Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Surprises and Turtle!

This week has been okay! I was able to give a talk on Sunday (Father's Day - love you Daddy! And I love my Heavenly Father, too, so, so much!) It went well, We had a church tour with Lupe, with a family in our ward! It went awesome! He asked a lot of questions which is good. Lupe is so smart! He teaches me every time we see him! It was so nice! He also helped us by putting some car fluid in our car because Sis Coleman and I didn't really know how to do it! (Typical, right? Ha-ha for girly girls who never learned about cars!) I am loving teaching Lupe! He is great! We had an amazing lesson with him about the Plan of Salvation. He took us out for lunch and we were able to show him some visuals! It was awesome!
Here are the Elders in our District, with me as selfie-photographer: L-R Elder Payne, Elder Christensen - great missionaries - and me. What about Max, you ask? Ah, Max. Well, this week he told us that God told him he shouldn't be baptized! Oh no! We were super bummed, but we encouraged him to pray again. We will continue to help him and are praying that his heart will be softened. (Prayers would be awesome for Max, y'all. Thank you!)
Here is a picture of our District Sisters, L-R Sister Lee, Sister Coleman, Me, and Sister Kirton. It was a bizzare kind of week, but it was also a good one! Here is another strange experience: We received a referral from the Elders. His name is Tom. We went over and visited him, he told us we could come back, so we encouraged him to read a few pages out of the Book of Mormon. Well, we came back and he told us he had read a few pages and didn't want to hear anymore and couldn't believe that so many people would believe this book to be true, and would throw it away if we didn't take it back. Well, we left pretty upset. It hit me so hard - why would he say that? Why would he throw it away? I thought about this little experience this week. Overall I can really say that I know the Book of Mormon is true! I love the scriptures! I wonder if he had read the entire book and learned how it testifies of Christ, if his heart would have been softened? I have come to believe that it is okay, because it isn't his time yet. But I know that one day it will be the right time for him to read the Book of Mormon all the way through and come to know for himself that it is true! We have SO many less actives in our ward and we have been seeing some this week. It has been fun to visit and get to know these wonderful people! I am so grateful for the Gospel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It is real. It is good. I love this time that I have to share the truth. And there are so many strong families with a love for the Savior and for the Gospel. I love our ward. They are so good to us and are always taking such good care of the missionaries! Take the Marshall's for example...
The Marshall's in our ward invited us to dinner, and look what they fed us! "Turtle" (not real turtle). This photo is extra large so you can see how clever the turtle is on Sister Marshall's plate! ;) they are one of my favorite families! Here is the recipe. From It's called "Redneck Turtles" 1 lb lean ground beef, 12 all-beef wieners, each divided in-half (total of 24 halves), 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese, 1 lb. bacon, aluminum foil, 4 hamburger buns (optional), condiments for burgers (optional), 1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Make four good-sized hamburger patties, nice and round and thick. Top w/ single slice of sharp cheddar cheese (this is optional, if you don't want cheese). 3. Wrap each beef patty in bacon strips, making a basket weave as you go. Cover entire pattie. 4. Next, take the hot dog halves and make turtles' legs, head and tail. Cut the one for the tail at a diagonal on the end, so the tail looks "pointed". In the legs, put a few tiny 'slits' in the ends, so they will look like feet w/ claws after they bake. Cut a horizontal slit on bottom of the head to look like the mouth. 5. Line a baking sheet (with sides on it!) with foil, and place a baking rack over the foil. Arrange your "turtles" on the baking rack. 6. Cook for 30 - 40 mins., in your pre-heated oven. A little crispy, not too crunchy ... just the way a turtle ought to be, right?
This morning we went walking with Sister Lancaster! She is wearing the sunglasses! She is not in our ward, but she is in Sister Lee and Sister Kirton's ward. The Navarre ward. She is a cosmetologist and is the sweetest thing! She gave me a haircut and I gave her son one! ;) It was nice to do that again! Notice I got a new Gulf Coast Gymnastics tee shirt? Love this Florida Gulf Coast! and love the people so much! What a great place to serve a mission!
Can you believe I am at the wheel? (Don't panic Mom, I am a good driver now...) Car selfie ;), my weekly tradition. You know it's HOT in summer in Florida when the Sisters are mostly inside a car... I love y'all so much! Have a blessed week y'all! #FTMadventures. Sister Nielson

Thursday, June 18, 2015

And my new companion is...

Hi Everyone! Well, this week has been full of fun, tears, and joy! Sis Stewart is now serving in Milton, FL, not far to the East of us, and she is now our STL (Sister Training Leader)! So I will get to see her at Zone Conferences and all! She is awesome. Here are a few last pictures with Sister Stewart:
Here is our recent Gulf Breeze District meeting. Left to right, Sis Seegrist, Sis Kirton, Sis Stewart and me!
This photo is from last Monday, June 8. We went to Pensacola Mall with Sis Burkhard. She is the one who sent a picture of me and a lizard. Left to right, Sis Burkhardt, Ellie her daughter, me and Sis Stewart :)
I also met a Sister missionary named Sister Charles at transfer spots! And guess where she is from! My Country! Kazakhstan! It was so fun! She was adopted when she was 7 (three years older than I was when she came to the good old USA) and she grew up in California! Such a great person and missionary! :) Here is what she said in an email to my mom: "Hey Sister Nielson. This is Sister Charles. I got to met your awesome daughter at transfers! She is sooo awesome! I am the other Sister here in the FTM From Kazakhstan!!!" On Sunday we had Stake Conference! Elder Nash from the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke all about Ward Counsels and Missionary work! And he told us how members need to bring the missionaries to visit people. I loved it so much! In my head I was like, "YES, YES, YES!!" It has been a way good week! We have found some possible investigators!
We are still working with Max! It has been a little hard trying to find times to meet with him, but when we do, we have the best experience! We are still working with him about the Word of Wisdom, but I know Heavenly Father will help us if Max is prepared to accept our message! (Shout out for prayers for Max!) Finally a picture!! Sis Stewart, Joyce (Max's hilarious momma) me and Max!
But the moment ya'll having been waiting for...My New Companion!! Oh, she is wonderful!! Her name is Sister Coleman! She has been out for almost a year! She is from Ceder City, Utah and she is the only member in her family! She has the strongest testimony, and is very sweet and humble. I am so excited to work with her! We both feel that good things are coming to Gulf Breeze! It's kinda crazy, I am still in training but in a way I am training Sister Coleman to the area and the people! So it's been fun to get to know her and to get to know the area together as well! So a cool story this week: This past month I have had the HARDEST time sleeping at night, and when I wake up I have been feeling super sick to my stomach for some crazy reason! To say the least, I have been having a hard time eating because I have been feeling sick for a while. Anyway, I told Sis Coleman about it and told her I wanted to get a blessing from our District Leader, Elder Christensen to see if that would help me, and if it didn't, I would call Sister Lay the medical lady for advice and help if I needed to see a doctor because of my eating problem and sleeping issue. So on Sunday after Conference I got a blessing and guess what! I woke up Monday and felt Perfectly Fine!!! So after a month of feeling sick all the time, I woke up feeling good, and I actually could eat breakfast! Moral of the Story: BLESSINGS WORK!! I learned that if I just have enough faith and not let my pride take over, Heavenly Father will always help. I am so grateful for the Priesthood and Blessings! I know for myself that God watches over all his Children.
Car selfie, of course ;) Every week-lol!! This week has been a Great Adventure in the FTM! I am so excited for my new companionship with Sis Coleman! Have a blessed week Y'all! #GODLOVESYOU I love you!! XOXOX! Y'all's are my Number Ones! Sister Nielson P.S. Mission life is so crazy. Sometimes I forget about home and y'all, but I still love you all so much!! This week has been crazy!!! But it has been a blessing as well. :) Thank you Mom and Dad for all the support and love. I can't thank you enough for raising me in the Gospel. It is SO cool to just talk about Christ to everyone. It is a Joy! :) Well honestly I don't really need anything (except letters), but prayers are always nice! :) P.P.S. I am speaking on Sunday in my ward!! SO SCARED.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Giving Service, Activation, and Good-bye to Sister Stewart

Hi Everyone! This week has definitely been quite hard but there are always ups too!! So here goes!
Here is Sister Stewart and I finding people to teach, and along the way we found this cool mail box! It has a sailor's head above the box. The yellow house behind us has an upstairs porch that wraps around - for the sea breezes and views. It's called a French galerie. So pretty. So Florida! We got word of the transfers and guess what? I am staying here in Gulf Breeze, but guess who is leaving?!! :( Sis Stewart, my companion!! So I will get a new Trainer!! Honestly I do not know how I feel about it yet, but God knows what we both need. Am I dying and super sad? Yes!! It's crazy because we were talking about our companionship, and we both feel like we are good friends now, and now she is leaving me! We both had the hardest time sleeping last night. It's just super hard to see her leave. She loves Gulf Breeze so much and loves the people here. But I know she will bless so many others wherever she goes next. Well, this past week has been okay! A lot of our appointments fell through, so that was a bummer, but we were able to do A Lot of Service!! (Sabrina serving...? Ha-ha, right?) Actually, I am really loving it! We were able to go over to Sis Thompson's house and clean her China and her collection of glass items. She is very less active, but she CAME to church yesterday!!) So that was nice!! !
One of the members in our ward is Trena, whose mom fell and broke her leg so she is staying with Trena and her family. We were able to go over and help Trena with her mom! She is deaf but a way sweet lady! :) I got to use my Cosmo skills and do her hair in a roller set!! (Who would have thought I would be doing that here?) I am so glad I finished Cosmetology School before my mission so I have skills I can use to give service!
This is the sign of the thrift store where we give service! It is Helping Hand Missions Thrift Store.
This little gal in our ward is named Gracie! She reminds me of my niece, Issy (Isabel) so much! I love her! We have such darling children in our Primary! I let Gracie try on my missionary badge because she wants to be a Sister Missionary when she grows up!
A member took us to dinner to a place called The Horizon! The meal was so cool looking - see they hand cut a flower from a Jicama! It was so cute!
Another good thing that happened was working with this girl, Corinne, who is a cosmetologist like me. She is less active but we have so much in common that I asked her if she would come to church with us and she said she would! So hopefully she will! She is great! Well, overall this week has been good! Some ups and downs. I am nervous and excited to meet my new companion this week! Crazy that time is flying, I feel like I just got here but I am starting my second transfer!
Wow. I love this Church! I love this Mission! I love my Savior! I love Missionary work! I love the weather! I love the people! I love the South! and I love all y'all and each y'all! I LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH!!! Thank you for all the love and support!! And since I am staying here for another 6 weeks, I would love to get a letter from each y'all! 7442 Navarre Parkway #107, Navarre, FL 32566. Have a blessed day and week! Sister Nielson!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Rainstorms, the Florida Jungle and a new Bishop like my Dad

Hi Everybody! Florida has these MASSIVE rain storms! We got out of a store this week, and IMMEDIATELY got soaking wet!! It was like I took a shower literally outside! Ha-ha! Anyway, that was random, and the best part, you never know when it is going to pour rain like that, So yeahhhhh! I thought you would like to know that. Toto, we are not in Utah anymore! ;-)
Here is Sister Stewart and I walking along. And here are some sights as we go a-walking:
This is a random sign - see how everything is a jungle behind the rope?
We see a lot of turtles, so here's one swimming along (after a downpour). They are really cool. Not endangered!
And the beautiful Florida panhandle coastline. Wow! It is so gorgeous; I guess I can put up with the heat to have this opportunity to be here and see it in person!
And speaking of's so hot that when we get home, it's great to sit in the fridge for a minute! Well this week has been interesting. We have had some awesome days and days not-so-awesome ones! So for the good days - we went over to visit the Ard family. I just love them so so much. They are my Southern family here, they tell me every time that I have to come back and visit them and swim in their pool, since as missionaries, we can't swim. So we go over to their home, and their friend, Annie, is there and she asked them if she could find a Book of Mormon anywhere and boom! We were there!! And it was perfect timing because she was leaving that night, so I was able to give her one and give her a short Restoration lesson and now she has a BOM to take back home, and I told her how to find the missionaries where she lives and she was so happy and so excited! Yes!! The Lord works in AMAZING ways. That was such a cool experience for me to have. God is Good.
Oh yes!! guess what!?!? There is a lady in my ward, Sister Jubeck, whose daughter is living in Provo going to BYU and she (the daughter) LOVES SWIG as much as I do, so she sent her mom a package with a bottle of the coconut flavoring to make Dirty Diet Coke and she gave me some last night!!! I AM IN HEAVEN. I WAS DYING!! SO YES I HAVE SWIG IN FL. LIFE IS COMPLETE. LOL! Ha-ha! This weekend we where able to teach a man named Lupe. He asked a lot of questions, which motivated me this week to study a lot about Joseph Smith and his life and what he did for God. I am just so amazed by him and his testimony! Lupe is "iffy" about him, but I know that he is a true prophet on earth and I love him so much!! I'm so thankful for the Restoration of the Gospel. I just wish everyone could understand that! But one day they all will :)
This is Lexi, who was baptized two weeks ago, and me. She is so sweet! We also got a new bishop this week and I love him! His name is Bishop Moss and he reminds me a lot of my Dad, just super kind and gentle. I am excited to work with him! So now for the not-so-awesome day. Friday we had SO much rejection!! It was hard, but a good learning experience. Not everyone will be ready, but all we can do is pray and keep going! Funny story about rejection - So one night we are talking to this girl and her neighbor is mentally crazy. All he does at night is yell and cuss and all that. Well, we leave her porch and start walking to the car and he yells..."Y'ALL SUCK" to us! Sis Stewart and I just start laughing so hard, because it was the funniest thing ever! Man, I just love the South so much!
And speaking of the Prophet Joseph Smith...he said it was okay to "unstring the bow" now and then. And since Sister Stewart and I do not wrestle, we found the perfect way to unwind and laugh. In fact, we may have too much fun with silly string! Hope yall have a blessed week!
Off to other places to search, reach, and teach! I will try to remember to take my camera when we visit with people so ya'll can see more Southerners! Sister Nielson P.S. from Sister Nielson: Thank you for all ya'll do for me! I am so blessed and so thankful for you and dad. I have seen people here who don't have a lot and it has humbled me so much. So thank you really for everything. I hope ya'll watched the Mormon Message called "LIFT" this week. Ya'll should watch "Sharing our Beliefs." It is such a good one, too! I love all ya'll each ya'll! That's so Southern, huh? It's so funny what people say here. Ha-ha! Thank you for all the love and support. God Bless Ya'll.
This cute photo, captioned, "Sister Nielson making a lizard face and Sister Stewart not too sure about holding this lizard. :)" arrived via text from Shelly Burkhardt, who said, "We had your lovely missionary over last night. She is doing very well. I am in the Primary and notice all of the kids really love her."