Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Just another day in Paradise..."

Today it is about 68 degrees outside...I guess this winter here in Florida has been super warm because it usually gets colder! But I am getting a tan line from my Toms shoes! Haha! So I guess the sun is shining! The cold part about the weather is definitely the humidity. There is no way to be warm because it goes into your soul. Utah is dry cold, and Florida is wet cold...which is a very different feeling. But I am thankful for the nice warm days!
This is me with the statue of the founder of FSU (first a seminary in 1856, then later FSU) Francis W. Eppes, grandson of Thomas Jefferson! I think he's interested in reading the Book of Mormon! Something Good: Wow! So many good things this week! I really do believe if we are obedient and do our part to be the best we can, the Spirit guides us and the work goes on. Campus has shown me that so much in the few weeks I have been here! We met with Jose twice this week, and GUYS! Jose is just SO awesome!! He is loving the scriptures and loving the learning he is receiving! Each time we meet with him and read the Book of Mormon, it is exactly what he is looking for! It has been so cool to see how the Book of Mormon really truly answers inspired questions. Jose came to church last week and really enjoyed it! It was such a miracle finding him. He is just SO ready for the Gospel! :) We had a lesson with Alan, our gator, who is ready to be baptized in just a few weeks! We read in Mosiah and it really helped him feel better about baptism. It's crazy because Satan is trying so hard to bring him down, but the Spirit is just so much stronger! Oh yes! Another highlight...we have a gator named Keegan!! Oh my gosh. I ADORE him. He is just so awesome! We do FH (family history) with him every week and it is SO cool to see how the spirit of Elijah is so real! We where able to go back to the 1600's with his family!! I LOVE FH IS SO MUCH!! Who would have ever thought!? Hahah. Yep! This week has just been so awesome, amazing lessons and amazing people to talk to! :)
This is Sister Hall and I on Sunday contacting people on campus! Something Crazy: Sister Hall and I have both have had our downs this week! We all know about my foot and heel...well this week, my heel was hurting SO much, and since we walk all day, it just kept getting worse, to the point where I couldn't even walk! So they had me call the mission nurse and she was able to figure out what was wrong and helped me get some pain medicine for it and now I am doing just fine and can walk! Yay! But also I was able to get a blessing and I really think that is the reason I am doing so much better - it is crazy because it stopped hurting so quickly. Blessings are amazing! Another crazy moment - Sister Hall had a crazy anxiety/panic attack this week and I had NO idea what to do, so we went back to the Institute and the Dalley's where able to help her, again! A Priesthood blessing was given, she was able to calm down and we where able to go to the doctor to get some medicine for now both of us are doing SO much better. Even though it has been a little crazy this week, blessings work!! :)
This is a Sister-to-Sister hug!!! You can see our joy at being Sister Missionaries - sometimes we are just so happy to be serving the Lord, we just have to hug! Sister Vailea, my Tongan sister, is one of my best friends! Here we are at the Mission Office where we had interviews with President Smith this week! :) And she says Hi!! She is going to come to Utah one day to meet our family! :) And she always tells me she is going to fly me out to New Zealand to meet her family! Haha! That would be so awesome! ;) Her mom works for International Air Fare and wants me to come meet them! :) Oh! I also found out...we will be getting a new Mission President in just a few months! And guess what their names are!?! President and Sister Smith!! Haha! How awesome is that!? Two Mission Presidents with the same name!
We found this sign outside just a few days ago! And its true, Jesus does love you, and me, and all of us. That's why I'm here! To spread that Good News and help people to come to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Something Learned: The work does go on, even though sometimes Satan tries to get in the way to stop the Lord's work, but Ha! We beat him every single time! It is just amazing to see the work move on, especially when we do have crazy days, it still keeps going, I just am so happy to be serving on Campus, it is a very humbling experience, because sometimes I feel like I cannot do it, but somehow I keep doing it, and I know I can because this is truly the Lord's work. It is the only true Church and Heavenly Father always helps us to keep going. I think that happens in life, too. Sometimes we just feel like we can't go on, but hey! We can, because Heavenly Father and Christ want us to be happy, and if we are doing the good things, He will always provide a way for us to keep going. :) I LOVE missionary work, I LOVE the people, I LOVE campus, but mostly... I LOVE Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so much. The Gospel, you could say, is pretty awesome. :) LOVE Y'ALL! Sister Nielson :)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Tender moments that make walking and talking all day worth it!

Something Good: Hello!! This week has been great! But to start off, let me just tell you, campus life is hard...we get rejected A LOT. We walk and talk a lot which is tiring, but I am learning to love it, because with a good attitude and the Spirit, we are led to those who are prepared! So to help my companion talk to people, we do something called divide and conquer. It is a lot more effective and we both go and talk to people within sight and sound of each other. ;) I went up to a guy named Jose, and started talking to him. He was super nice and so friendly, and we start talking about the Church and he asks me how I felt when I knew the Church was true. So I told him that the Spirit touches my heart and I just feel happy. Well, he told me that a few months ago he really wanted to know if Heavenly Father loved him. So he asked God, and he said he felt the same feelings that I felt! It was so cool because the Spirit was helping both of us learn and grow. At the end of our conversation, he told me he believes things happen for a reason and that there is a reason why I talked to him. So we are going to start teaching him this week! So happy and so thankful for the Spirit for guiding me to Jose! :) We have had some awesome lessons this week! One was with a girl named Brittany I found just on Tuesday! She told us that we have this spirit about us that she just loves so much. She is just so cool! She is so open and so loving! Missionary work is all about just being yourself and being real with people. :) Alan our "gator" is still planning to be baptized in about a month! We went over the baptism questions and he is just SO ready! I am so excited for him!! I have seen so many miracles on campus this week! There are people ready!! I love it!! This week we also had this wonderful worldwide Missionary Training about how to "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts." It was Amazing!! We were able to hear from Elder Anderson, Elder Oaks, Elder Nielson, Elder Bednar, Sister Oscarson, Pres. Clayton and one more I think! They taught us so many things and it was amazing!! :) So thankful for all the leaders of the Church to teach us and guide us!
So we decided to give Sister Hall's hair a new "do." It's called a Pixie Cut!
And here is the "evidence" that I cut her hair! She looks so cute! I hope this new haircut will boost her confidence to talk to people on campus. She is so awesome!
Here I am with my girl, Sister Vailea! Look, we match! This photo is taken at the FSU Insti- tute!
So this is a picture at the Institute with Sister Hall, me and KC, who did not want her photo taken! Hahaha!
So our foursome Sisters have a great time together! Here is a car selfie and you can tell we are having fun together! I love serving with these awesome Sisters. Something Funny: So one morning we decide to go running with the other Sisters, and I am jogging and roll my ankle again!! Another time this week I hit my heel against something and now my heel is forming a bruise which kills to walk on! I think Heavenly Father is letting me experience just a little of what the pioneers felt, which is humbling for sure! My feet are not liking this area one bit, but we all laugh because we all think I am bound to break my ankle sooner or later, so y'all pray that it doesn't happen! ;) Another funny story! So we are waiting and looking for this girl on campus because we have a lesson with her and I am sitting just waiting and this guy comes up to me and asks me if I want a rose...I bust up laughing because..Uh, Hi! I am a missionary! He gives it to me anyway and walks away. Oh the Campus life! It is just wonderful! It is funny to be around so many kids my age. I just can't help but laugh to myself! Sure am loving Campus!!! #Nolesforever
So here we are with our RC (Recent Covert) Q, in the Institute kitchen. He is such a funny, awesome guy! Something Learned: Everyday when we go out to campus the Fear of Man hits me SO hard!! I think I will always be scared to talk to people. But campus is teaching me that it doesn't matter if I am scared or if I will mess up when I talk to people. No, all I need to do is gain just 20 seconds of courage and open my mouth like crazy! There are people everywhere and I am learning that if I can just be myself and be open, then miracles do happen, Sometimes it is hard to find people, but if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, we will be lead to the one who is open to hear the Gospel. :) Each day I am learning more about who I am as a person, what God needs me to do and what He needs me to learn. Missions are dang hard, but every second and minute is worth it. I love the Gospel. I love the work. I love this new trial I am facing everyday, because I am learning. It is true what they say..."They never said it would be easy, but that it would be worth it." I am convinced that is true. I love the Lord, and I love being a missionary! I am feeling good! it is definitely cold because this humidity is the worst - it sinks into your skin! Haha! Oh it is wonderful!:) Thank y'all for everything!! Have a good week!! #Moroni8:25-26:) "25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; 26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God." Now THAT'S something to look forward to!! Love y'all!! -Hermana Nielson (Ha!)

Monday, January 18, 2016

FSU is Full of Good Times!

Backtrack: I wanted to include this photo of my girls from Gulf Breeze at transfers on Jan 6, Sister Kinghorn and Sister Yo! Shout out to them!
This photo shows what it's like when we all transfer to another area and/or companion. After our instruction meeting inside a meetinghouse building, we all go our separate ways. See the bikes being put onto the backs of different cars? (Sorry, "The Best Two Years" does not show that correctly - you are never alone on any public transportation on a Mission. We stick together and increase our safety that way.)
Something Good: Wow - FSU is full of good times! This school is amazing, and the people make it even more better! I really know Heavenly Father wants me to serve here for a reason! This is a map of this gigantic campus and the next photo of Seminole Drive is on campus.
So many good things! Oh man - where to start?! Well! One of our investigators named Alan, has set a BCD (baptism confirmation date)! It was so awesome because really...he kinda just set his own! Yes! So exciting! Please pray for Alan to have the courage to talk to his parents about the Church and his baptism! And that everything will go well, too. :) Thank you! It was just an awesome lesson with him about having courage to believe what you believe. :) He is so prepared and so ready! We had lunch with one of our LA's (less actives) named Jenn. She has gone through a LOT in her life, but she is the COOLEST girl ever! Oh I just adore her so much! We had a killer lesson about being a Good Samaritan, and well, guess what..she already is one! She told us little things she had already done that week for people she awesome! Now we just need to get her to Church! :)
So! Another cool little miracle of the week! I was SUPER always...(sort of sunny and warm here, even in January) and asked Sister Hall if we could go get we do and we meet this AWESOME girl named Chasity. She is so open and so kind! So funny, but she actually took our number down, and we where able to explain the Book of Mormon to her! It is so cool to be serving where the Spirit is so good to tell us where people are! I love it! :) And, really great news - If we have people to come along with us, we are able to go to Institute class, which is AMAZING! Institute is the BEST! We are in the Pearl of Great Price class and I am learning SO much! The shortest parable in the Bible is about 2 verses long that tells us about the pearl of great price and how this man gives everything he has for the pearl of great price. So in the class it really made me think..."What I am willing to give up for the gospel?" It is such a wonderful thing we have in our lives, so a good question to think about :)
We where able to meet with our RC (recent convert) named Q, who is the FUNNIEST guy ever. Oh Q, I just adore him so much!! We did some family history (this photo with Q is in the FH library) and watched some great Mormon messages! This week we had exchanges! I was able to go to TCC (Tallahassee Community College), which compared to FSU is SO SMALL. I was with Sister Holmes, she is the greatest! :) We had this AMAZING lesson with a girl named Berkeley, who is SO PREPARED for the Gospel. We taught her the Plan of Salvation! The spirit was so strong and it was just beautiful! :) So cool - she is reading Preach My Gospel and thinks it is SO cool we can do baptisms for the dead. Man I love her so much!! So many wonderful things this week :) So many tender blessing! I LOVE CAMPUS!!!
Something Funny: Oh, so funny story...We where walking to the institute on Wednesday...and saw this guy, so I go up and start talking to him. Well, I was trying to give him a pass along card and they all fall out of my he helps me pick them up...well little did I know I was walking RIGHT into a pot hole....haha so we can all guess what happened...I fell and rolled my ankle in FRONT OF HIM. SO EMBARRASSING!!! So for the second time he comes down to the ground and helps me back up...haha.. I was dying inside! Well, later that day my ankle was swollen and it hurt so bad. So our senior couple had me sit and ice it...we didn't make it to campus that day. But hey! They say talk to everyone...I sure did. :) That probably is the more funny part of the week, but hey! No need to worry I am good! :) Some things I have is embarrassing and all you gotta do is laugh out loud, a lot. :)
Something Learned: Oh so many wonderful lessons learned this week! The biggest one though I really have felt I needed to learn was that ALL efforts are NOT wasted. We talk to so many people every day and a lot of them do not appreciate our message or our little card, but the cool thing is, that if we go and tell one person, JUST ONE person, one eternal truth everyday, we are doing what the Savior himself did. That is a mission. Sometimes I am so tired of walking and talking to random collage kids who don't care, and all I want to do is give up, but then I have to remember that the Savior did NOT give up. Many times he probably felt like he wanted to, but he didn't because EVERY soul is great in the sight of God. Campus has really shown me that:) Peace. I have been studying out of Howard W. Hunter's book about what is peace. It is amazing that True Peace can only come from Heaven. God and Christ are the ones that give us true peace, which comes to us through the Holy Ghost. On campus it is loud and crazy, and sometimes I have to take a moment and sit in peace, I am grateful for our Prince of Peace. I am loving campus more and more. <3 :="" a="" all="" am="" and="" blest="" class="separator" dear="" div="" do="" each="" for="" have="" i="" is="" me.="" me="" mission="" of="" on="" so="" special="" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" thank="" thankful="" to="" week="" y="" you=""> And a couple of pictures to make you smile...Here is a baby gator head!
And, what can I say? Polys are stronger than scrawny Kazakhs! But hey! We are SISTAHS!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Goodbye Lynn Haven and FSU Bound!

What an amazing week! Goodbyes said to people I love in Lynn Haven!
Here is our Lynn Haven District with our wonderful Senior Missionary Couple who has been so nice to us, especially at Christmas!, Elder and Sister Ross! They are so awesome! I wish every couple could have the privilege to serve a mission. They are such a strength to us younger missionaries! We love them!
And while we were taking photos, the Lynn Haven Elders took my camera, and this is what I found! Oh these awesome Elders! Something Good: Well the past few weeks have been AMAZING!!!
Paul and Paula were baptized, my people in Gulf Breeze! This is a photo of them taken in October! I am so happy for them, I love them so much!! Heavenly Father has been so good!! Some highlights from Lynn Haven! Here is a picture of the family I came to love the most in the brief six weeks I was there - the Morse family! Shout out to them! Thanks for all the tender loving care from Megan and for letting me adore your children!
I left Lynn Haven feeling good! The area is now better than what it was before! Carolyne, our investigator, is really considering being baptized! Our last few lessons with her where amazing. She opened up so much! Our lessons where so alive and so real! I will miss her, but I know good things will come to her! Sister Stewart is staying in Lynn Haven, so I know she will continue to help her come to Christ. :) Here is my goodbye picture with Miss Carolyne. Look at that blue sky and green grass and palm trees. Does Utah look like this in January? This is so amazing to be experiencing a semi-tropical climate in the winter. See? No coat!! I will miss this warm place next winter!
And this is one of our favorites, Leola, who we visited every week in Lynn Haven. I will miss her! She has a wonderful spirit.
Just before transfers, Sister Stewart and I were taken out to dinner at The Olive Garden by "Smokey," from the Lynn Haven ward.
And we got to go to lunch with the Smith's, also from the Lynn Haven ward. We loved them - such nice, nice people. It was a good experience to serve for six weeks - one transfer - in the Lynn Haven ward, Panama City. I know Sister Stewart will continue to do great things there! It was fun to serve with her once again! She will always be in my heart!
Here are almost all the missionairies in the Panama City Zone! This is at a shopping place called Pier Park on our last Monday P-Day. See how the building is painted the color of the Gulf of Mexico water, and coral and warm yellow, like the Florida sunshine and sunset colors. What a beautiful place it is here. I have meet such nice members, investigators and Missionary Sisters and Elders. It's been a really wonderful place to serve, even for a short time!
And now, to turn a page in my Mission Memories Book, we find that I am no longer there in Lynn Haven! I am now serving on the campus of FSU!! Dream transfer for sure!!! :) I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be! I felt it very strongly walking right onto campus! FSU: AMAZING SCHOOL!!!! What if I went there for school!? Haha j/k! It is definitely a party school, big time! But the Florida State Seminoles sports are amazing!!
The campus is HUGE!! It is kind of overwhelming, but I love it so so much!! Missionary work is SO different on a campus...planning takes us seriously like 5 to 10 mins every night because all we do is walk and talk on campus to everyone everyday!! I love it!! It's nice to be around people my own age, too...! Oh I am just SO happy!!
My Companion is Sister Hall. And she is AMAZING!! I already love her so much!! She is so good. She is helping me adjust to the campus life so well. She is definitely an amazing missionary!
Also..she does make she does my make up and I do her hair! :) You could say it's a good companionship! ;) We had a cool experience on campus just a few days ago. We were contacting and met a guy named Steven! We gave him a card and walked away. Well, he calls us back and asks us if we have heard of this movie...(Random!?) Ha. Well we start talking to him and he pretty much tells us his WHOLE life story...and it was not a really good one..he has had a rough life! (The Gospel would be perfect for him, yes?!) We give him a Book of Mormon, but he seems a little unsure, so we tell him, we could meet him again and read it with him. So hopefully it works out! The whole meeting him was definitely inspired! Before we met him, we were on our way to the stadium, but I really needed a drink so we went another way and that's when met him! He is super cool and so open!! Such a good way to start in a new place! :) So excited to serve on Campus! Something Funny: So Sister Hall and I are at home and the phone rings...we don't know the number but of course we pick it up...and a guy on the phone says, "Hey..uh, um do y'all believe that Satan controls water...?" We both look at each other SO confused...anyways! I take the phone and talk to him for a minute..I ask what his name was and his response..." name is...uh, um... it's Paul..." Hahaha! We where laughing so hard, but we kept it together! Then he asks us, if we believe in salvation and if Mormons believe the whole salvation thing! Well we tell him about the Plan of Salvation and he was all like "Yes! Thank you!" Haha!! Anyways, we ended the phone call and just died laughing...haha! Only on campus that would happen most likely. LOL! In the end...we might have thought we was a little drunk! Haha..not good! But hey, it was a funny moment for us!
Another good, funny moment was when I first arrived in Tallahassee and saw one of my Sisters...Sister V! (Sister Vaiela) We served together in Navarre...I snuck behind her and surprised her and she screamed and was freaking out! The funny part was it happened during an Institute class. We might have gotten in trouble a little... ;) If you have ever been in a Seminary or Institute, the inside of this building will look familiar to you! So here we are at the Florida State University LDS Institute! A safe and good place! So thankful for the chance I get to serve together with Sister V again!! Woot! Oh the joys of serving on a campus! Everyday we are on campus we hear the funniest, most random stuff ever! I love it! :) Something Learned: Oh many things have I learned so far! First, Meekness...what is that!? Well, so far I have learned, meekness is a Christlike attribute. It comes when we humble ourselves enough that God will give us just a taste of His love for his children. Learning this is important now because it has been a little hard jumping in and talking to everyone on campus. But with meekness and love, we can do anything! I am thankful for the little lessons I am learning and experiencing,because really I need them everyday! Another thing! Talking to EVERYONE! Sometimes it can be scary to talk to strangers...I mean don't we learn not to do that!? Haha! But serving on a campus, that is ALL we do! I have been reminding myself a lot lately that..EVERY soul doesn't matter if we are judged, it matters that we try, and that give it our all.
Heavenly Father knows who is ready. Sister Nielson just needs to be humble and willing to embrace the scariness, and have courage and be a true disciple of Christ. I really am thankful I was sent to FSU. It is probably the best place to see God's children as they are. :) "Every soul is great," such a good reminder. I am loving this work. Everyday I am reminded how blessed I am to be a missionary and to be sharing the Gospel. Everyone is a missionary; we don't need a tag to be one. The tag just reminds me how to spell my name and to let people see who we love...Jesus Christ! <3 I love, love love this work!! So thankful to be in this part of His vineyard at this time! I know everything we share is true, I am so thankful for y'all, and all the love and support!! :) Hope y'all have a wonderful blessed week!! I love all y'all and each y'all! <3 Sister Nielson #FSU #GONOLES

Monday, January 4, 2016

Getting transferred!!

Hi Everyone!! So I am being transferred to Florida State University - FSU!!! Ah!! I am SO excited to serve there!!! I don't have a lot of time today to email because we have so much to do and I need to go pack and all, but I will get to email on Saturday this week...because Pdays on campus are on Saturdays! So now our mission has a new thing about transfers! When we get the call, we now get to find out where we are going and who our new companion is! So my new comp is Sister Hall. I will get to meet her on Wed! Ah, its been a short time in Lynn Haven, but I am ready for a new change! I think this is my new address...1924 W Pensacola St. #103, Tallahassee FL 32309, but I will let you know for sure on Saturday:) Well this week was great, it was kinda a crazy one with transfers and the new year. It doesn't feel like January at all because there is no snow! But people keep telling me that January and February are going to be the coldest months. Ah! I am grateful for this Mission. It has been challenging and hard, but I am thankful for it because I have learned I can do hard things. Even when I feel at my lowest, the Savior has always brought me up. I am thankful for the Gospel. It really is the Good News to the world! The worth of every soul is great to God. I know it. I am so thankful for the time I have to give it my all to the Savior. I love this work, I love it, I love it! I will send pics on Saturday, too, because I forgot my sd card. :P Love, Sister Nielson