Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mansions, Crocheting and Missionary Work

(Written, Monday, January 26, 2015)

Howdy Y'all!

I hope you're doing well and the weather is good where you are! This week went by so fast, I blinked my eyes and I am sitting at a computer again for email time! The work is still progressing here, slowly but surely. I love it so much! It is already starting to get hot here, dang it! Its been like 70! Yowza! I am not ready for this heat!
This week, we had some very interesting experiences. Sometimes as a missionary, you learn all kinds of random things. One of the people we visit is an older lady who crochets these giant blankets and she taught us how to make the pretty flowers in the picture below. It was super tedious, but I made that one with her help! Isn't it pretty?
We also visit an 80 year old lady in a gated community and if you visit my blog you can see the picture me and her sweet dog Bonita cuddling on the couch.
We have set a family with a baptismal date which is so exciting and seeing them at church and knowing that they enjoy it makes it all the better! I love this gospel because it changes us and makes us happier and better versions of ourselves and I am seeing that in the lives of Tomas, Juanita and JR.

I don't have a super giant spiritual thought this week, it went by so fast it's hard to even know what happened (which is scary because that's how the mission is if you aren't careful!) But as a companionship, Sister Defreitas and I have been making fun activities to teach the gospel to families that have little kids and short attention spans. One activity we have done comes from The Book of Mormon where many people joined the church and made a covenant with God that they had changed their ways by burying their weapons of war, promising him that they would never go to battle again. When their enemies came to fight them, they all got on their knees and began to pray and although some of them were killed, when the enemies saw how they were praying and would not fight, they all dropped their weapons and were converted to God and many more were converted than were killed. What a beautiful story. And it's good because those that were killed are saved and redeemed through Christ because of their obedience. So, we cut out paper swords and asked that everyone would write something they wanted to "bury" on the sword. Something they wanted to stop doing so they could draw closer to our Savior. I invite you all to try praying about something you want to stop doing or do better to draw closer to the Lord. and I promise you that as you do, you will see the Lord's hand in your life and you will feel his spirit so strongly.

I love you all so much!
Have a great week!
Sister Nelson

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Name is on The List to Enter The Club

Well folks, you're finally going to get a short email from me.

This week has been great! I ended my first transfer here in the mission field (every transfer is 6 weeks) and I will be staying here in Warmsprings/Anthem area for another transfer with my trainer "mom" Sister Defreitas!

We have taught so many awesome lessons this week and brought people closer to Christ! I love seeing the miracles as a missionary! This is the Lord's work and he provides a way for it to be done daily! We had meetings this past week that encouraged us to Street Contact with everyone we see, so when we came home, we saw some teenagers outside and decided to have a chat with them, it turned out that one of them was a member who hadn't been in a while and one of them had been looking into the church and was almost baptized and he wanted to learn more now! So now we have five new people that want to learn more! I love seeing these miracles. Something I have learned this week is that the people in our path no matter if we are missionaries or not are the people that God has placed in our lives for us to influence and help and make better! How awesome is that!? We have the opportunity to be such a source of good in the world!

We just found out today that the lady we made snowflakes with, Gloria has passed away. I am sad to hear that but I know that through the plan of happiness that God has for us, we can see our families and loved ones again and be with them forever through the power and authority of God that we have in this church. If you want to learn more visit I am sad she isn't here and that I didn't get to see her one last time, but she is doing well on the other side I am sure of it.

So my commission to you all this week is to go do something you have been meaning to do whether it is visit someone or write that letter, make that phone call because someone may need you and you may be able to be that light they need! I love you all and I love my Savior and that is why I am a missionary, so that I can help others see just how much He loves them!

Have a great week y'all!

Love, Sister Nelson

Meant to tell you what The Club is! Down south in our area, everything is super ritzy and gated communities. there is one that is literally called the club and you have to be on the person's list at the front entrance to get in! There is a member family in the neighborhood so we get in, cause we are awesome and our name is on the list ;) how cool is that right?

The pictures are of my district before transfers at our last district meeting together and the other one is me and my companion on a day when we looked extra fabulous! There are more pictures on the blog of my apartment and my fun week! I hope you have time to check them out!
I love you all! See you next week!

(PS: next week is my 1/5 mark! Can you all believe it? This is flying by!)

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Week of Miracles!

My goodness folks!

Another week has flown by and I have been here in Vegas for a month already! And I have almost been a missionary for 3 months, that means I am 1/6 done with my mission. This is going to fly by and I'm scared and sad! My companion hit her 1 year mark this week, meaning that she only has 6 more months left! Not a whole lot of time! WOW! We celebrated with Trader Joe's delicious meat balls and brownies :)

We had so many miracles with our stellar family who is going through a really big challenge right now but always turning to the Lord. We had Rosa the mother say a prayer and she poured out her heart to Heavenly Father sobbing and crying and the spirit was there so incredibly strong that I felt the light and comfort He brought and I'm sure if our spiritual eyes were opened, we would see the angels comforting this woman!

Another big miracle this week was that while we were on exchanges again, I stayed in our area and had to communicate with everyone in Spanish by myself because the girls who are our Sister Training Leaders are English speakers so they don't know Spanish. I was very nervous, but Heavenly Father qualified me throughout the day to understand everyone and I was amazed. People who I normally couldn't understand, I understood everything and was able to translate, I was able to have an hour long conversation with a less active member of the church who told me about a very personal and powerful experience when her father had cancer and she prayed because she couldn't take this burden and a man dressed in white appeared in her room and told her that although her father had cancer in his prostate and in his stomach and arms that he would live longer. The next time they did the scans, the cancer was completely gone. This woman's faith is amazing and I was so glad to be qualified and lifted above my capacity so that I could speak with and to her! It was beautiful.

Another very large and personal miracle happened this night as well. As we were pulling in to get to a member's house for dinner, we pulled up to the gated door and I realized I didn't have the gate code, I started to get ready to call them and ask, but Sister Mayfield, the Sister Training Leader that I was on exchanges with during the day said, no, watch this. She began to pray and said a very short prayer that the gate would be opened so that we could make our way to dinner. It was probably four seconds long and I opened my eyes and the gate was wide open. No car had passed to type in the code, and those gates are very slow to open. I started crying because the spirit was bearing witness to me that Heavenly Father is mindful of each one of us and the most small insignificant things are answered, we could have called, but I think He wanted to let us know He was there and He is mindful of each of us no matter how small a thing.

I want to bear my testimony that I know God loves each one of you and miracles happen because of our faith not the other way around. God has miracles in place for you every day and he knows you and what you need personally! I am forever grateful to my Father in Heaven for the blessings and miracles He shows me every day and that He is increasing my faith and testimony daily and I love being able to be a representative of his Son Jesus Christ for a small portion of my life.

I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!
--Sister Nelson

PS: This is the info about the pictures and as always, there are more on the blog :) the pictures here are from a blitz we did. Which means all the missionaries spend an hour and a half in one area and work for the sisters of that area. We split off with a member and we share the gospel with people on the street. It was a really cool experience! This week I have been getting really bad migraines and I'm not sure why, but my compie loves me so much that she blocked the sun from my eyes while we were driving because I am too short for the visor to do anything. I love my compie :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Octopus, New Years, Temples and Miracles!

(Written Monday, January 5, 2015)

FELIZ ANO NUEVO everybody!!!!

What a great week this has been! I got free sandwiches last week from a little place called Great Harvest. It is owned by a member of the church so they feed poor missionaries for free :)

Also, I want to share with you a really great experience I had this week.  I got to go to the Las Vegas Temple this week.
It was so incredibly peaceful and beautiful besides the crazy cold weather! (I can't believe how cold it gets here in such a hot place! I have been freezing!!!) The temple is so important to the Mormon faith because it is the way that we can do work for our ancestors who have passed on. We can be baptized vicariously for them since they cannot do it for themselves and make so many other wonderful covenants with our loving heavenly father. It is the place where we can be married and sealed to our families not just "til death do us part" but even after this life so that we can live with God again. When we teach this lesson, it is called the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness from God. It was a cleansing experience for me and so special and beautiful and sacred and I am so thankful to have the house of the Lord (temples) on the earth today where we can be closer to him than any other place. I love this gospel and the hope and joy that it brings and if you are interested in learning more about your ancestors and where you came from or more about this plan, you can visit and learn more about the Plan of Happiness and you can visit which is a free (and very amazing) website to do family history on (in my opinion it's better than ancestry. I have used them both but this one is better AND free!)
After having this experience, we were able to share it as well as a Priesthood Blessing with one of our families (the Rodriguez family--Rosa, Cathy, Bryan and Mateo) and they are so excited to go to the temple and do research about their ancestors and get baptized! There are so many miracles that come from having temples all over the world. They are a refuge from all the bad things of the world and I am so grateful to have one so close and to be able to go so frequently!
As New Years has just passed, my companion and I had to be in our house by 6pm and stay for the rest of the night on New Years Eve for safety reasons. We got Panda Express and opened fortunes, tried to get caught up in our journals, drank sparkling cider and listened to beautiful church music. We also set goals for this upcoming year and how we want to change ourselves to be better followers of Jesus Christ. With this New Year, did you make any spiritual goals? I know that dieting is a common one and that requires mental and physical strength, but how do you plan to increase your spiritual strength this year? For me and my companion, we set a different goal for each month of something specific we want to be better at and you WILL be able to see the change in your life as you do this. I hope that you all will add some spiritual goals to your list, whether it be attend church more or read the scriptures for five minutes everyday and I promise you that you will see so many blessings in your life as you do these things! I hope you all have a fabulous week and that all your goals are going well so far!
Trying the octopus that Gabe sent me, right before I couldn't take it anymore and spit it all out! It was so gross, I almost threw up!
Thank you all so much for the letters and packages! They make my soul happy! I will write back very soon, there just isn't a lot of free time, but that just means that I am working hard to do what Heavenly Father needs me to do, but don't worry! I haven't forgotten any of you! Check out the blog for some other really cool pictures! I learned how to make homemade tortillas this week and I am a pro with the technique and everything! I'll be making those when I get home!

Love you all,
Sister Alayna Nelson!

This video looks like it's filmed in Indiana and it's about a dad and how he works for his kids and its beautiful and I want everyone to know that God loves them personally and wants to help them this year!