Tuesday, June 28, 2016

News and Love from the South

Something Good: "You are angels sent to me." We met this man named David. He is less active, because he doesn't like the way he looks which is so sad, but when we knocked on his door, he was so happy! He then told us that we had been sent to him. Earlier that week he had prayed for missionaries to come and see him, and we felt that day we should go try to see him, and we did. I am so happy that we were able to find David and help him feel a little bit better about himself. :) The Lord is good! Another good thing! We had a wonderful, lesson with the Turnages! Garvin, who is the dad, is just soaking it up as much as he can. He studies the Book of Mormon like crazy, I am sure his favorite website is lds.org. He told us he knows the Book of Mormon is true and knows that the Church is true! He is solid. He loves to teach us! His wife is more shy, but she opened up to us so much this week. The lesson we had with them was a blessing from Heaven! :) Another cool experience this week! Okay, so another couple. Greg and Jeanette. Greg is less active and his girlfriend is not a member. They signed up to feed us dinner. So we go over and Jeanette is having the worst day ever. She starts up telling us everything that is going on in her life, and she is bawling her eyes out. It was a lot to take in. As she was talking I was was praying to know what to say and what to do. And what I felt impressed to say was, "You can receive a blessing that will help you and comfort you. Will you be willing to receive a blessing?" She said "Yes." We called Bro Fast and he was able to come right over and give her one, and man! The spirit was so strong! Jeanette told us that she felt SO much better. Everything that was said in the blessing was an answer to her. It was just amazing to see that a few minutes earlier she was so upset and so sad, and after the blessing her countenance changed and the spirit was there. I am SO grateful for the Priesthood and for the Restoration of the Gospel that we have on earth. Blessed.
This is Cooper, he is the 5 weeks old. Brother and Sis Simonds puppy! They are who we had dinner with last night :) A Tender Mercy: So this week, Sister Anderson and I got stuck with a situation between a member and non member. We were in the wrong place and the wrong time, though I think now maybe we were supposed to be there, but anyways! It was hard for both of us to go through that.
But Michael, our recent convert, knew we were having a harder week..so he took us to get our nails done and took us to have lunch. Tender Mercy for sure. He is the sweetest guy ever. I know that sometimes the Lord just knows when we need something, even just a little pick-me-up, and He blesses us. <3 Note: This photo is at Pier Park, last P-Day where we went to get ice cream, something we both needed. ;) Ice cream is our friend. Something Learned: Wow, really this week I have learned a lot of things that I know I needed. This week has been so humbling in so many ways, which I am so thankful for. Something that really has been in my heart this week is that Heavenly Father loves His children - all of them. No matter if we are rich, poor, short, tall; if we are members, nonmembers and so on - He still loves us. We all make mistakes - that is a given, but God still loves us.
This is our District: Me, Sister Anderson, Elder Miller and Elder Abrams :) This week we had a moment with Jesus. After our little situation we sat in the car and asked ourselves..."What would Jesus do?" I say that all the time, but this time it was sincere. Jesus Christ would Love them, no matter what. I am so thankful for humbling moments that helps us think, "What would the Jesus do?" Not, "What would I do trying to be like Jesus?" But legit - "What would Jesus do?" :) Y'all be sweet now <3 Love y'all bunches! XOXO! -Sister Nielson

Friday, June 24, 2016

"You better get this one before I murder them..." Ha!

Something Good: So this week has been stellar!! The Lord is so good everyday. Well for starters! Paul and Paula came to PCB to visit Sis Kinghorn and I. It was Sister Kinghorn's birthday, so they came down for the visit! :) It was so sweet to see them, I just adore them so much!! Oh some good news! Paul and Paula are going to be sealed next April, so just a heads up..I will be going back to the mission most likely with Sister Kinghorn to go to their sealing! :)
We went to see a less active lady named Dawn. She is the sweetest person, but her father in law..not so much! We go up to the door and he opens the door and says..."You better get this one before I murder them." Ha! Sis A and I just looked at each other and about died. We could have beat him up. It was a funny! But we had a great lesson with her in spite of the comment he made. :) This week we have been blessed to find five new people to teach! One contact is actually a family, the Turnages. Their parents are in our ward. Garvin Turnage is really into the discussion lessons. He loves to ask questions and is just soaking it up! Two of their family came to church on Sunday, which was awesome! We are so excited to teach them! :)
Look at Michael! I trimmed his eyebrows and he is very happy about the look, but even more - look at how he has the "new member glow!" And here is a good story about Michael-the-new-Member-Missionary! Earlier this week we got a text from a random number telling us that he wanted to come to church and meet with us! His name is Nara. He is from Thailand and was an exchange student in Idaho and lived with Mormons for a year there, and is now interested in learning and coming to church! The best part is that Michael, who was just baptized, came to a lesson with us for Nara and they clicked super well! So blessed to have these wonderful children of God to teach! :) So a fun thing that Sis A and I decided to do! We decided to go out in service clothes and find some service to do! We found a sweet lady named Dorothy to do some yard work. Oh she was just so cute and so nice. Service brings happiness! I am just so thankful for the many opportunities to serve! :) A Tender Mercy: Chris. This week we had a tender mercy with Chris. We have been praying and thinking a lot about what to do with Chris, whether to drop him or keep teaching him. During District meeting we had our Elders help us role play a mini lesson for Chris, and man it was just so powerful and so inspired. Well, we saw Chris, used what we felt during District meeting to teach him and the lesson we had was the answer to all our prayers and thoughts! We are going to still teach him and pray that he will progress in the Gospel! After the lesson he asked us if he could take us to Olive Garden! That was super sweet of him. We where laughing because our investigator took us to dinner! Another little tender mercy. ;) We sure do love Chris!
Something Learned: This week Sister Anderson and I read a talk together, called "Which Way Do You Face?" https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/which-way-do-you-face?lang=eng Let me tell y'all, this talk will just hit your heart. It really taught me about my Savior and the way that He always faced, and that no matter what the circumstance or the position he was in, He always faced the way to his Father in Heaven. It made me think, when life is crazy and there are people around me trying to get me to do things I know I shouldn't, which way do I face? The Lord's way or the other way? I am so thankful we have the knowledge of the Gospel to help us always face the correct way in everything we do. To quote Lynn G. Robbins..."Let us all be fearless like Jesus." Sure do love that! :) Y'all have a good week now! Love you daily and love you big! -Sis Nielson :)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#Dunked!! (Baptized!)

In honor of Michael's upcoming baptism, he took us to the beach for dessert! Ah... Panama City Beach...a little bit of Heaven. But not as close to Heaven as... Something Good: So many good things this week! First! We had a wonderful baptism for Michael! it was so tender and so uplifting! The spirit was so strong and so amazing! I am so thankful I was able to be there to witness something so real with him! He got to the font and asked us where the diving board was..haha! He loves to swim so of course he asked ! It was a funny! We saw Michael every day this week, and I am sure he is sick of us, but it was good! We have been so blessed to be able to see him grow and love the gospel! Oh yes! Another cool thing! Chris was able to come to Michael's baptism and see how it was and he told us that he really enjoyed it! It was so sweet, he had a nice white shirt and tie on, it was awesome!!
This week we had our last zone conference with President and Sister Smith, it was hard and sad to see them go, but we are looking forward to meeting our new mission president and his wife! President Smith has done wonders for this mission and I just adore them both! :)
Also at Zone Conference I got to see my girl, Sister Stradinger! Zone Conferences are so great - they help us keep a perspective of why we are here, the good we can do, and how we can build our faith and determination to keep going. It is also great to see and interact with other missionaries, renew friendships and be uplifted by others serving the Lord full time. It's a good time.
We are teaching a little girl named Videa, she is going to be baptized as soon as we are done teaching the lessons with her, and let me tell you, she is smart and loves Jesus Christ! She is such an example! Overall this week has been full of "peace and love"! The Gospel is true y'all! <3
This photo is of Michael (next to me) then Brother Fast, who baptized Michael. Here is Michael Kobold's story as told by Sister Stacie Fast: "Michael Kobold was investigating and he starting taking the Gospel Principles Class. My husband, Keith Fast, teaches this class. That is how we met him. Weeks of him coming led the Sisters to eventually ask us to have him over for lessons because he had made a date to be baptized and they wanted us to assist in the last few critical lessons. Michael felt so comfortable with us that he asked if Keith could baptize him. He, of course, was humbled and accepted. It is not often a member gets to do this as you know the missionaries most often do living baptisms. It was the first time he had done this ordinance since he baptized his son (my step son) Ryan, who is now serving as a missionary in Arizona. So baptizing Michael was an awesome experience. Michael gave the most precious testimony afterwards. He is a very special soul." A Tender Mercy: A tender mercy! This might be a funny, but in the moment of time, definitely a tender mercy! So! Brother Fast, who baptized Michael, is pretty tall..6'3". So we were looking for baptism suits in the baptismal clothing closet to see if they would fit. We found a few, but we were pretty sure they would not work out. He tried on a few and they didn't fit him...so we all were waiting to see what would happen...and a few moments later he comes out in a suit that fits him perfectly! We where all like.."Uh, where did you find that!?!" And he told us that he just found it in the back of the dressing room! Blessings on Blessings!! I've learned that even the smallest miracles are by far the best miracles, even when it comes to jump suits fitting!
Another wonderful blessing is the members who are so good to us. Michael was taught in the home of Brother and Sister Fast. Here is Sister Stacie Fast with Sis Anderson and me.
And here is another reason why member missionaries or members who love missionaries are so important - they feed us!! Thank you, Stacie! And thank you to all the wonderful people out there who invite missionaries for dinner (at home or out). You keep us going so the Lord's work can roll on! Thank you!!!
Something Learned: Michael asked me if I would speak at his baptism on the Holy Ghost and as I was preparing and reflecting, the thought came to me, the Holy Ghost is a light. We live in a dark world, but with the Spirit, we will always have light in our lives. I feel like I always talk about the Holy Ghost, but man. He is real! I have personally seen the Spirit touch my life and the people around me. No matter what we are going through, no matter how dark and cold we might feel, there will always be a light. "Let your light so shine.." Matthew 5: 14-16 Sure do love this scripture. Jesus is the Christ. He ultimately is our best light in this life. <3
Y'all be good now and always remember, Jesus loves us all! Me, you, everyone on the beach and everyone else, too. :) Sis Nielson!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Exciting news in PCB! :)

Something Good: Wow, this week has been amazing! Where to start! Well first! We had exchanges, and this week I was able to go with Sister Graham, who is a gem! We found these FSU chairs so I had to have a picture, since FSU now has a spot in my heart! Go Noles! She and I had a ton of fun and let me tell you, I learned so many wonderful things from her! We were able to do some service at Salvation Army, a thrift store, and we met a guy named Rob. Ha! He is a funny one. He told us, "I need to remember to shut my flirtatious mouth.." We laughed and moved on ;)
Some other good news! Chris, who we are teaching, and who is in this photo behind us, set a BCD him this week for July 23rd! It was so funny/cute. We go to pick him up for his lesson and he tells us he will be right back. So we wait. He comes back and he is in his Sunday clothes! It was Friday, but he wanted to show us that he bought clothes to wear to church one day! Y'all, Chris is wonderful, but he does need prayers to help him quit smoking and come to church, or getting Sundays off to be able to come! He is stellar, and so funny. We love our Chris!
Michael! Oh Michael is doing SO well, he is getting super excited to be baptized THIS week! This is a photo of our last lesson before his baptism. (Thanks for the photo, Stacie Fast!) Our ward has been so sweet to him and so loving. We are so happy for him! :) We saw a family who is returning to Church, the Sheerwoods, and they are the greatest people! We had an awesome lesson with them about Church, praying and reading the scriptures. And something cool - Bro Sheerwood told us that he is helping his friend understand our Church with scriptures and answering questions! Yessss!! This week we have been able to see more and more people who we didn't even knew existed, so we are so grateful for the spirit to guide us and lead us :) So many good things this week, my heart is happy and full! :)
This is a picture of a darling girl we met at IHOP, named Julie. She is from Russia! I thought that was super cool! A Tender Mercy: So! We had an appointment with a man named Greg McKenzie. He is less active and we have tried to see him a few times, but each time he bails or cancels on us. Well, this week, we actually got to see him, but the little tender mercy about it was...we got to his house 10 minutes early! Every time we tell him we will see him, he tells us..."Don't be late" every single time, so it kinda stress's us out! Well time stopped for just a bit and surprisingly the traffic on the beach was not super bad and we got there on time, and he was shocked, because usually missionaries are always late...NOT US! ;) Something sweet about it was the lesson. He lives with his girlfriend and she was so kind to us, and we were able to share something they both needed. A plus...they invited us back to their home, and also for dinner! ;) Sometimes tender mercies are the little things in life. :)
This is Joey..he is the cutest dog ever. I am sure my brother Joey would love him. He belongs to a member! Something Learned: This week I have studied a lot about recognizing the Spirit, sometimes I have a hard time knowing if it is the spirit or me, I think we all struggle with that sometimes, but the more I have learned about the Spirit the more I have come to realize, that anything good, wether it be something good that pops into our heads, or anything good from someone else, is from the Spirit. It has been cool for me to study about the Holy Ghost and how much more He is in our every day life, recognizing the Spirit takes confidence that whatever we feel or come to know that is good, is from Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for the Spirit and the opportunity I have to study about inspiration for every day life. One of my all time favorite scriptures about the Holy Ghost, is in John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." :) I sure do LOVE the Gospel, and I sure do LOVE helping people understand and come to love it as well! :)
And I love my compy, Sister Anderson. This photo was taken at Stacie Fast's house. Stacie has been so good to us! Thanks Stacie! Well y'all, have a blessed week!! Like Chris always says to us..."Watch out for the crazies!" Love y'all daily! <3 Sis Nielson :)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

It's a bit hot :)

Something Good: Man. This week. So many good things! First! We had interviews with Pres Smith! It was sad, because it was my last one with him because we are getting a new pres at the end of the month, but I sure do love Pres and Sis Smith so much! It is always so good to see them. :) Also very excited for our new Mission President who has the same name! President and Sister Smith! Excited to meet them so soon! :) So! Micheal! Good news with Micheal! He is planning to be baptized on June 11th! We are so excited for him. He is just so great, and he grasps the gospel super well. Sometimes he asks the most interesting questions, but he is just so awesome! Love him!!! This week we were able to get a few new gators to teach! Yessss! One of them - his name is Doug - is so funny. He looks up and asks me, "Can I ask you a question..." and I said, Yes! His question, "Are your eyelashes real? Because if they are they are beautiful." Hahah! Not what I was expecting, but of course it made me happy ;) We have been able to see a few less active people we haven't been able to see, and wow. God is so good! They both where so willing and accepting of us to see them again! Tender mercies for sure! :) The more we are willing to keep trying and keeping putting in effort, the more the Lord will bless us. :) It has been so cool to find those "Forget Me Nots" this week. Overall such a good and blessed week! :) Something random: We found this old typewriter in our apartment....?
Oh! Yes. We met a dog who's name is Chulupa, which in Spanish means a big fat burrito. Yep we about died laughing. :) Sometimes you just gotta find the funnies in life. ;) And, check this out. We where looking for a less active house and this is what the result was....
A Tender Mercy: Okay...well this week, we had a funny. But I am saying it is a tender mercy, cause it about killed us both. ;) So Tuesday we lost our GPS...and y'all...this is a big deal, cause we both don't really know the area. Well we had a lesson at the place we live at and Sis Anderson took the GPS out of the car with her to look up an address and after our lesson was over, we could NOT find the GPS anywhere. We looked EVERYWHERE!!! It was crazy. Sis Anderson was stressing out big time, and I was just flustered.
Well we pulled out a real map and decided to use that for a day or two till we could get a new one sent. Well two days later while we are doing our personal studies Sis Anderson pulls out her journal..and BAM! The GPS...!!! It was found. Tender Mercy.!!! We really can not figure out how it got there, but I really think God was teaching us a lesson of patience. ;) We now look back and just laugh because, oh gosh, little do you know how much you rely on something until it is GONE. Good timessss! So, to celebrate finding the GPS, we went to Tom Thumb and got sodas. Yep. My companion and I both love soda. You know you are on a mission when soda is a Big Reward.
I asked Sister Anderson what this building was and she said, "Something to catch your eye on the way to the beach." Yep. It caught mine! [Note: This crazy upside building is WonderWorks, an amusement park for the mind with 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment.” The attraction combines education and entertainment with more than 100 hands on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark the imagination. There is one in Orlando, too.] And speaking of the way to the beach - look!!! WATER!!!!
Something Learned:
This week I have seen the importance of trying. The life we are given is to help us grow and come closer to Heavenly Father and one day return to him. Is is hard? Yes. It is crazy hard, but if we are just trying our best to do the things we know to do, Heavenly Father will bless us in ways we cannot imagine. This week we have been doing a lot of "Let's try this person and this one" and yes, it's been a bit rough and some people are harder to talk to, but the few that we have been able to see have blown our minds - such great people! I love the scripture, "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." Everyone is worth it, everyone is trying, we all have different lives, we all have different trials and different experiences, but I know for sure that if we just try to do what is right, for the right reasons, Heavenly Father will help us. :)
Yep. We are BLESSED!! Hope y'all have a blessed week!! I love all y'all!!! <3 Always make em, JD'S! (Jesus Decisions) <3 Sis Nielson :)