Monday, May 30, 2016

The Lord knew I missed the beach... New Place, New Adventures

Something Good: I got transferred!! Wow, this week has been full of good things, but also hard things! This week Sister Beal went home, and let me tell you, it is SO hard to say goodbye to people you love. It is the hardest part of the mission for sure. But I am so thankful for all the wonderful memories and times we had on Florida State University campus. :) I think about FSU and all the lessons I learned and it all comes down to love. Two words to describe FSU - humbling and healing. FSU will always have a special place in my heart but...
PCB!!! Panama City Beach! It is beautiful!! I am so excited to serve in this area! We have some awesome people we are teaching, so ready for the Gospel! :) I adore my new comp, Sister Anderson! She is wonderful! And she is from Utah! She has been out about 3 months and she is great! Something great in PCB this week! We are teaching a couple, Danny and Shaini and we taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and asked them to pray about baptism and they accepted! We are excited to see them progress to be baptized! We are teaching a man named Michael who just pretty much is a member just not baptized yet! He is so awesome and so ready to join the church. PCB is a special place and I am so thankful to be here! :) This week has been crazy with transfers, but there is always something good each day! :) A Tender Mercy: So this might be a weird tender mercy, but hey it made us happy! So, Sis Anderson and I were outside just talking to people and we ran into a man named CJ! He asked if we were the missionaries and we told him yes..well he asked if we could meet with him the next day (Uh what!?) Yes! So we set up a time to meet him the next day. So, the next day we go over to his house and he didn't answer, but we decided to wait and a bit, so we talked to people outside, for a bit and he calls us to see if we could still see him even though we were an hour we were going to have to miss our lunch and we where starving..but we decided to still see him, and out of the blue he asks us if he could fed us he gives us 20 bucks and tells us to meet him at a place to eat and to have a lesson! It was so sweet and just a little tender mercy that the Lord knows what we need always - even little things like food. ;)
This is our new home! My new address is: 308 Coconut Grove Court Panama City Beach, FL 32407 We live with members! They have a apartment above there garage! It is fun!! But different!! I miss FSU a lot and I miss Sis Beal even more, but I am loving my new area! It is great! I am 2000 ft from the beach and that makes me happy! It has been a little adjustment from campus missionary work to "normal missionary work," but I am fine! We have a lot of potential which I am grateful for! :) And look!!!! We have a car!!! So thankful!!
Something Learned: Change is good. It is hard, but it is good. This week I have really come to realize that God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. But we as his children are always changing. In the mission change happens consistently, sometimes it is hard to leave familiar surroundings, or it is hard to change our lives to become better, but in the end it really is for the best, I am so thankful for change and that the Lord loves us enough to let change happen to one day become like him. God is good. I love missionary work, it is the greatest thing I have done. Y'all remember you are loved! <3 :) I love you!!! Sis Nielson!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sweaty and Happy ;)

Something Good: We had this AMAZING Zone Training, it was so inspired and I felt like everything that was taught, I needed to hear. We have had two Zone Training meetings this transfer and both have been probably the best on my mission! :) We have had some pretty good lessons this week! First! We had such a tender lesson with Chris! We felt like we should read 2 Nephi chapter 2, so we did and he told us that is his favorite chapter so far :) Chris has been such a blessing. He is starting to open up so much, we just love that guy! Crazy story. We had a lesson with a guy named Joel, it was our first time meeting with him and at the beginning it seemed like all he wanted to do was bash...asked a lot of those kind of questions, and when people just want to bash, I just want to face palm myself, I just don't understand! Anyways! It ended surprisingly good. He asked us why we knew that the Church was true, and all we did was bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and you could feel him change a little. Instead of interrupting us and questioning he listened. At the end we invited him to read Moroni's promise and he did, and we set up another time to give him a French Book of Mormon to read, which made him happy. The Gospel is True!! :) Oh random fact...Angy, Beal and I went to Georgia for some of our P-day today! So that was fun! ;)That top photo is at the Florida/Georgia state line. (Some of our mission is in Georgia.) Overall it was a good week!
This is our return to Florida. Kinda looks the same but with a different sign, right? Hot, sweaty, sticky, but Florida has my heart! A Tender Mercy: A cool story to share! So some of our friends who live by the church aren't members, but we are cool with them, anyway! One of them is Kyle, I don't really know him but I decided to talk to him and we got talking about life and choices and just how temporal and spiritual things parallel in ways, and with that he asked a question. He asked..."Why do kids our age not believe in God?" Good question! Well we were able to teach him about the Restoration and talk about the fullness of the Gospel and how Satan works SO hard on kids our age to not believe in God, because this is the time where we want to know the truth or not. It all just made sense to him. We all went to the Institute and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon and read some with him. It was just the most random thing ever. We didn't plan it, but it worked out so well! Hopefully he will continue to read it and want to know more. :) It was a tender mercy to me to see how sometimes we think the people who wouldn't care about God actually might, we can't judge someone just because of what we think they are. It was a good lesson to me! :)
Something Sweet: This is our sweet girl, Joi, who gave us paintings that she created. Something Learned: So Zone Training. We learned the best thing ever. Vertical Truth vs Horizontal Truth. Sometimes people will go horizontal in learning the Gospel, meaning they will reach out to their friends, the Internet, and random things like that, which can lead to SO many different answers that makes it hard to understand the truth. Vertical truth is reaching up to God. He is the ONLY one to give us the Truth. It's crazy how many people do go horizontal and wonder why they don't get answers. Anyways! I thought about this in my own life, even as a missionary and sometimes I will go horizontal to try to get a answer, but in the end it is Always better to go vertical to receive correct and direct answers from a loving Heavenly Father who is waiting for us to ask Him :) Thankful so, so much for this work! :) God is good. The spirit teaches truth and I love that. :)
Shout out to my Comp who I LOVE. She is going home, and if she ever reads this, I hope she knows how much she is loved and how much she has been a blessing to me these past 2 transfers. :) "Love is what you go through together." I LOVE YOU SISTER BEAL!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Summer Break....!

Something Good: Well this week on campus was summer break for that for us was not the best because campus was dead! But! We still had an okay week! We were able to see Melissa, it was sweet, she took us to lunch, and we were able to spend some good time with her!
A fun thing Sister Beal and I did was to take pictures with the people that were on campus - the statues! Haha, it was great! We were able to see Joi, and we taught her about tithing and fasting, and she decided to fast on Thursday! We saw her again on Friday, and we asked her about her fast and she said for the first time ever fasting it wasn't too we just gotta get her to fast about the church! ;) We saw Barry! Yes! Barry, oh goodness, he is just a gem. He loves doing FH, and we are making good progress! We gave him a Book of Mormon this week and he promised us he would read a little, we will probably see him one or two more times, till he has to switch to the elders in his area, which he says..."Do I have to go with the boy ones?" Hahah! We will miss him! Oh funny story. So we read the Book of Mormon with Chris, we see him once a week and this week we had Caleb come with us,(he is in our ward) and they instantly became friends, so before our lesson Caleb brought us dinner and he brought hot sauce for our tacos...well during our lesson with Chris, they all pressured me into drinking the hot me, being me, I did it, and really it wasn't too bad, so I told them, well I could probably just finish that packet of the sauce, cause I thought I could do it...bad idea. IT WAS SO HOT, MY MOUTH WAS ON FIRE. Hahaha... we took a little field trip to the Institute to get some milk. Ya, sometimes our lessons with Chris are adventures, but we love reading and teaching him, He has opened up spiritually in just a few weeks, it is so cool to watch him grow!
A Tender Mercy: Man, this week tender mercy. So my dear mother sent me Gatorade to drink because I need to drink more water, and replace the electrolytes. She also sent salty snacks so I would not have such bad heat exhaustion. A few days ago I had my water bottle with me on campus. The next day I could not find my water bottle anywhere! Of course you only lose things you actually need. Haha. I thought it would have been lost forever, but we decided to go look on campus. It took us a bit, but we found it in the book store! It might seem silly, but I was realized it's really true - God is good. I laughed because I just knew it was another sign that I needed to drink more water!! ;) Another tender mercy, is what we call "Moments with the Leavitt's." Elder and Sister Leavitt have been so good to us. Earlier this week, Sis Beal and I were having a hard day, and we just needed help. The Leavitts took their time to give us blessings and advice that we both needed to hear, I am thankful for the people that are placed in our lives to help us when we need it. :)
Something Learned: Something I learned this week that I will probably keep forever that Elder Leavitt shared with us. He told us that sometimes Heavenly Father will move us in ways that we might not always understand, we might not always see the big picture, and sometimes we might even think why? He reminded us about the story of Nephi, when Nephi was commanded to kill Laban, and he asked and question, why? But the Spirit came to him to reassure him that was what God needed him to do, to save a nation. And it hit me, uh ya! What if Nephi hadn't done what the Lord commanded him to do!? What would have been different!? I am grateful for this little lesson I had, to help me step back, to realize it is okay to do things that are hard that Heavenly Father needs us to do, because in the end, it will work out! :) They also shared us this... A rose: Something Good A thorn: Something Hard A bud: Something you hope for tomorrow Sister Beal and I are now doing this at night and it is pretty awesome, to see what we are so blessed to have in our lives. Try it! :) I love yall! <3 Have a week to remember! Y'all are my Favs. <3

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bittersweet Moments

Something Good: Well this week has been sad, and happy for two reasons. Sad because a few of our gators left this week, since it is now summer semester...and who wants to do school during the summer!?! Not me. ;) that one was probably the hardest person to say bye too. We had one last lesson with him and funny enough it was on "Enduring to the end." But we switched it up to, "Enjoy to the end." He loved that. It was cool, earlier that week we had a lesson of just us asking him questions to see from what we have taught him, what he knows and doesn't, and he knew so much. Ah, man. Jose. He is just wonderful. His faith has grown from a little seed to a tree in ways that are amazing. He told us he would continue living the Gospel and go to church. We are planning to get missionaries to him asap! I am so thankful for Jose for teaching me how to teach with love. He definitely has changed my point of view of loving and pushing forward. I will always be grateful for Jose! Also, he told me we could be friends forever, so that made me irrationally happy. :)
Some other good things! I went on an exchange with my STL, Sister Haught! She is wonderful, we had such a good day together! We taught this girl named Hannah, who recently had a dear friend pass away, we taught the Plan of Salvation and it was SO powerful. I feel like that has probably been one of the Best Plan of Salvation lessons I have participated in. So thankful for the time I had to do that! We had one last lesson with Keegan, and that was sad too, but FH makes me happy and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have learned FH with him. He is a cool cat.
So one of our RC's (recent converts), Derek, oh Derek, I wish everyone could meet Derek. He is so funny and so awesome. Last lesson, when we took this photo, he said..."I am going to stare at the camera with a stone face." ha! He is leaving for the summer too, so I asked him to write in my exit journal and it took him 20 mins to write in it because he didn't know what to say hahaha! Later I read it and he told me some nice things/funny things and then at the end he says.."Well the spirit told me, to end this note" haha. Oh I just adore him. Overall, this week has been up and down, but on the good side, this week has shown me how much I love the people we worked with. Who knew you could love people so much. It usually is us leaving them, but this time it is them leaving us which is hard. But again I am so happy to have helped them - hopefully. ;)
Oh also, something good, Sister Beal and I built a fort to sleep in and it turned out so awesome, but in the middle of the night it fell on us and we both just laughed a bit and went back to sleep. Companion Unity! Also, when you are "besties" with your comp, mission life is just so dang fun. ;) A Tender Mercy: So! This tender mercy has to do with Jose! So finals were this week and Jose stress a lot about school and grades...he wants to go to his grades do matter a lot. Well he had a test this week, and on one of them he completely forgot what he had he was freaking out. But then he remembered he could pray! So he told us he took a minute and prayed for help, and he sat there and everything he had studied came back to him! Guys! He saw a blessing!! We were just so happy for him. Prayer does work and it was so cool to see Jose see that too! We were so proud of him. :) I just know that there really is power in prayer! We can never pray too much. In fact, we should always be praying. :)
So today, P-Day I cut hair for the Elders again. The tall Elder is Elder Johnson and the other is Elder Jones. I am happy to give this service. And speaking of our District....
... so at Florida State University there is a "Hooligan" brand, and as FSU missionaries we decided to get them, cause hello, we are all hooligans! This is before Elder Johnson's haircut (please compare photos...) He is the tall one in both photos.
Something Learned: So this photo shows that I have walked a LOT in my shoes - they are totally worn out! And what I have learned is - No effort is wasted! That is a line from PMG, and y'all it is true. No effort is wasted if what we give is to the Lord. The service, the love, our actions, our words, our thoughts, if they are all given to the Savior or our Heavenly Father than life is good, and we won't have to worry about if we are doing enough or too little, I have seen this, the past few days with being sick and all (too much heat and sun - is is seriously summer here). First of all, I hate not doing something, so it is hard for me to rest so I can get better. But then I remember I am doing my best with the abilities that I have. And sometimes we just have to take a minute to step back and reflect on the good things we have done, and if we are living the Gospel faithfully, we are doing enough and that makes me happy! Man, life is just happy. It is our choice to either be happy or not, and I feel like being happy is a whole lot better way to go. :)
Oh! And one last tender mercy! We got to USE a car today...we never have a car, so we were happy! Air conditioning in Florida in the Summer - a small life-saver!!! Thank y'all for your love and support, prayers and thoughts, I truly am so thankful. Y'all make my heart full. <3 Have a good week! Remember...You Are Loved. Sis Nels :)