach, or move here when they retire. It is so incredibly beautiful. I can now say I have been to or on!) the Gulf of Mexico! This is surely one of God's most beautiful creations!
Now this is something I will never see in Utah! A pelican waiting for a catch!
Isn't he so cute?! And see how far out we are from the shore! Amazing!!
A dolphin! How cool is that!!! Coming home to the cold of Utah in November from the warmth of the Florida panhandle may not be a culture shock, but it will definitely be a climate shock! The Gulf of Mexico is stunning from Panama City Beach!
Something Learned: Ah! Honestly I don't even know where to start, I have learned so much this week!! But a few things that have really stuck out to me are what President Smith taught at Half Mission Conference. He used an analogy about football and how the receiver is always bound to be hit when he catches the ball, and just like spiritually when we receive a spiritual high, we are also bound to be hit, too. Sometimes the adversary will hit us with not so happy things to try to tear us down from the spiritual highs we receive, but it is our choice to choose whether we will lay on the ground or wither we will get up and run with it. It just hit my mind and made 100% sense to me! So awesome. 

Overall this week was probably one of the best weeks we have had for quite sometime! I am so thankful and so happy. I love the Lord. He is so good to me. 

The Gospel is true, it has become so true and so real to me. I love it with all that I have. :) 

Stay peachy y'all. 🍎🍁🌿🍂🍏
-Sis Nielson