Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ministering Angel, Peace and Getting Real

Mom, My heart hurts for the passing of sweet Grandma Johnson on Wednesday afternoon. I wish so badly I could be there with y'all, but I know she would want to me stay here. And I have felt she is happy. Happy to be home with Grandpa. I love her and will miss her so much, but so grateful she could be with our family for just a while. Please send my regards to those at the funeral. I have had a lot of peace these past few days, after a few weeks of hardship I have finally felt peace, and I know a lot of it is Grandma giving me help and love. I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation and know it is real. I have gotten all your letters and am so thankful. So thank you, thank you! I am all better. Thank you for the prayers and love. I really do feel it every day. Even those hard days. I am grateful for you all. I love you tons, I will be praying for y'all, and you especially mom. I love you lots.
My week: Wow, this week has just gone by SO fast, I don't even know where to begin! I first want to say, to be real to everyone who reads my blog, Missions are SO HARD. Do I complain? Yes. Have I cried a lot!? Oh yes. Do I miss my family and friends? Oh you better believe it. But do I love my Savior? Yes. Why am I on a mission? Because I love Him. I chose to do this. I chose to take my time and give it to Him. Why? Because He has given me EVERYTHING. Could I do more? Yes. Am I happy I am on a mission? 99% of the time, yes. Why is it not 100%? Well because 1% of the mission is hard. Satan is real and he has tested me and brought me to my lowest. But God - He has brought me to my highest. I don't think I would be where I am if the mission was easy all day, every day. But hey, I love my mission. I love my time to my Savior. Anyway, onto the week that flew by!
Monday: Monday was once again, SO fun! We went to the Zoo, with the Wights - Sis Wight and little Sophia, oh my heavens, it was great! We fed the giraffes and it was just a great time.
The Zoo here in Gulf Breeze is actually pretty good, they have a lot of animals they probably don't have in Utah, like this Florida 'gator! Proof I was in Florida, guys! So I am super glad we were able to go! I love the Wight family so much. Monday night was also fun! We showed the Myers (Recent Convert) FHE, Family home Evening. If any of y'all don't know what FHE is, it is a time where families spend time together - whoever came up with it is a genius! It was fun, we were able to have a spiritual message and just have a good time together and of course....Treats!
Tuesday: Oh man, well remember how last week the Elders hid our bikes in the church? Well today we put their bikes in the trees! It was great, the best part was when they came outside the church after district mtg they didn't even notice....HA Elders. Anyways!
Here we are as a district, having our district meeting, of course. We give each other encouragement, lessons, and motivation to keep on keeping on in our missionary work! Tuesday was good, we went to see a lady named Charmane. She is super sweet and so loving. She always lets us in, we were able to share a quote and a Mormon Message..."Things That Matter Most" It is a good one! We then went to see Miss Joyce. Oh Joyce! She is so funny! She calls me her daughter and I just love her a ton. We shared a scripture and visited with her. Sometimes people just need a visit. Yeah? Well, Tuesday night we had dinner with the other Myers in our ward, and I was DYING...okay not really dying but I was SICK. I still wanted to go see people, but my dear thoughtful companion told me we needed to go home so I could get better, so we did! And boom. I am better! Finally! It sucks to be sick as a missionary. #theworst
Wednesday: Oh this day.....well we didn't have a we BIKED. Mmmmhmm. If you really want to know how I feel about bikes, y'all can ask my mom, she knows. Anyways! We biked ALL day, well probably not all day, but for 3 hours in the FLORIDA HEAT AND HUMIDITY. Yep. Oh it was just SO fun, I guess the good outcome was two things. 1, We went to see Sister Scheaffer and had a great lesson with her, and 2, I got more tan! It was kinda crazy because the day we ride our bikes NO ONE IS HOME, I REPEAT: NO ONE. But hey! God likes to be funny sometimes. But it was good exercise and I got to wear my new CUTE helmet. Wednesday night we had dinner with the Adams. They are such a good family - a cute couple and good food! We went with sister Adams to go see Brenda. It was nice she was home, and we got to visit her for a bit. Wednesday night we also had correlation with our mission leader Brother Harris. He is a cool guy. If you need something to study this week, How about Sanctification. He talked to us about that. Yes, a big word, but ah, so good. I can tell y'all I definately need to work on being more Sanctified. It was a good time! Thursday: Thursday morning we went to help with food orders! It is about an hour away, but totally worth it! I love doing service...if there is one thing I have come to love, it would be dang service. Who would have guessed? Yes my family is probably so shocked, but my mother is probably delighted. Haha. Anyways! Service. Love that stuff.
We had lunch with Sister Dagenais and her husband Jacques. He is from Canada and speaks FRENCH! Shout out to Rhett, French! Jacques is not a member, but it was a fun time, they are good people. Thursday afternoon we did some weekly planning, guys, every Thursday!
But we got to go to helping hands today, because we had the car! Can you tell how I feel to have the car? Just had to take time to cry and be thankful for the car here. We have the car every other day, so now we go to helping hands every other Friday or Thursday so it was nice! Thursday evening we had dinner with the Wights...yes we hang out with them a lot, but we love them!!
Thursday night we went to our Relief Society activity, which was fun, but guess who got her mission call! VANESSA! FINALLY!!! AHHHH!! And...she is going to the ANAHEIM CALIFORNIA SPANISH SPEAKING MISSION!!! We are SO HAPPY FOR HER! So happy, it brought a lot of memories back to me! #ohhappytimes Friday: Friday! We went to see a less active lady named Vicki, with Sis Bradbury. Oh I love Vicki. She is awesome. She also has the cutest boys ever! We shared with her a Mormon message, I think it is called "A Mother's Hope." Very good Mormon message! Super good! We went to do service for Angel again, but this time is was easy and fast! All we did was pull weeds and guess what...we walked home! We walked on 98, they call it "Bloody 98" Because it is a very dangerous road to walk or bike, its a good thing we have God on our side protecting us! Sister Schlaffer came and picked us up, and we went to the church and she taught us more about FH (Family History!), is awesome! Go check it out! :) She took us out to Wendys! I don't even remember the last time I had Wendy's so it was fun! Friday night was fun, we went back to the church and played Volleyball! #killenit. Saturday: Wow, today was AWESOME! We had 3 lessons that we did NOT plan. God is so good to us. We saw a lady named Tracy and we got to meet her daughter and granddaughter. We shared with them about the Book of Mormon, and explained what it was all about - gotta love that book! #ITISTRUE! We then went to see a less active family, the Coopers. They have a son who is 9 named Camden. He is such a sweet spirit. We go inside and Camden asks us if we can teach him, and uh, yeah! Oh and he wants to be baptized so bad! So we were able to teach him a lesson and at the end of the lesson he gave such a sweet prayer. I know there is a reason why Christ says we need to be like a child, humble and meek. Even though he is only 9, he has the biggest spirit. So sweet. We went to see Joyce again and guess what!? We gave her a church tour! It was AMAZING! All she could say was how impressed and how amazing our church building was...but we all know, the Spirit was there! So cool. She told us she will come to church soon! Ah we are praying! Saturday night we had dinner with the Marshalls! Love that family. Saturday later night we played B-Ball with the Elders...mmhmm. I won, j/k... but I think I am getting better?! ;) Ah Saturday was a good day! Thank you Heavenly Father! #Blessedday Sunday: Sundays are one of my favorite days. A day to think about my relationship with Heavenly Father and God. Our ward has been focusing on families. First I would love to say, how thankful and how blessed I am for my family. They mean the world to me, and I am reminded everyday how wonderful they are. I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation, especially now. All I can say and testify is that families are forever. Why would God gives us families, if they weren't forever? So thankful for that precious gift. Family. Thankful for the Nielson Clan of mine. Love y'all so much. Oh it was so awesome! Isaac who was just recently baptized was able to pass the sacrament today!!! Oh we were SO happy, he looked so happy and so thrilled. Love this Gospel. Sunday afternoon we were invited to have lunch with Joyce and her Husband Carl, Vanessa came with us and it was a wonderful time! Once again, I just love EVERYONE here so much. Sunday was just a great lovely day. Overall this week has been great! Time is flying and I hate it, because I know my time is short, so I am trying to make it the best! Finding the moments that really do count. Moments to serve my Savior. I love Him and I love the Gospel with all my heart. This church is true. No one can tell me it is not, and even though missions are hard, the Savior knows how we feel. He was felt all my pain, all my sadness, but he has also felt all my happiness. I love Him and I love this work. I am so, so, so blessed to be here in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. Thank y'all for the love and support and prayers! I love y'all Big! Sister Nielson

Friday, September 18, 2015

I Love Gulf Breeze!!

This week has been FULL of crazy, good, shocking things, but overall my heart is FULL. It is kinda crazy how missionary time goes. Weeks fly by, days are either super fast or super slow, but every moment, minute, hour counts! #Wanttobeamissionaryforever Monday: In the real would people do not like Monday, but Monday on a mission is the best! Monday afternoon we went out with a girl named Vanessa (Crossing our fingers she will get her mission call this week!) We went out to get Frozen Yogurt, at a place called "Sweet Frog." I think sweets are good for the soul a lot of the time:) We went shopping...but hey! I only bought One shirt instead of two! That's good, ya? It was a good time with her! Monday night, we had dinner with the Smith's and we had FHE with them, then they took us to get snowcones...snowcones in September!? Haha, ya pretty RAD! Overall, a goooooood day! Tuesday: WE GOT OUR CAR TAKEN AWAY. Uh yeah, okay back up Tuesday, we had our normal district meeting, which was great! Sister Kinghorn spoke and taught about attitude! We all went out to Whataburger for lunch as a district...than we get a text from the ZL's saying we needed to call them (SCARY) So we call them..."Hey sisters we are taking your car, another set of sister missionaries needs it in Dothan, we will be there in 40 minutes to come get it." OKAY! So in less than 2 hours we were carless! So we are now in a car share with the Navarre Sisters! Which is....good. Haha! Riding bikes here we come! Tuesday was kinda crazy, but Tuesday night was fun! The Stubbs took us out to dinner and Sis Stubbs took us out to see people! Super sweet girl. Love her!!
Wednesday: Oh man....we ate WAY to much food today! Wednesday morning Sis Schlaffer took us out to breakfast to a cute place called "Sail In" she is awesome! Wednesday afternoon we went to a lady's home named Patty, she isn't a member, but she knows Mormons and lived in Utah for a bit! Woot!! We had a nice lunch with her and it was great! We went to see Sis Scheaffer, and we talked about Christlike love with her, something I have been working on for sometime now, it made me think, "Am I loving like Christ would?" Christlike love, it can get to you! Wednesday night some of the sisters in our ward took us out to dinner with Mitzi, who came back to visit, it was super fun with all of them! :) Thursday: Thursday! We went to breakfast with the sisters and had a fun time with them! We did some awesome weekly planning and updated a lot of things, since we will be riding bikes and since we don't have our old GPS anymore! Thursday night I was able to receive a blessing from Brother Smith, something that I really needed. Something I have learned while being out here, that it is okay not to be okay. It was nice to hear what Heavenly Father needed me to hear from Him. I am thankful for blessings.
Friday: Friday! I wore my new shirt - pretty Florida looking, eh? In the morning Sister West and Brother West took us out to "Sail In" (Again this week hahah!) We had a nice time with them. We went to see a lady named Dawn. Her husband is a member but he is in the hospital right now, so we went to see how she was doing. She is from London, and oh, I love her accent so much! We then did our weekly service at Helping Hands! Super fun! After that, we went to visit Sister Wight, I love the Wight's so much! Friday night we had dinner with the Smith's with the other sisters, then went to play volleyball! Still no bueno at that sport! Ha! But I love it! Saturday: Saturday Vanessa took us to our farthest area to see some former investigators and try people we haven't tried before! It was super fun with her! We were able to meet a lady named Tracy we are hoping to see again, and we saw Kathy, which is always a nice time! Friday afternoon we biked to the church from our apartment...and it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be (cause I thought I was going to die!) But I am still alive, probably because the weather was super nice! :) Saturday night we had dinner with the Marshall's. Oh and I realized that I have a cold...but as a missionary, you just gotta keep going! Sunday: I love Sundays! I love church and I love having a day to remember Christ. It is always so nice. After Church we went to see a girl named Carolyn. She is awesome. We were able to teach her the Restoration. Her mom is a new member and wants Carolyn to experience what the church is like, too! But funny story....! Her dog peed on my FOOT! It was the funnest thing...but hey! Her Aunt hurried and came over and washed my feet - it was so sweet, but so funny! I guess I am now marked as that dog's "territory" Haha so great!
Here we are with Brother Taylor at the Church parking lot. We had dinner with the Taylor's, and they are one of the best families too! Man, just EVERYONE here is the best. My heart is full because of the love I feel here. I am so thankful to be here in Gulf Breeze. Gulf Breeze will always be my favorite area, with my favorite people. Overall a good week, I love my mission. I love our Savior. I hope to be like Him one day, though I am far from it, but everyday I try. Quote of the week. "We would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most." -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. (Love that man.) Hope y'all have a good week! I love y'all lots! Sister Nielson

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Yippee! A Baptism!!

Monday: Monday we had a GOOOOD P-day! Sister West took us out the whole P-day!
We went to lunch to this Japanese Restaurant...and guess what I ate!?! Octopus. It was very chewy and just weird. Probably something I won't ever eat in my life again. But hey, A for effort!?
Then we got our NAILS done. Everyone, this is a BIG deal. Just kidding. But hey it is nice to have Gel nails again for a bit, also I was able to talk to this older man, who was getting a manicure right next to me about the Gospel, so it was a win-win for both of us! Haha!
We got way good ice cream that was so much needed in the heat! (Is it Fall yet in Utah?) We visited this older lady named Clara in a retirement home, oh my heart was melted! She was the sweetest thing. Something that made me laugh Clara said..."They sure do make missionaries cute nowadays." She was just so cute and so nice. (She reminded me a lot of my sweet Grandma! Shout out to you Grandma! I love you!) Monday was just a fun good day!! :)
Tuesday: Tuesday, we had our last District meeting with our District Leader, Elder Christensen (second row, at the back) who is getting transferred! And so is Sister Kirton (second row in the front in royal blue) who is serving in Navarre. We had a good last District meeting and had a little pizza party to say goodbye and all. I will miss them, but hey! Elder Christensen is now in Thomasville, Georgia and Sister Kirton is now in Dothan, Alabama, and our new District leader is Elder Hatori, he is from California and is half Japanese and Hawaiian! (Asian unity!) His photo is below with the Saturday pictures. He is cool! Tuesday we taught a lesson about church and prayer and scriptures to Joyce, and invited her to come to church. She has had some hard patches in her life, but is so kind and knows Heavenly Father has watched out for her. She is amazing! Tuesday night we had dinner with the Alvarez family. Vanessa Alvarez who is my age should be getting her mission call THIS week! We are SOOOOO EXCITED for her! She is going to be the BEST missionary out there.
So here we are in our clean, clean kitchen, grinning at the end of a super successful day! Do we look happy? Mission work is awesome! What a great day! Wednesday: I always thought Wednesday was spelled like "Wensday" till coming out on the mission...hahah...random funny moment I had. Today was a good day! We did a lot of contacting and met a lady named Susan, who let us in her house and gave us some water and we talked to her for a bit. She isn't a member but we could tell she really needed someone to talk to, so it was sweet. Her mother paints and is an amazing artist! Susan's house is full of art work. She showed us all the art work, and I just loved it SO much! I really believe if you go into someone's home and look at pictures on the wall and ask about who are in them or whatever is on their walls is a GREAT way to learn about who they are. Haha - it is kind of funny because sometimes I will just stand up and look at pictures because I love learning about THEM. It was a nice visit!
Wednesday night we had a GREAT lesson with the Myers, we showed them the video "LIFT" and after watching it, Isaac starting crying. It was so sweet because he told us he has a testimony about service and wanted to share his testimony at his baptism. We are SO excited for him. Then he showed me how to play with lasers. Should I audition for the next Star Wars series? I don't think so, either. But that was a fun activity at the Myers' house.
Thursday: Thursday morning we got up and went right to help with food orders...and as you can see I tried on a helmet. Always wondered what I would look like in a helmet. Pretty silly with a dress, right? Okay, that was random.
But - good news! Guess who is in our zone now...SISTER STRADINGER!!! In case you forgot who she is, here is here picture from the Half Mission Conference two weeks ago: She got transferred to Fox Run, so now I will see her a little more than before! If there is someone I hope to be like when I grow up, it might be Sister Stradinger. Love that girl. We did our normal weekly planning, but while we were talking to Sister Woolstenhulme on the phone, Sister Kinghorn picked up this shell I found at the sound a few weeks ago and started screaming because there was a DEAD CRAB in it....oh my gosh. It smelled SO BAD! Anyways back up story about this shell....just a few weeks ago we went to the sound with one our of members on Sunday and I found this beautiful shell, pretty far away from the water, and so I asked Sister Hall if I could take it and she told me that there might be a hermit crab in it, so we put it down and waited to see if it would come out...well it never did and we tried to poke a stick in it to see if anything would happen. Well nothing did, so I thought it was safe enough to take home...well I was sure wrong because there was a crab in it and little did we know....till 2 weeks of having the shell in our apartment. So yes. Sister Kinghorn and I are somewhat crab killers but, lesson learned. ;) Do crabs stink when they die!? Answer: YES. Thursday night was fun because we were able to make the programs for Isaac's baptism with Sister West and get a few things ready for Sunday! Friday: Friday!!! Friday we went to see Kathy,and talked about Christlike LOVE. The Language of love. It has been one of my favorite lessons to teach, because love can be taken in SO many ways, but the perfect love is Christlike love. I always say this but every lesson we teach to Kathy is something that I, Sister Nielson always need. I always laugh because really I am just teaching myself what I need. Haha, it is great. "Charity is love in action." -President Thomas S Monson. Sure do love that quote. We went to Helping Hands and did our normal service there and guess what!? They donated us a NEW couch for our apartment...our old couch smelled like Elders with BO. Mmmhmmm so nasty. So we are SO thankful to them, plus it is white and we got super cute pillows for it! Yep, we are so stoked about our new couch! A blessing from Service! Peggy and Tammy were SO giddy about giving it to us, it was so cute. Friday night we had a fun dinner with the Hogans, we went to the church to meet the Myers for Isaac's baptism interview which went super good! Overall a good day! :)
Saturday: Saturday morning we had cooralation with our ward mission leader, and we got to go to his dock with the Elders. How cool is this photo? Elder Thompson and Elder Hitori are in the background. Isn't the Gulf of Mexico something special? (Note: we are NOT on the beach!) Then went and picked up the couch with Trena - YAY! That was fun!
And here is a picture of our District Leader, Elder Hitori! He is in the background. He is part Japanese, so now I am not the only Asian in my District! This is the Meyer's garage. And while were were there...
I got to CUT some hair! Probably one of my FAV things to do as service here on the mission! I was able to cut Brother Myers and Isaac's hair for the baptism on Sunday! (Gotta look good right?) It was super fun! Brother Myers brother, and his wife came out for the baptism so we were able to meet them and I cut their hair the humidity and heat...mmhmmm, let me tell you. it was HOT. All I wanted was it to rain...and guess what happened!? Oh Rain. Haha. So funny. Even though I was sweaty and sticky, I loved it all!
Sunday: BEST DAY on the mission! Sunday Isaac was BAPTIZED! It was such a sweet baptism. Brother Myers was able to baptize him, and his uncle was able to confirm him, oh it was just wonderful! Earlier that day we were talking to Brother Myers and he was telling us how he has found his testimony, after Isaac was baptized he told us that he had this anger and hurt, but now it is all gone. Oh wow, I just LOVE that so much!! How awesome. His mom, who isn't a member, sang "How great thou Art" which was so beautiful. I am just so happy for them. It has been amazing to see this family come closer to Christ together. That is what missionary work is all about. I am grateful. I love my Savior, I love who He is and His sacrifice for us, so that one day we will all be able to be with Him again. I am grateful for everyone I meet and everyone that we get to talk about Christ to. It is the best thing in the world. I know that He Lives. He is real. He was the perfect example to all. I love y'all! Sis Nielson!