Friday, April 29, 2016

A Week FULL of Adventure always!

"Walk with Him" Our mission just made these pass along cards! Yep we are super cool. Something Good: Wow, this week was just good. Sometimes I wonder how weeks can just be so good. Also this week flashed before my eyes, so that was crazy! So a few weeks ago, we ran into a older man and gave him a FH card. Weeks passed, and this past week we get a call and it is him! His name is Barry and he wanted to do some FH! He is the cutest old man ever. He walked to the church with us, holding Sister Beal's hand (She loved that..) We were able to find some awesome stuff for him. He brought a picture of his great, great grandfather and it was tender! We will probably have to give him to the other missionaries, since he isn't going to FSU, but he is super cool! Jose, man this guy. If the only thing I was supposed to do on FSU was find Jose and help build his faith from nothing, to where he is now, then I am happy. It has been so cool to see his growth, his prayers have changed, his questions and thoughts have changed, his spirit has changed and that is worth all my time. :) He is leaving to go back to Tampa where he is from, but is cool with the idea of seeing the missionaries there, we are going to miss him A LOT...but continue to pray for him. There is real power in prayer! So this week, we had a killer District meeting. Usually they aren't my favorite but this week it was amazing! We talked about using the Book of Mormon when people reject us or when we use it to answer concerns and wow! It works! Again, I will always be grateful for that little blue book full of truth and knowledge. Cool fact I learned about the Book of Mormon...Joseph Smith needed to be married before translating the Book of Mormon along with becoming more mature and if you think about it, Adam needed Eve, Abraham needed Sarah, Lehi's sons needed wives and so forth. Women are the best! ;)
We have been doing "mission prep" classes for Angy and Ali, they are in our ward and it has been the best thing! We read PMG with them and help them understand it, it's helped me a ton in the short time we have been doing that. I love the gospel! It has been the BEST thing that happened this week. Highlight of my month for sure. Also! Congrats to my dear companion, she hit her 18 months this week!! She is AMAZING. <3 I think I talk about her a lot, but I really do love her so much!! Yay for Sister Beal!
Paul and Paula, my RC's (Recent Converts)and their dog, Sweetie, drove four hours today to come visit me! And then they went to see my former companion who helped teach them, Sister Kinghorn in Panama City! Blessings, on Blessings! They are the sweetest humans ever. It was amazing to see them. They have changed so much for the better and the light of Christ just shines in them. Oh it was Happy. Overall a blessed week :) A Tender Mercy: Okay, so Sister Beal got her bike stolen on Monday...and she really wanted to send it home, because it is one of best bikes. So we were confused and bummed. Well on Wednesday we were doing some studies and Elder Butler and Elder Bowman call us and say they FOUND her bike...we were freaking out! They tell us to call the cops and make a report now! So we do that, and at this time we have no idea if it is really her bike..but we do it anyway. We have Sister Leavitt take us to the Good Will where the Elders are at and the guy who STOLE her bike...hahah so awkward, there are 3 cops there and we pull up, and it is for sure HER bike. The guy who stole her bike made up all these funny stories about the bike and told us that he found it 2 months ago...uh...more like 2 days ago? Haha, but even crazier the main cop who helped us is a MORMON. What are the odds!?!? Oh it was just crazy. But the funny story is that the Elders saw the guy riding the bike on the side of the road, followed him and asked him about it and of course the guy didn't tell them he stole it, but he did tell the Elders where he was going. So they stalked him and found him and boom, everything good happened! Plus the officer who is a member, Officer Black took us all to lunch, it was so nice. :) See people! God knows!!! He takes care of us spiritually and temporally! Blessings, on blessings! :)
This is a photo at lunch with Elder Butler, Elder Bowman, Officer Black, Sister Beal and me. Something Learned: Something that I have been thinking about lately is something that President Smith says, "You can't just go through the mission, you need to let the mission go through you." I've been pondering this and have come to realize that it is so true! Everyday we have the choice to just follow the gospel, but do we really live it? Everyday I have the choice to follow the mission thing and do it, or I have the choice to really let what I am learning sink into my heart. To do and to live are very different. Living the Gospel because we have the desire and because we want to grow and change is so much easier than just going through the motions. I am grateful for agency for letting us decide for ourselves how we want to live. I feel like a lot of my happiness lately has happened because I am letting this mission go through me, and I am just loving it more and more everyday. <3 I love this work, it has become more mission fun than mission work, because it truly makes me happy. I am grateful for Florida and more the people in Florida. Hope everyone has a stellar week :) Love Y'all Big! <3 -Sis Nelson
P.S. We went to dinner with some people in our ward! left side to right side...Marie, Challie, me and Sister Beal! We went to Momo's. They have the largest pizza slices in Tally. Nope, didn't finish it!

Monday, April 18, 2016

One year of Happiness!

Something Good: This week has been pretty A-okay, can't complain given another week of service to God. :) It is crazy that I hit my one year mark on the mission this week! Time flew right before my eyes, but I sure am so thankful for the wonderful year I have had to serve! I love being a missionary, best thing ever. Well this week we had some awesome FH lessons, we started FH with Joi and she is LOVING it, she is just soaking it up so well. We are so excited for her and so happy we get to keep teaching her. :) She is so positive and its so cool, she just calls all of her family to get more info, because she just wants it all. Spirit of Elijah is just wonderful! Oh yes! We are reading the Book of Mormon with a guy named Chris, and it is just the best thing ever, he asks so many questions and when he receives his answer it just clicks to him. Book of Mormon is totally a true book for sure! We have been able to read the talk that was given in the priesthood session by Elder Nelson, "Price of the Priesthood" with some of our RC's who are preparing for the priesthood, and let me tell ya, that man is AMAZING. I am so thankful for the priesthood and the blessing we can receive from it.
Jose is doing a little better, he is still learning and still progressing, our lessons with him this week were awesome! We are praying that he will continue to progress and feel ready! Thank you for all your prayers for him. He has been able to see blessings in his life from Heavenly Father and it is just wonderful. :)
Over all this week has been bliss. <3 I am just so grateful for my time here, especially to my comp, Sister Beal. She is one of my best friends and I just adore her so much! <3 Mission life is just so much better when you are friends with your companion. #truth :)
So here is a way you can all tell that its getting really hot in Florida! Tan lines! Here is the tan line from my watch...I know. You are thinking, the Sisters are back on the sand? No. That's our apartment carpet - kind of looks like sand - but hey! No cockroaches in this apartment.
And my feet...can you tell which part of my foot is covered? (Thanks for the new shoes for my b-day, mom and dad). You've heard of a farmer's tan, well, now you know what a missionary tan is! Yep. The sun is pretty intense here, and we are out walking in that hot sun, like, all the time! Which brings me to.... A Tender Mercy story: Alright this might sound so silly but for us this week it was huge. Everyone knows we have to walk everywhere, well this week we had a appointment with Joi and were we usually meet her from our apartment is about an hour away. Anyway, we where kind of stuck waiting for a couple who were going to install something into our apartment and we knew we were going to be late, and we had no way to get a ride. So we left 30 mins before we were supposed to get there and let me tell you...we were booking it so fast. I am pretty sure my calves are huge. Haha, well we got there right at the time we told her we would be there! I really don't know how, but we where blessed to make it on time. I feel like being on time is so important when we see people, so I am thankful for the little tender mercy about being on time that we receive. Blessings>>>>
This is Angy Vasquez, Sister Beal and I on, you guessed it! Florida Street! Life is really hopping on Florida Street, just look behind us! Haha! Angy was helping us take an investigator home. Something Learned: So everyone, if you are stuck on reading the Book of Mormon or need something to read, read D&C!!! I am starting to read this book and I am loving it SO much. We study in the morning and I get so excited because I know that everything I read from D&C is just amazing. Well there is this one scripture that popped out to me. D&C 58:4. "For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory, the hour is not yet, but it is nigh at hand." I don't know about you, but this one hits my heart. I just love this scripture and I know it is true. :) I am thankful that we do have trials. They have made me grow into more than I ever thought I could become. I sure do love the Gospel because we are promised so many blessings if we strive to be faithful and do what we know is right. :) I love the scriptures and I am so thankful for the Prophet Joseph Smith for being so in tune with the Spirit to restore this happy Gospel. :)
And I want to add - Family History (FH) is awesome! I have loved reading the stories my mom has posted to FamilySearch about my grandpa, Grant Johnson. We have really had a great experience helping recent converts (RC's) and investigators find their families. Here we are helping Keegan find his family on FamilySearch. Y'all should try it! It is the greatest! My little brother, Asa Alex, has indexed over two thousand records! Thanks, Bro! You are helping people like Keegan find their families! Love y'all! <3 Sister Nielson

Friday, April 15, 2016

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence." -Joseph Smith Jr.

This day has already been the best day! I had a wonderful morning, Angy Vasquez in my ward, who we are super close with made us breakfast! :) Look at all the work she went to to decorate and make us feel loved! Thank you Angy!! And for those who sent greetings from home - pleas tell everyone thank you for the kind words for my birthday! I just feel so lucky and so loved! :)
Some of my people in my first area, one who is "Grandpa" who we stared teaching and his daughter and kids who are members are coming to Tally to take us out, and to Wakalla Springs! I guess it is the place to go, in Tally! And....we DID go! It was so nice to have P-day as my birthday!Here are the photos! :)
Something Good: High light of my week was seeing Sister Stradinger! We came out together from the MTC and are super close! Since we had transfers this week, she was getting transferred and it worked out just perfectly that she was able to spend the night with us, along with another companionship, so that was kinda crazy because we only have one bathroom with 6 that was an adventure, but it was a tender blessing to see people who you love! Man, this week was crazy and a little harder, but with a good attitude, we can always find the good out of something hard. This week we had a real talk with Jose about faith. He told us he isn't fully ready to take the leap of faith to commit to baptism, it was so inspired to talk about faith with him, we felt like we needed to share him the video about when Peter leaps out of the boat towards Christ, but falls because his faith is shaken. Jose told us that is exactly how he feels, and we where able to go from there. There is a reason why Faith is the First principle of the Gospel. :) We have been working with a few of our RC and one of them named Alan, who was just baptized in February has had is ups and downs, but this week he told us that he is glad he chose the "Harder right." Yes! He also called us later this week and asked more about the Priesthood and when he can start preparing for that. Blessings! Thursday a lot of our appointments bailed or canceled on us which is the worst thing ever, but it happens and we press forward! Missionary work and Missionary life isn't always as perfect as it might seem, but I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows and completely understands, that he does give us good days. :)
A Tender Mercy: We had such a sweet tender mercy this week, again because of transfers we thought we would be going with Sister Evens who serves on TCC (Tallahassee Community College) because her companion was getting transferred and she needed someone to be with, well it turned out another sister came a little early than they thought, so we didn't need to stay with her...well before we knew that was happening, we where planning to be on TCC, so we had to make new quick plans on FSU, we had one lesson so we where coming back to the institute to figure out what we needed to do and saw this guy in his car, we say hi and go inside, well the guy comes in and asks for the Dalley's who left the mission just awhile ago. We got talking with him about his car, we go outside and check out his car...don't ask me what he drove but it looked cool! Anyways, we asked him if he wanted to go have a spiritual thought before he left and he said yes! We find out he used to meet with missionaries about a year ago, it was a great little lesson and at the end he told us that it took him a lot to get to the institute and he was so glad he came. Tender Mercy in disguise! Something Learned: God knows everything. Sometimes I wonder how he really does, but oh my he just does because he is a loving God and wants good things to happen to his children. This week so many things that we had planned did not go through and that is okay, because we still need to plan and prepare, but everything does work out. :) I am grateful for all plans, and most of all, the greatest plan, the plan of salvation. What a beautiful doctrine that this church knows. I hope we will all take a minute and think about our part in His plan. We all have a role to play. :) love yall! :) xoxoxox Sis Nielson :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Staying Happy

Good news! I am staying six more weeks at FSU!! Sister Beal is, too! This is her last six weeks here, so we are making it the best! :) She is SUCH a good friend. I know that she and I will be life- long friends!
This photo is our P-Day activity (is it obvious that we went bowling?) with the other Sisters. Me, Sister Hall, Sister Ecsitty and Sister Beal! :) It was good exercise, and good to have fun together and laugh. It helps us balance the things about a mission that are serious and not easy. I love my Sisters! Something good: Oh this week has been INCREDIBLE. A lot of it has to come from General Conference for sure. Beforehand, I had written some questions that were on my mind and they were ALL answered. I am so thankful for that. Heavenly Father is real. Jesus Christ is real. The Holy Ghost is real. This Gospel we have is real. Answers are real. I adore our sweet prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. Something he said hit my heart like no other thing. "May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong." Wow, so powerful. It can definitely be SO easy to pick the easy wrong, over the harder right, way to hit it right on point! I am grateful for that reminder. I just loved how everyone who spoke was SO bold with so much love. It was just amazing. Probably the best Conference I have experienced in my life. For real. #thankful. We were able to fast with Jose this week about baptism. He still is wondering about it, but we know in God's time, everything will work out. We are still learning Spanish too. Haha! He is great! :) For quite some time we have been trying to meet with a guy named Sam, and we finally got to! It was wonderful! I tell you, the Book of Mormon is where it is at! We read it and people will light up instantly! It is so sweet!
Another good thing! The new senior couple and their daughter made it to Tally this week! They are the Leavitt's and they are just WONDERFUL. Their daughter, Sister Katie is the sweetest girl.This is a picture we took with Katie (you can see why she got to come with her parents on their mission - so cool!) And we took her up on Campus to take this photo by the FSU Seminole! I just love the area I am in. I am so thankful I will have another six weeks here! So many good things to come! :) Also, I was given real alligator meat! Sister Beal and I will be cooking it for my birthday on Saturday! Crossing our fingers it will turn out okay! Ha! A Tender Mercy: I have been thinking about this week and thinking of all the sweet little tender mercies I have seen and I think for this week it would most definitely be this...We walk everywhere. We are constantly doing things. We don't really eat the best things (campus probs). :) But somehow we make it. We have to walk up this death hill, we call it, and it can be super hot, and super hard and we just both want to die, but we make it, every single day. Sometimes I really wonder how all missionaries do it, but we do! Campus has really shown me that God is real. He can literally help us physically when we think we cannot do it, but He can. It might sound silly, but it is real. Another sweet tender mercy was that Maddie, who is one girl we see every so often, had a crazy hard weekend, and she decided to come to the Institute because she knows it is a safe place and Boom! Conference was on, and she listened. She really isn't too religious, but I know that she was led by the spirit. So thankful for the Holy Ghost. <3
This is Joy, who we have been teaching. We love her. Because she is married, we may need to give her to the other missionaries, but we are sure things will work out well for her! Something Learned: I really don't even know where to start, I really feel like I learn something new every day. I have been reading this book called, Life of the Savior, it is all about his teachings and his life on earth, as I have been reading it, I have been writing down my feelings about the teachings and love He gives, and it is remarkable how everything he did was out of love. There is a BYU speech that has become one of my favorite talks, "What If Love Was Our Only Motive?" This week and a lot of weeks I have learned, everything the Savior did was out of love. Something that really hit home to me was this, "The Savior is our example in everything - not only in what we should do, but why we should do it. His life on earth was a life of invitation to us - to raise our sights a little higher, to forget our own problems and reach out to others." Yep. I just love that. Definitely not perfect at that, but we keep seeking and trying as Elder Holland said in Conference. :) I love the Savior. He really does love, and He has shown us how, and how wonderful that is to me. I love this mission, sometimes I think, "I love y'all! <3 Y'all now make JD'S! (Jesus Decisions!)" 1John 2:4-6>>> "4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." Walk with Him. This week will be great! :) Thank you for all you do for me! I am so excited!! Don't worry, I will NOT peek in the box before my birthday! Haha! So happy that P-day is on my birthday - what are the odds!?! It is a blessing! I will be saying goodbye to my teen years forever on Saturday, April 9. It should be fun! I miss my cute dog, Abby, but this doggy is giving me loves, so I love her, too! Another reason to be happy!
-Sis Nielson :) 1924 West Pensacola Street #113, Tallahassee, FL 32304

Sunday, April 3, 2016

It's My Birthday Week

Something Good: This week one awesome tender mercy we saw happened at the beginning of the week. Every since I have been on FSU we have been trying to meet with this LA girl named Melissa! We set up an appointment with her to see her and meet her, and we thought she would bail on us, because she usually does, but this week she didn't!! We were super happy because it turns out that she is the coolest girl ever!! She is planning to come to a lesson with us next week. It was wonderful. I am so grateful that I have been able to finally meet her! Sister Beal and I have started this wall...we call it the "wall of love." We have paper on the wall and every day we write down a tender mercy we saw that day, and wow. God is so good. We see them everyday. Sometimes I am amazed or shocked, I see them so much. We are still praying for Jose to be ready to be baptized on April 16th! So please keep praying for him. :) We had a stellar lesson with him about the Priesthood and he just loved it! We are sad, we might have to give Joy to other missionaries because she is married, because she is progressing so much, but we will for sure be able to go to her baptism! Pray for Joy to continue to progress and adjust with new missionaries if that happens!! We have had great Family History lessons with Keegan and Brenda, the Spirit of Elijah is so cool, and it is so real! I really never thought I would love FH so much, but i do. :) Such a good week with our people on FSU campus. :) FSU is the best place on earth. <3
Oh also! I received the BEST surprise of my life. Grandpa Hill from my first area who is so adorable and so nice, sent me flowers for my birthday and Easter, it was super sweet! Thanks Gramps! My birthday is April 9, which is on our P-Day!
A Tender Mercy: This week our great tender mercy was the Book of Mormon. We have had 3 awesome lessons using the Book of Mormon. One was with Princess (Yes, her name is Princess and her brother's name is Prince. I am in love with it.) Well at the beginning of our lesson she was a little hesitant to read the BOM but we opened the book, and started reading the first chapter and after that, we kept reading a few more and she ended up really enjoying it. This same thing happened with Cameron and with a guy named Chris! Oh man, this book is the BEST book and I just know it is so true, and so real. I have been able to really focus on each chapter and I have come to just love it. It is the best spiritual food for us to take in. <3 I am so grateful for the fullness of the gospel, that we do have it. I strive to thank Heavenly Father for this blessing in my life. :) If y'all are ever the Book of Mormon! :)
Something Funny So I got permission to give haircuts to the Elders' hair. So the deal is, when I cut the elders hair, they clean the hair off my feet and floor. This is a example. haha! Thanks Elder Beahan, you are a champ!
Also, I got to see Sister Kinghorn for a night. It was great! I LOVE YOU SIS K!!! <3
Something Fun We got to spend some time with Angy at the church, having a chill P-Day last week. So nice to relax a bit! Missionary work is pretty intense! Something Learned: There is this amazing talk, It is such a good talk. It talks about how whatever we are going through, it will be okay, because if we know the gospel to be true, than what else matters? I read this talk and decided to ponder about it, and it is so true. We have all the answers, we have the truth and we have the fullness of Christ church. No matter what we are doing, or how hard life can be, it is okay, because the gospel is true and it is promised everything will work out if we are faithful. So something in keep in mind. "If it's true, than what else matters?" :) I sure do love our leaders of our Church. They are wonderful and y'all! Hope y'all watched conference and loved it! I hope questions were answered for all. <3 Love y'all! <3 -Sis Nielson :)