Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas is now P-day

(Written Monday, December 21, 2015)

Hello friends and family,

So sorry we don't have a preparation day this week, I'll be able to email later on Christmas, but I hope you all use your last couple of days to spread the Christmas cheer that Christ was brought into the world! Lend a hand to all and share the true meaning of Christmas! May god bless and keep you all!

Love,
Sister Nelson

A Savior Is Born—Christmas Video #ASaviorIsBorn

   

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Changes Gonna Happen!

(Written Monday December 14, 2015)

Hey y'all,

It's been a crazy week. We had the Christmas Conference together this week and "Santa" came and visited the missionaries.
We were also super sick and then we found out that my companion is being made the Sister AP, so she left on like Thursday at 4:30 and I had to hop from member to member to do missionary work, it was super stressful, but I learned a lot. I got it worked out and today I have another sister missionary with me for Pday tomorrow to get my next companion. She is a temple square missionary and will only be with me for this next 7 week transfer and then I'm probably be switching areas and my next area will be my last area and I'll "die" there.
I've met some cool people though and in the second picture, you might recognize some people from a year ago, the girl in the black shirt got baptized and she was in my first area a year ago with Sister D and I got to go see her get baptized, it was so great!
Also, Christian, our great member is leaving for his mission on Tuesday, he's gonna be great, he's going to Brazil!
Life goes on and the Christmas season is here! Also, the squad pic is us at the dam, it was so fun!
Keep spreading the message of Christ, sorry his isn't longer, more pictures will be sent next week cause I'm out of time,

Love you,
Sister Nelson

Christmas-time is Here

 (Written Monday, December 7, 2015)

Hi Family and Friends,

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (probably everywhere else in the world except here) But I hope that you all are enjoying the weather and the sights nonetheless. Boulder is still the happiest and quirkiest place on Earth.

This week wasn't quite as eventful as last week although, we are going to the Hoover Dam later today so I should have more pictures next week. But, this week, we were walking around a trailer park and stumbled upon this exhibit of handmade intricate wooden dolls depicting the Savior's birth, they had music playing and free hot chocolate and a guestbook and it was beautiful! They even had a running waterfall! It's so beautiful!


We love seeing people celebrating Christ at this time of year. Strangely many of those that do celebrate don't want us to share a Christmas message with them, but we still keep going to do the Lord's work and on our way we find dalmatian decorated fire hydrants!


My dear sweet friends, last night we were able to listen to many of the leaders in our church speak to the world about our savior and celebrating him, it brought the spirit of Christmas in so wonderfully! I love Jesus Christ, I testify that He is our Savior and He started in a manger and one day will come again to rule the Earth and all wickedness, evil, unfair and unjust things will cease. I know that Christ lives today and his birth was so miraculous. I'm grateful that He came to set an example for us and to show the way. Since it is Christmas-time, I'll be sharing videos with you again this year to help bring in the true spirit of Christmas. With this video, Wise Men still seek him, pay attention to when the narrator says that the child will not be found in a manger but he's the brother or sister we once viewed as a stranger. May we all look for opportunities to see Christ in others, to see others the way that Christ sees them, to recognize that they are our brothers and sisters and to treat them as we want to be treated. May this be a holiday season of peace rather than stress and may we not get caught up in it all, but remember what is truly important and how Christ changed the world!

I love you all, Have a wonderful week! Christmas is not too far away!
Merry Christmas,
Sister Nelson
Watch the video here:

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Werly Mines and Thanksgiving

(Written Monday, November 30, 2015)

Howdy Y'all from Nelson, Nevada,
I found my home; just out passed Boulder tucked away in the mountains is Nelson, Nevada, population about 30. It's literally just a trailer park and this old mine that has all kinds of old trucks, cars, and antique stuff all over it. It reminds me of home and it's so fun there.
Today that's where we visited and got to take a tour of the Mines where many movies have been filmed and other tv shows have taken place. Last week, we were in charming downtown Boulder with a bunch of antique shops and things to take pictures with. It's such a cute place here!

The work is progressing and we are seeing miracles daily. It was a bit tough teaching during Thanksgiving because it was hard to find people at home willing to listen to the message. Nevertheless, the Lord provides us with miracles each day as we follow him.

This is a short email this week because I have sent so many pictures home that will eventually be on the blog, so check that out. I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and you're enjoying your time that you have together.

I learned something simple but valuable that has changed my perspective this week "Be Happy With Today" think on that this week and tell me what you all think about it next week! I know God loves us and that his church is on the earth in it's fullest and that is something to be grateful for!
Happy December,
Sister Nelson
PS: I hit 13 months yesterday! WOW

Montgomery Family Thanksgiving
Our District in front of a plane that Hollywood blew up on the Werly Mine Property
Me at Werly Mines!

A Week of Thanks

(Written Monday, November 23, 2015)

Hello Loving Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week it has been! This week, we were able to give trainings to our zone to help them be more effective, I was able to train a couple of times. I trained on the story about Christ leaving the 99 sheep to find the one and I also trained on increasing our faith in the Lord and in ourselves that we can accomplish his work here. Earlier on in the week, I trained on maintaining our spirituality in a world that is ever yearning for spiritual nourishment, but doesn't know where to find it.

It was a stressful week with our zone's interviews with President and our zone training council, but it all went well. The vision that our zone has right now is called #ONE MORE towards the wall of sustainability. We are building a wall of baptisms and helping ourselves continue to be effective by finding new people to teach. As you see in the pictures below, the gold brick is won by our zone when they are finding new people to teach, and the light saber is our finding method and it's challenge changes every week, this week it was talking to everyone and next week it will be finding and getting members out with you. Its fun to have challenges that motivate the missionaries to keep going to find one more person.

I also got to go on exchanges in one of the other sisters' areas! It was super cool. I was with Sister Brown and she's a great missionary! I learn so much from all of the sisters every time we change companions and areas for the day.
This week is Thanksgiving. It is weird to think that a year ago, I was eating a Thanksgiving feast in Mexico City, in a land where Thanksgiving isn't even a real thing. I was a brand new missionary and I didn't even know what I was doing and now here I am in this little town known to few people, called Boulder City with a population of 15,000 and everyone knows everyone! It is going to be a cozy holiday season, we have some wonderful members here who are going to take care of us! I sure am grateful for that! I am grateful for many things, the list would go on and on!

In one of the conference talks long ago, someone talked about knowing what time it was at home, meaning that they remembered their families routine and that no matter where they were in the world, they knew for sure what their family was doing. I love that story. I know what time it is at home, I know what my family will be doing this holiday season because of the wonderful traditions that they have instilled in me. I am so grateful to be able to picture them happy and enjoying time together and knowing that they are taken care of and safe. My family will be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade all day, my mom and dad will be in the kitchen making the feast, my dad will say the prayer, it will be really long and make everyone impatient, but my dad is grateful for many things, they will all eat and enjoy the day and laugh and play games and probably watch a movie in the evening. I love knowing what they will do. I am so thankful for family traditions and families in general. I owe everything that I am to my family and loved ones who have made me the person I am today! I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of you!

I am so glad I get to be with my family forever and not just in this life. I am glad that this life has such a rich meaning and experience to it and I'm grateful we get to keep on learning forever! I love this Gospel, and although I miss home, I wouldn't miss being a missionary at this time in little Boulder City for anything. I hope that I am changing enough to be a wonderful daughter, sister, wife and mother when I come home!
May you all spend Thanksgiving with those you love around you close and may it be the best Thanksgiving yet!
Sending so much love your way,
Sister Alayna Nelson

Boulder City: The Nashville, Indiana of Nevada

(Written Monday, November 16, 2015)

Hello World from the sweet land of Boulder City, tucked away in the mountains!

What a beautiful place this is as you can see from all the pictures I got this week! I am so happy here everyone, it reminds me of home so much aside from the mountains. There are all these nicknack and trinket shops and it has an old feel like downtown Columbus that I love so much, everyone says hi and lots of people know everyone. It's just a happy place! I have to come back here after my mission.
Me and my companion, Sister Navarro have become the best of friends so quickly, she has a great sense of humor and we are laughing almost all the time, something funny happens pretty much every hour of every day and it makes missionary work so much easier to do! I'm so thankful for her and all she's teaching me already. We are in two congregations for church and this is an older area, meaning a lot of people come here to retire,but it's got a great feel to it.

The missionary work here is really neat, there are lots of people ready for the gospel and I'm so glad to be serving the Lord here. The work is the same wherever you go, we just get the rich experience of leaving a piece of our heart in several places all over the world with people we come to know and love! I have already made wonderful friendships here that I will treasure forever, everywhere you go is quirky and special!

So my thought for this week is to do something that will bring a smile to someone's face. Help them feel the love that the Savior has for them through you. It's a much richer experience when you share it with others! I love life, I love God and Christ and I love this gospel that I am honored to share with others, I wouldn't trade it for the world!

So much love,
Sister Alayna Nelson

PS: BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE BEST DAD IN THE WHOLE WORLD WHO HAS A BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK! I LOVE YOU DADDY!

PPS: the pictures below are from my first day when our ghetto car's sun visor broke and almost hit me in the face.
This is John, one of our awesome investigators here, he's so sweet
And of course me and Sister Navarro happy as ever this morning! Love you all!
PPPS: the blog will finally have all the photos I haven't been able to send because I finally have a working computer to send all my pictures home, so be watching the blog for more :)

The City of Large Rocks

(Written Monday, November 9, 2015)

Hello dear sweet family and friends,

Another transfer has come to a close and the verdict is that Sister Martin has finished her mission so she heads home tomorrow and I'm leaving the North Zone as well and headed to Boulder City. From what I've heard it's similar to Indiana in that it has a vintage old fashioned vibe going for it in the downtown area, so I'm so excited to take pictures down there. It is halfway between super-out-of-valley in Arizona Lake Havasu and King Man and the real world of Las Vegas.  So it's a smaller town with really nice people I hear. So it will be an interesting change! I'm excited to see what happens.

My next companion is named Sister Navarro. I've never worked around her, but she goes home at the same time I do so that should be neat. It's been a crazy week preparing for the new Elders that will be coming into the area and now, due to new boundaries being redrawn in our stake, they dissolved our ward, so it doesn't exist anymore and got combined with two other congregations. So that will be fun for the new Elders to figure out, poor things!

All in all this last week has been pretty great, we went on exchanges, had our big leadership meeting and learned a lot about how to be an effective leader and we've been working our tails off. I feel really blessed to have been in this area and to have gotten to know the people here, the Craig Ranch Ward holds a special place in my heart, but it's time for a new and exciting adventure! I can't wait to see what's in store for me in Boulder City. This next transfer will be a bit strange because it is only five weeks long, missionaries fly home the week before Christmas travels to save money, so the following transfer will be seven weeks long! Crazy stuff!


As for my spiritual thought, I know that God prepares people to hear the gospel, sometimes they turn away or get afraid or think they aren't ready but I know he has prepared the really solid people in this area who will be getting baptized next transfer. I feel thankful to have been a part of those miracles and each time I get to see a change in others it solidifies my testimony that Jesus is the Christ, He is my Savior and because of Him we all have the ability to change.

I love you all, I love this gospel and I know it is true. Have a wonderful week, stay warm and make beautiful memories, they last longer than many of the silly things we waste our time on!
Love,
Sister Alayna Nelson

PS: shout out to my best friend Grace Fischvogt who turns 21 tomorrow
❤️

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Where Love and Diabetes Meet

(Written Monday, November 2, 2015)

My dear family and friends,

I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween, it was a wonderful but crazy week with so many miracles to work on closing the transfer. It is Sister Martin's last week as a missionary and therefore we must see miracles, awesome and crazy things are happening here and who knows what the transfer holds, but I only get four more, so I have to start making things really awesome. It's weird to me that I'm repeating days now and that a year ago I was in Mexico struggling my way through Spanish and now I'm nearly fluent, serving in and English congregation and 2/3rds the way done with life as a missionary. It's weird.

As for my birthday, it was wonderful, I have many more pictures on my camera but the place where we email still doesn't have Internet on the computer so eventually you will see all. I received so much joy and love from so many people and most of that love came through sweet treats which I am so grateful to have but can we just look at the picture below, I mean honestly people how are two missionaries supposed to eat all that? So lots has been given out to spread the love and joy of diabetes with the north Las Vegas area.


It was a great day though, we got to eat with one of our favorite members, Sister Avance, and she got us Panda Express (my favorite) and she got us pretty necklaces, she is so sweet! The only problem is, that morning we both woke up feeling super nauseous like we were going to throw up... I was just thinking, "Well I probably feel like most 21 year olds on their birthday, the only difference is, I didn't even have to drink to feel this way haha," but I felt better in the nighttime for some delicious Panda.

For Halloween we had a trunk or treat party at the ward and I slyly dressed up like Snow White the missionary. Perhaps that was immature or unprofessional of me, but sometimes you have to have a little fun and this is one of my favorite holidays and I dont get to do have the other things that I normally do so I felt like it was fair. As for the actual Halloween, we didn't proselyte in the evening because everyone is busy trick or treating and no one would believe we were missionaries, they would think it was a costume. So instead, we get together with all the missionaries in the mission and we do silly skits about crazy lessons we've had and then we got to watch the movie the Cokeville Miracle which is really good and about God intervening to save children in a school, I recommend it to everyone.

It's been a crazy week and here we go into the last week! I love you all, thanks for your prayers, I can't believe that it's November already! I hope you all enjoy the weather and life itself, it's a beautiful thing to be living.

Love,
Sister Alayna Nelson

Milestones

(Written Monday, October 26, 2015)

Dearest family and friends,

First off HAPPY HALLOWEEN ( I wish I could change the color and font on my iPad but sadly it isn't that advanced yet, or if it is, I have no idea how to do it, so just imagine that Happy Halloween looks really cool)

This is my favorite time of year and I'm sad I don't get to see the leaves changing in Indiana, but that's okay, I'll see them next year! It's been an incredible week with a lot of unexpected surprises!

I've had many milestones crossed this week as one of our recent converts had her sixth baby and his name is Tazion, we got to go visit last night and he just looked like a little piece of heaven in her arms, it was wonderful.
Another recent convert asked us if she could come out to lessons with us to teach the world about our loving Heavenly Father and she's a teenager and has already been out twice, I am amazed to see how fast she is growing.
Another recent convert got to go do baptisms for his ancestors in the temple this past Saturday and we got to go, it was my first time doing baptisms on my mission and it was so special and beautiful. I love seeing people grow and feel the spirit.
Among other things, I see my companion preparing to finish her mission and how that is impacting her work and service in her last few weeks, what giant milestones everyone seems to be crossing right now, but how neat it is.

I'm about to have some of my own milestones this week too. I get to turn 21 as a missionary in Vegas, how ironic and I hit my year mark on the 29th of serving a mission. I will be 2/3 done and I just don't know where the time goes.  I received an email from a very close friend who told me that there has been a mighty change over the past couple of years, but especially this past year. I personally can't see much but I do hope to return as a person completely changed by the atonement of my savior Jesus Christ. I know he gets us through everything, I know he is mindful of us and the challenges we go through, I know he helps us each day and as we watched for those miracles we see and feel them. Each day I learn better and better that this is God's church on the earth and that it is lead and directed by him.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I hope each of you notice the milestones that you're crossing and having in your life right now and recognize that progression -not speed- is the key. Happy Halloween!
Love, Sister Alayna Nelson
PS: Sorry I don't have pictures this week, the Internet on the computer is down and I can't load pictures from my camera, so maybe next week!

Can you believe this crazy kid is turning 21. Just some lovely selfies from my iPad for you because I'm still five and refuse to be a legal adult this week. Taken this morning.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Busy As A Bee

(Written Monday, October 19, 2015)

Hello Everyone,

This email is going to be really short! It has been a crazy busy week, but nevertheless full of miracles!
We saw Anahi get baptized which was a wonderful experience, she was so happy and cried after she came out of the water because she felt the spirit so strong and was so happy. Her brother and grandmother came who are not members and they both really liked it. Pablo, the 10 year old brother came up and asked us afterwards when he could get baptized and he hadn't been interested before and now he is telling everyone he is getting baptized. He came to church and loved it and Grandma came too which was cool so we may have two more baptisms really soon!
All the young women that came to support Anahi at her baptism (and us of course, because we are cool).

We had zone conference where we learned how we can help our area more from the Stake President. Also, our President told us that our mission has really high key indicators compared to any other mission in North America, he said it's not us, it's our members who are so willing to come out and help us and bring their friends and they trust us and because of that, we see more success. I am so grateful for members who go out with the missionaries! It is so helpful to us, even when we may not have a teaching appointment.
Our cute zone!
We also went on exchanges with our sisters and it was so fun and we saw many miracles including that we met a man named John who basically had a ton of questions and we were able to teach the whole plan of salvation right on his front porch and he was so excited for us to come back.

I love this gospel! I know that Heavenly Father is preparing people and I am so grateful to be an instrument in his hands! Everyone have a great week and try to go out with the missionaries at least once!
Love,
Sister Alayna Nelson

PS- We did a short class during sharing time in our primary class here about missionary work. This was my favorite song they sang in the primary program because they sang with such conviction and it was so cute so I asked them to sing for all of you. Enjoy!
video

Friday, October 16, 2015

God Lives, He Answers Prayers

(Written Monday, October 12, 2015)

Dear friends and family,

What a wonderful week this has been for us. I am so grateful to be here learning from others and continually trying to better myself and become who God wants and needs me to be. We saw many miracles this week which is what we have been praying for since it is Sister Martin's last transfer. Heavenly Father is delivering in marvelous ways as we work our hardest to prove to the Lord we are willing and trying. We went to areas we have never worked in before and found many promising people to teach and we had a zone training meeting where we, as leaders, inspired our missionaries to exercise their faith (my training) their agency to make their missions the best (Sister Martin's training) and to be obedient (Elder Hale's training) and use and access the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ daily (elder Rockwood's training).  It was such a spiritual day and we learned a lot.

I would like to express my love and testimony to all of you about my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is through him that sinners can become good and good people can become better. I have hope to become who God needs me to be as I exercise my faith in Him through my actions. Our goal as a companionship this transfer was to bring 6 people to the waters of baptism and the gates of heaven. We have one that is solid named Anahi who is 14 and getting baptized this Saturday, but we lost a ton of investigators and we're basically starting from scratch and wanted to find a family of five. All week we were struggling to find them. We went to the temple and began to pray for them, we tried different things. This Sunday we both fasted to find them, we planned so well and tried to create the situation in which we would find them with specific prayer. We asked Heavenly Father to prepare a family in our blue or purple areas and that we would go there. All day we found no success, none before church in our blue area, but we worked tirelessly to find our family, we went to church, after church we found no one. We talked to a man who tried to question everything we said and wouldn't let us talk. But I remembered something that my trainer said to me one of my first weeks in the mission " when things get hard or frustrating, just keep going, because something really great is about to happen and this part is just a test." That has proven true my whole mission, so as we left sad and frustrated, we prayed that Heavenly Father would guide us to them in our purple area. As we knocked on every door, nothing happened. We were about to get in our car to go to our meeting at 7:55 and we saw a house and we knew we needed to knock it, we walked over and knocked twice, there was no answer so we walked away, but they opened the door! It was a family of seven who have Mormon friends and were so kind and they invited us in to say a prayer with them and come by next week. There are five of them that are of age to be baptized, but what a ten times mercy that Heavenly Father gave us two extra sweet young boys to love and cherish too. We walked away and just cried that at the very last moment when we were about to resign the fact that we wouldn't find them that night, Heavenly Father gave them to us for our diligence. I know that God exists, that He hears our prayers and is mindful of our righteous desires and wants to help us. He helped us, he answered our prayers and he will answer yours. Keep praying, keep going, be creators in your circumstances and He will give you success.
I love you all so much!
Please have a marvelous week!
Sister Alayna Nelson

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall, Illness and General Conference

(Written Monday, October 5, 2015)

Hello family and friends,

This week there really isn't too much to report because I spent most of the week laying on a member's couch recovering from a nasty, nasty cold that wiped out my whole body.  It was a lot of sleeping and some interesting concoctions like apple cider vinegar mixed with water to heal a sore throat, elderberry which is nasty, a Cayman pepper water mixture, berating treatments, and lots of other strange things from members.  I've tried lots of them now. I ended up staying with one family who nursed me back to health while my companion continued to work with other members and missionaries. But I did get to watch conference, and boy, was it powerful!  I got answers to my questions and felt the spirit even from the couch in my pjs.  I've felt a little lazy because it's the missionary mentality, but I knew that if I kept working it would only get worse and I slept sooo much!

I think the biggest things that I got from Conference were things that I can do better and also protecting myself and future family from temptation and also to just simplify life. My favorite quote was by Elder Hales quoting Elder Bednar, "When you cannot do what you've always done, do what's most important!" I really like that, it helps me want to prioritize when I go home and make better use of my time and simplify.  Too many people have the regret when they are close to passing away that they wish they would have spent more time as a family or made fun memories and so my question to you this week is what is most important to you and how will you make that a priority this week?

I know that Heavenly Father gives us time to do all the things we want to do when we put Him first. It's not logical, but I know it works, I've seen it in my life. Make time for what really matters and you will see.

I love you all, please know I am doing much better and ready to work and see miracles this week, prepare to be amazed!

Love you all!
Sister Alayna Nelson

PS-Again I can't get on the normal computer, maybe later I can
send you pics from my other camera, but I really didn't take photos this week.
Yes I did take a photo on a selfie stick, it was radical I guess, and I'm doing much better now.
This is Haley, she comes out with us all the time and she took care of me!
Breathing treatment


Come listen to a Prophet's Voice

(Written Monday, September 28, 2015)

My dear sweet family and friends,

What a marvelous thing it is to be alive and on the earth right now this very day.  We have a purpose we are called here and saved to come at this time to do a wondrous work of good and truth.   I am so happy to be a missionary at this time.  I was reminded in an email today from a very close friend of mine to think back to the first time I had a desire to serve a mission and if it was still just as fun as imagining it. I have been thinking a lot about that because sometimes we just go go go that we forget to see how far we've come and recognize who we are. It has been difficult for me to see large changes in myself, but recently, I've seen similar situations that I've been in and I always think how I'd respond and the most satisfying thing is when I think, I used to do it that way, but I would do it differently now.  I don't know if that makes sense, but I suppose all that matters is that I understand.

Some wonderful things have happened this week that have made me so happy and grateful for the knowledge that I have and also glad to be able to share it. We talked to even more people this week. As a zone, we didn't reach our goal of 2,000 but we all talked to more people than ever which makes us feel good.

This week we got to watch the primary program where the children share what songs and principles they have learned. My two favorite songs that touched my heart were "I know that my Savior Loves me" and "I belong to the church of Jesus Christ."  It was so cute because I realized how singing those songs helped me learn things at a young age and feel close to God and have helped me become who I am. They sang with such conviction that they know Jesus loves them and they know God's plan. I want to be a little kid again sometimes.

October has always been my favorite time of year with the changing colors and the crisper air and the sweaters and candles and pumpkins.  I always liked doing the primary program and getting ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving and as I've gotten older I've loved watching General Conference. I have fond memories watching it in pjs at home and fond memories watching it in person twice in college. As a missionary I've come to realize how special and significant and merciful it is that God gave us a prophet again today like Adam, Noah and Moses to be the mouthpiece for God to lead and guide us safely in this crazy world. He's speaking to the world this weekend and it's free and you can watch it from your home, but I encourage you to watch it. They will answer your questions, they will bring peace and joy and they will testify of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so looking forward to more guidance and I would just love to hear what you learn and how conference helped you next week!

Love you all,
Sister Alayna Nelson

PS: here's an easy link to watch general conference, get information about what it is, activities for your kids to do etc.
http://conference.lds.org

PPS: Sorry I don't have pictures, I tried sending them from the computer but it didn't work. Maybe next week. There weren't many anyways. I'll do better this week!
 I love this quote!

Enlisted

(Written Monday September 21, 2105)

Well Everyone,

It's been another crazy, eventful and random week. After much prayer and consideration, weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to join the air force and cease to be a missionary. View photos below for proof. I'm just playing, but I did get to do some crazy stuff this week. It was a week of miracles.

I saw Brother Nolin make the commitment to be baptized this week by his son Matt which was so neat and all of the missionaries came back to visit him, even some that had gone home so it was super special.

We got to do my first set of official training in front of the zone for interviews with the president where we trained about loving our companion, prayer and we even boarded the boat with the "twelve disciples" and simulated Jesus walking on the sea and leaving the boat to join him, by leaving everything behind and just riding on faith. It was powerful and allowed me to reflect on my mission and on my life and what I was giving to the Lord and how I trusted him in my life!

This week I have seen miracles, I am not happy to say this part, but our mission has a goal for us to talk to at least 70 people each week in the street and invite them to listen to our message. Despite trying my whole mission to hit 70, I never had reached it until this week. We had a miracle week where in one day we talked to 41 people. 41 people. I was blown away by the help of the Lord and the confidence I needed to talked to all those people, and I hadn't even felt good that morning! The Lord blessed us to be able to not only achieve our standard, but far exceed it by reaching over 100 street contacts! I was so humbled to see the Lord work through me! One of my friends wrote to me this week and said that when we understand the atonement and Christ's love for us, we physically cannot keep our mouth shut, but are propelled to open our mouths and share this message with others. I must be understanding the atonement more even though I feel so stationary as a missionary right now, not learning nearly as much as I want to.

Lastly to explain the military outfits, I didn't join the military. We just borrowed uniforms for a zone leadership activity to pump up our missionaries to expand their vision and talk to everyone so that we could have 2,000 strippling street contacts for our last week of transfers! We want to have a miracle week and beat another zone's number from their miracle week. WE decided to do the strippling street contacts like the strippling warriors and pray for miracles to come and that we can work so hard, so we had like a pep rally and had cool music and just got people pumped so I hope to write to you next week saying it was a big success and we did it!
I love the mission and being creative to help other missionaries be excited and see their potential!  I can't believe how fast his transfer has gone, my companion will be going home after next transfer and my time is getting shorter and shorter as next month I have been out for a year with only 6 months left. I hope I am doing everything I can to please the Lord and change myself and be the person he wants me to be. I hope that He is proud of me. This week I plan to be even more enlisted in the work of the Lord to bring salvation and eternal blessings to others, may we all try to enlist ourselves more in our capacities and positions now is my prayer!
I love you all!
Have a wonderful week!
Love,
Sister Alayna Nelson

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Hype Hike

(Written Monday, September 14, 2015)

My dear sweet family and friends,

This has been a wonderful week and I have learned a lot about myself and my mission. I had the privilege of going on exchanges with Sister Blanchard (she is basically a Sister AP in our mission).
We got to go to another zone's training conference and it was so creative what they did. They taught their trainings along the trail of a hike up a mountain and it was one of the most spiritual things I have done. The hike brought a lot of symbolism up in my mind for me personally and I learned a lot. We started at the base and talked about working hard and how the mission was hard. Looking up at that mountain and thinking, 'I have to climb this in a skirt and it's really hot! This will be nuts' was tough, but as I started the hike, I noticed it was so much easier to watch each step I took rather than looking straight ahead to see how much farther I needed to go.  And when I did look up occasionally, I was able to see I had traveled so far. It was hot, but Heavenly Father sent us breezes and I learned so much about how I could be a better missionary.
Now that I do lots of trainings it was nice to sit back and learn from someone else rather than having to teach others! I love learning! I wish I could explain everything that I learned on this hike, but I feel like a lot of it are things I don't know how to explain! It just gave me motivation to work harder and to see that all is possible with God! I hiked a mountain in a skirt and got burned so I have a wonderful tan and peeling forehead to go along with it, but it made me so happy that day! I did hard things and walking down the mountain was like walking down the last part of my mission! There is not much time left and it made me want to work really hard so I can run to the end and just like I was exhausted, red in the face and really sweaty, that's how I figuratively want to finish my mission! I want to give it my all with sore muscles from exercising them so hard (a stronger spirit and mind) and the desire to continue to work hard and do amazing things when I get home.
This hike was meant to pump up their zone so they called it the Hype Hike. It certainly helped me and I know I was there for that reason, to learn something from someone else that Heavenly Father needed to teach me. Where are you at on your hike, on your journey to better yourself? Find out and keep moving forward! Heavenly Father makes all things possible and loves us enough to do so! He sent his Son, which is the demonstration of the love of God and we have the chance to push ourselves and be a little better today than we were yesterday! We can do hard things!
I've seen numerous miracles this week and I honestly feel that I cheat you all out of so many stories because there is not enough time to tell them, but know that they are changing me and the only way you would be able to see and understand all the stories would be if you were serving right here beside me, so with that being said, if you want to be better and change yourself, draw closer to God and Jesus Christ and increase your faith like never before, I cannot recommend serving a mission more. God is building his army to bring the world his truth because he loves his children and you and I get to be a part of that!
I witnessed this week Bro. Nolin pass his baptismal interview and he will get baptized this weekend to complete his family so they can be sealed together! I love the gospel and the joy it brings to life! Share what makes you happy with someone this week and your joy will grow even more!

I love you all so much,
Sister Alayna Nelson

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"I Love Jesus So Much"

(Written Monday, September 7, 2015)

Hello Friends and Family,

It's crazy that another Pday has rolled around, why does time just go faster and faster the older you get in the mission. This week, I went to something called MLC which is Mission Leadership Council.  All the leaders in the mission got together to receive counsel that they could take back to their zones of working and training their missionaries. It was quite enlightening, a little stressful because they encourage you to continue to be better and you're like, "woah, I am trying!"  But I can always do more, but it's way good!
We came back to our areas and planned special training on always being converted by having spiritual experiences. So no matter what religion you are, ask yourself this question, when was the last time you had a spiritual experience? Hopefully it was today or yesterday, but we should try to have them often. If we aren't nourishing our spirituality, it will wither and we won't notice.

Sometimes we will just need an extra powerful experience. A couple weeks ago, we tried saying hi to someone on the street who didn't believe in God (which we didn't know) and rather than saying no he didn't want to hear it and walk away, he came over and started grilling us and trying to trap us in lies for like 30 minutes. Needless to say that wasn't a very spiritual experience and we walked away with our hearts feeling depressed and frustrated and sad. We went to our next lesson and were just having a discussion about God and it was so powerful the manifestation that both Sister Martin and I got as each time God, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ or the atonement were mentioned and talked about. We knew He existed and that He knew us and what happened and the stark difference was incredible to notice. I was grateful for that moment because sometimes we need a reminder on the most basic of principles that God is our loving Heavenly Father and he knows us personally and loves us and wants to help us. So please, seek out a spiritual experience daily to nourish your spiritual faith and life! I promise it will bless you for I have seen it bless my own life.

We taught the Fellman family about tithing and the only reason April is worried about paying it is because she has a teacher's salary and she works at a low income school so kids come to school without shoes and good clothes and she buys it for them out of pocket. She wants to be able to do both but doesn't see how she can. We felt so prompted to promise that as she pays tithing, she will be able to do even more for those kids. And our inspired member shared that the relief society program for women at church would be happy to help! It was so wonderful! She has such righteous desires and I know the Lord will bless her for her good heart.

One final story for you all, last night, we watched the Testaments with the Nolin family. This movie sums up what happened in the Bible and Book of Mormon at the same time and when Christ comes to the Americas. It is an incredible movie and the spirit was so strong. Their ten year old son, Ryan, is very spiritual and very close to the Lord.  As he watched the end, he started bawling because he was so happy to see Jesus heal the faithful prophet. He said "I love Jesus so much, I want to hug him." We were able to talk about missionary work and how we can love the Savior even more now by helping him bring his other family members to the truth. He was asking why Christ couldn't come now and it was just so spiritual. Everyone was crying (even Brother Nolin who is the only nonmember in the family and getting baptized on the 19th) The spirit was incredible. Group hugs were shared and the week ended on a wonderful note!

I know Christ will come again, I know the work I am doing is the most important work on the earth and I, too, Love Jesus So Much! I hope you all have a wonderful week and a safe labor day!
I love you all so much!
-Sister Alayna Nelson

Taezon Hall's baptism, now the hall family is complete :)
Our Zone