Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mission Accomplished

(Written Monday, May 2, 2016)

My dear family and friends,

It is strange to be writing my last email today, that's probably why I waited until way late to email today, trying to avoid the fact that this beautiful life and ministry dedicated to Christ is coming to a close. The Lord has blessed me to see so many tender mercies and miracles this week of pure spiritual experiences and I feel so privileged to be a part of this work.

We saw Tiara and Lannard's continue to draw closer to Christ as we've studied with them, their hearts have softened and they are beginning to feel the peace that comes from increasing our relationship with Christ. Tammy, a new investigator had read the whole restoration pamphlet by the time we had our next lesson and we were able to answer her questions and teach to her needs. She has such a strong desire to seek God and Christ out and is excited to read the Book of Mormon and come to church with her husband.

This past Friday, I got to meet and shake hands with an apostle of the Lord, who also happens to be my favorite one, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland who shared with us how to meet the people we are teaching where they are at and help them raise their vision and realize that they can have and deserve so much more through Christ. It was very spiritual, as we sang in a room full of 400 missionaries, the spirit was so strong. As we stood for Elder Holland to leave, he waved with tears in his eyes and said "I love you" it was a great close to a wonderful mission.

We also got to take Keyana to stake conference where she got to meet Elder Frost from the Seventy. So many precious moments were shared as she offered to share her snacks with the other kids and said "I love sharing, it makes me feel good" she cuddled with me and at the end wanted to hug Elder and Sister Frost and asked me to go up there with her. I had a distinct feeling that we needed to take her to the temple before we took her home and we had one of the best temple tours of my mission with her and I know she felt something special there, as we pulled up she just kept gasping and awing at the beauty that was there and when we invited her pick a spot and touch the temple to make a promise with herself that she would enter in one day, she said she felt so much peace and was so happy and almost crying. It will be a memory that we both hold on to for a long time!

In the past 18 months, I've been to Mexico and back, served in five areas, had 10 companions, found many of God's elect people, had incredible spiritual experiences that have changed me permanently, I've seen the pain and hurt of a world without the Savior and I've seen those who have followed Christ who changes everything and helps us live in the world but not of the world. And I have to come home and give a talk for like 18-20 minutes, one minute to describe every month, it's just not possible to describe the love, light joy and peace that I've felt in the past year and a half.

I once had someone share Mosiah 18:30 with me from the Book of Mormon, but they changed the wording: "And now it came to pass that all this was done in NEVADA, yea, by the waters of LAKE MEAD in the forest that was near the waters of LAKE MEAD; yea, the place of LAS VEGAS, the waters of LAS VEGAS, the forest of LAS VEGAS, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer."  Every area that I have served in, I've come to know my Savior more and better. I'm grateful for the walk I've had with Christ. He's held my hand and I appreciate my Savior so much more now. Las Vegas will never be the same for me, what once was sin city is now sacred city, this place is holy ground now and I can truly say mission accomplished!

See you all very soon,
Love you lots!
Sister Nelson

Once a sister always a sister, time to apply everything I know now!

Ps: Pictures are from:  Our sisters lunch,

My final mission photo,

and The boulder city kids were reunited again at the mission conference

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Last 10 Yards

(Written Monday, April 25, 2016)

Hi everybody,

Here we are, the last quarter of the game, the final play to determine the score, the last ten yards 'til the touchdown and boy do I feel the pressure. It's been a crazy journey with ups and downs, but I made it to this very play. I love talking in football terms because it always reminds me of my dad. We got to watch meet the Mormons as a ward activity this week and believe it or not I started tearing up at the football part because I thought of dad, I'm such a wuss. I've just become even more sentimental as a missionary. It's such a great movie though.

I had a good week, it's officially started hitting me, though, so that's weird, but this next week miracles will happen every day! I have been praying so hard. The allergy came back really bad his week, but I waited to take my third round of steroids until today so that it would last me until the end of my mission and I wouldn't feel sick traveling. The sick eyes are back but won't be here for long. We did three exchanges this week and got really close with all of our sisters, I became great friends with Sister Sandoval who I really didn't know and hadn't served around, but she's incredible and we saw some great miracles when we taught a girl named Ariana who said she wanted to be married in a church so her family could have a solid foundation. We were teaching the restoration, but segued into temples and how we can be with our family for time and all eternity rather than til death do us part. She loved it and wants to be baptized and she's only sixteen! Woah!

We saw another miracle where a member canceled an hour before a really important lesson so we were frantically texting people and the only one who could help was a lady by the name of Sister Alberti who just moved back into our ward. As we taught part of the restoration to Machelle, Sister Alberti kept sharing things and we realized that Heavenly Father had orchestrated everything to demonstrate his love for Machelle. They both had similar religious backgrounds, health issues and current life situations and trials and it just spoke so much to me that Machelle is a golden, precious spirit daughter of God and he wanted her to know. I love miracles like this.

We also had a lesson with a woman named Tiara who we haven't been able to catch recently, but her husband (who doesn't really believe in organized religion) sat in on the restoration lesson and seemed interested, as we explained the priesthood authority, it made sense to him and we really taught to their needs, he seemed very intrigued by the Book of Mormon and by the spirit that was there and we are going back to teach them tonight. It's going to be so cool.

Heavenly Father truly does answer prayers and show us incredible miracles and blessings. I love this gospel, I love my Savior Jesus Christ, I love being one of his representatives with the authority to teach others in His place. This is the greatest blessing of my life thus far and it truly has changed me. I'll never look at Vegas the same again. It's holy ground for me. I love it here. It's time to give it my all, sprint to the finish and see miracles daily and then collapse on my bed when I get home. Now is the time to perform our labors, rest later.

I love you all and will see many of you soon, but until then, I'm running for miracles.
Love you all so much,
Sister Nelson

Since I've been fighting this awful eye thing, I don't have other pictures.... So just look at this pretty picture someone drew of Jesus, I always love seeing him smile. I know he's happy.
 Also, this is me and sister Sandoval being crazy.

I'll take lots of pictures this week I promise. Love you all!

A Believer's Prayer

(Written Monday, April 18, 2016)

My dear family and friends,

It's been another incredible week.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary, each moment gets more special as the days seem to slip through my grasp. We keep seeing miracles over here and I know this is the work of the Lord.

It was another amazing week, so many hints seem to happen and the days seem to be too fast and all blurring together. I've been good about writing in my journal though, so that will be helpful. We had a zone conference this week where three zones got together and got trained on being more accountable to our ward leaders and also sustaining them, being obedient with our iPads and allowing the learning and habits we are forming here to change our eternities for the better and to also help our children. Our Mission President shared a movie that I want to see if I can find when I get home, it's called The Go Getter and the main character is named Billy Peck. He's a super optimist and does everything he can to go the extra mile for a company without compromising his standards or the trust of his employer. It was great and really got me thinking about how I can do my job -whatever it may be at the current time of my life- better. It was phenomenal. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to watch a movie without analyzing it for purposes of making my life better once I get home, that will be weird. But all trainings were great and we are working on applying them.

I also got to give my first of three departing testimonies, which was strange. I thought I'd be more emotional, but honestly I'm just grateful for this, I'm just in awe and can't really process it all. It's just crazy how merciful the Lord is to us. I was also given the opportunity to sing in one of our sacrament meetings and I got to sing the song "A believer's Prayer" by Sally Deford. It talks about someone who has a desire to do what the Savior has done and help the hungry and needy, to give them courage so they can stand in his place and help increase others faith in him. The chorus says, "Let me be light to the wanderer by night, compass and guide to the seeker, let thy love shine in me, teach me to be, an example of the believers." It's so pretty and I know I had angels singing it with me to convey the spirit and feeling that I have, having spent 17.5 months serving my savior, completely imperfectly, but with his grace and help to do what he needs me to do. It was a special moment for me.

I'm having so many sentimental and nostalgic moments lately, it's crazy. Being a missionary is the greatest thing, I'm so fortunate to be changed because of Him. I love you all and will see many of you soon, but until then, I go to carry my testimony to as many as will listen. Have a wonderful week and work to increase someone's faith in Christ!

Sister Nelson

Ps: Our zone vision is Connect Everyone with Christ and we were on our way to a meeting with the zone leaders, Elder Jones and Elder Serranilla and saw this and had to stop, it was a sign for a Christian church and they have our same vision, so funny haha.

PPS: This is the triple zone conference that everyone went to. It was also announced here that JEFFREY R. HOLLAND MY FAVORITE APOSTLE is coming to our mission on April 29th.....woah. Right before I go home, that will be cool!
PPpS: My eyes are still a little red, but not as itchy.. Just trying not to die in my final days.  But I made my first decisive decision ever when I had a crazy craving for fettuccine Alfredo so we got it and it was the best thing ever. So yummy.
PPPPS: I will send the clip I have of me singing to my family and they will put it on the blog for you to see. Have a good week!

It's Raining, It's Pouring

(Written Monday, April 11, 2016)

Hello my wonderful family and friends,

It's been raining and super cold (aka 57 degrees-which is super cold for us folk out in Nevada) so we broke out the boots (which turns out have been worn so much they have holes in them and are kinda good for nothing without duct tape, trust me I am so classy) and the big puffy coat and have been running through the rain sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.

One night in particular I wasn't prepared and was working with one of our leaders in the Warmsprings area south of here and only had a thin jacket and my black flats, well it was pouring and we just laughed and ran through it knocking on all these doors in this apartment complex to find people at home. It was so fun, it was a little chilly, but when will I ever get to do that again as a missionary for such a worthy cause. By the end, my shoes were so soaked that they were really heavy and every step I took made a sloshing sound. But it was neat. I am reminded of a video that we've been sharing with people called "A shower of Heavenly Blessings" by President Uchtdorf that talks about rain in a positive way. The rain is God's blessings for us but when we out up our umbrellas we are preventing ourselves from receiving that joy. When we keep the commandments and do all we can to love and serve the Lord, we are more happy and love the rain. That's how I felt running through the rain, it didn't make sense, but it was such a joy. I love that the gospel brings joy.

In other news, my face is no longer swollen and awful looking, I'm normal again so this week was so much better, we worked super hard and saw amazing, simple miracles. I'm looking at every moment as so precious now because this doesn't last forever and I'm doing things right now that I'll probably never have a reason to do again. Like enter people's homes and hear their whole life story and find out they are a custom embroiderer and met the prophet once. Just random things that are so special because this is all we do, we don't have distractions of the world in the way and we are just loving and serving God's children. It's so simple and profound and beautiful.

I love being a missionary with all my heart, I love having good health so I can run to the end and not faint or be weary and I love my elder brother, Jesus Christ who has taken this journey with me the whole time and is bringing me full circle to show me all of the wonderful things that I've learned and how much more full of joy and love our lives are when we reach out to others.

I love you all so much! May god bless you this week to see the positive in any particularly negative moment and may you feel his love!
Sister Nelson

The Red Panda Goes To Conference

(Written Monday, April 4, 2016)

Hello dear family and friends,

It's been a crazy week. I wrote this email earlier and accidentally deleted it with no way to retrieve it so it won't be as good as the first time, but here we are nonetheless.

Conference was simply amazing, I feel so grateful to have been able to watch it three times as a missionary. The messages were incredible and inspiring, Elder Arnold telling us to just get to the rescue and stop talking about it, President Uchtdorf talking about the building being restored and how Christ can restore us and all the awesome talks on families being together forever. That's really what it's all about, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church that can offer families together forever. I love that knowledge and belief that my family can be together forever and I love sharing that with other people.

This week, one of the highlights was taking the Montez family and some of their cousins to the temple. As we showed them a picture before the visit they said, "Woah, that looks like a castle I want to go there everyday!" And as they walked around they were in awe at the beauty and peace around the Lord's home. They picked a spot on the temple and made it their promise between each other and God that they would go through the temple and be sealed as a family for eternity someday. I love having people do that, I even have my own spot on the temple that I can't wait to share with my future family.
This week has had a lot of ups and downs as I have continued to fight my health. After finishing up at a doctor's office today, they told me I have severe allergies and thankfully not mono or anything else crazy I've been worried about and that the medicine prescribed will take away all the struggles that have been keeping me down. Who knew allergies could do so much harm to you? I'm excited to go back to the fresh clean air of Columbus, Indiana soon so my face doesn't look crazy. We've been joking that I look like the animal called the red panda because of all the redness around my eyes.

Thankfully things should get better this week so I can proselyte my heart out before returning home. All I can say is that I love the lord, I love conference and listening to his servants, I believe in what they say and desire to apply it to my life. I know I'm not perfect and still have so much to learn. Thank goodness my progression doesn't end at the end of a mission. I feel so grateful for these precious moments to serve the Lord and now this worn out body won't get in the way of this fired up spirit. Just like it was said in conference "Christ has already cured this illness" and I'm grateful to know that is true. May you all apply what you've learned from conference for an even more spiritual week to come!
Love you all!
Sister Nelson

That Easter Morn

(Written Monday, March 28, 2016)

Hello my dear friends and family,

The first week of the transfer was incredible. Sister Faucette got to say bye to some wonderful families that we've been teaching and she's off to Kingman, Arizona. I'll be seeing her this week on Wednesday, though, so I'm excited about that. Since then, Sister Wilde and I have had some funny adventures as we've run all over doing the work of the Lord. This transfer we are continuing our focus on helping find the elect and bring forth of God's children to the waters of baptism, but we are adding the overarching theme to be "Connecting everyone with Christ" and focusing on every contact we have will be helping others increase their faith in Christ and preparing them at whatever phase they are at whether it's getting them to the waters of baptism or helping them prepare to go to the temple.

It's such a privilege to be working in the most effective and highest producing part of our mission for the end of my time here. We are working hard with so many people we are teaching and were able to help three of our investigators come to church for the first time yesterday and they loved it. Hard work is paying off and we will see others come unto Christ this transfer for sure.

Sister Wilde and I just keep laughing about everything whether it's our orange mouths or our homemade bread baby (he was so delicious!)

The work keeps moving forward. Everyday brings cool experiences and wonderful people to meet. We got to have traditional Japanese food this week from a member family who asked what we wanted and I said "Katsu don" ( did I spell that right Dad?) my Dad always made that and I'd been craving it and it was so good! We also had sushi and I ate it! It was an incredible night and so yummy!
I got to see Sara, an 8 year old from a part member family we have been working with get baptized this week and she overcame her big fear of water and did it and she was just smiling so big! I love seeing things like this happening :)
We also got to watch the women's broadcast which was the best one I've seen, my two favorite quotes were "Throw away the mirrors and look out the window" and "Love is making space in your life for someone else."  It was a great broadcast and it was an eventful week!

I set a goal with myself at the beginning of this transfer that without fail I'd stay up to write in my journal after every day so that I could remember how I felt for my last transfer clearly and freshly. I know this will be a treasure to me and my future family one day. I've noticed the help I've received from the Lord to be able to stay awake to do so. In the past I would be so tired I'd crash when going to bed which is why I'm 100 something days behind, but recently He's been giving me strength to do this and I feel so blessed. I am reminded of wonderful miracles and blessings He gives me daily and it makes me happy. It helps me know that the things that are important to me are important to the Lord too. I love my Savior.

I would be missing out on a wonderful opportunity if I didn't bear my firm and solemn witness of Jesus Christ today as a representative of Him. I testify that Jesus Christ lives. He knows us personally for He suffered for us individually. He knows my strengths and my weaknesses and He knows how to help me grow. I've seen Him work with me in patience and love to mold me into the woman I am today. Without my Redeemer I am nothing, but through Christ I can do all things asked of me because He gives me strength. I testify that the single greatest event in the history of mankind took place in a garden, on a hill and in a tomb. Christ suffered, bled and died for us only to conquer not only sin but death also when He rose from the dead. It is because of Him that I have the hope to see my grandmother and recently deceased grandfather again and have the hope to be with my wonderful family who I love for time and all eternity. What greater blessing and knowledge is there than this? He lives, He loves, He knows and understands. My time as a representative of Him is getting really short. I pray that I can bear his name with dignity and grace until the end of this chapter and through the rest of my life to show others that I am one of His disciples and I follow Him.

It's a privilege to feel the Savior walking beside me every day and I cherish these moments and smile. The work of salvation is the work of the Lord and I know it to be true.
I love you all, I hope your Easter was Christ-centered and spirit-filled and full of sunshine and feelings of love for and from the Savior.
Sister Nelson

PS: You'll have to check the blog because I have lots of other pictures!

The Final Stretch

(Written Monday, March 21, 2016)

My dear family and friends,

This was a great ending to transfer 12 and now it is time to begin my last transfer. I can't believe that this is it. But we had a great week with so many miracles that came from working so hard. We hit all the standards of excellence this week, met some amazing people while walking on the street and shared some great lessons and messages about the New Easter video called "Hallelujah." We are finding so many prepared people and have set a high goal for baptisms next transfer but I believe we can do it. The people are out there.
We've also seen some great miracles from temple tours and teaching people about forever families. The Vegas Temple holds a special place in my heart.

We saw Talia and Nicole get baptized on Saturday as well. It was such a great day to bring more of God's children back to Him.

We've also really been trying to organize our apartment and the old paper area books so that no one gets lost and we can find old investigators to try teaching again. We are getting the area in great shape so we can put things on the iPad and I can leave the area better than I found it when I go home. Sister Faucette and I have a stack of papers probably 6 inches high that have to be recycled. So much paper! Ahh but all is going well.

We found out about transfers this week and Sister Faucette is leaving me to go out of valley to Kingman, Arizona. I'm way excited for her, but sad she won't be with me til the end. My new companion is Sister Wilde, I don't know much about her other than that she's really funny and she works hard. She's 27 and she'll be here with me tomorrow morning so here we go!

I've been really touched by the scriptures this week. They have become even more "delicious" to me as I read about the amazing missionaries in the book of Alma. I read Alma 26, the missionary anthem chapter this week and felt near tears because of all the miracles I've been blessed to see and the people I've come to know in this amazing city. I love it here so much. It's crazy that my time is so short. I wish I could stay but I'm also excited to see my family, how bittersweet this is.
I did learn something that has changed the way I look at sin and hopefully sharing it with you will change it as well. I run into a lot of people involved with so many awful sad things that perhaps under different circumstances they may not have fell prey to. I always wonder how they got there, where did it all start and how Satan can be so sneaky with us and I learned how today while reading
 Alma 30:17-18 17  "And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.
 18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms--telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof."
I think what Satan does to convince us that sinning is great in one or both of these things. He clouds our understanding of an eternal perspective which makes our choices matter and he teaches us to forget who we are (sons and daughters of a Divine Being).  He teaches us to rely on ourselves and takes away our self worth as divine beings as well and when that happens, sin seems enticing. I've learned that we can't ever be stronger than Satan when put into tempting situations, but we can be smarter than him by remembering who we are and whose we are and by always having an eternal perspective of the blessings coming our way because of our divine nature. I don't know about you, but this makes me want to sin less and remember who I am more.

I love you all. I'm grateful for the good examples you are to me and I can't wait to come home and be around you more and learn more from you. But until my six weeks are up, I still have time to be a great representative of the Lord and proclaim his gospel to the world. I'm very excited about these final days to give it my all. May you all have a great week!
 Sister Nelson
"And the race is about to begin..."
Only those of you who have seen better off dead will get it but it's so true, here I go! Running to the very end!

Launch Out Into The Deep and Feed My Sheep

(Written Monday, March 14, 2016)

My beloved family and friends,

This week has been a miracle. I feel as though this was a turning point in my mission.

We had a wonderful zone training conference where we as leadership felt inspired to train on our purpose which is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through FAITH in Jesus Christ and his ATONEMENT, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM, receiving the gift of the HOLY GHOST, and ENDURING to the end."  The all caps words were what we trained on. I started by training on faith and being willing to put it all on the table and launch out into the deep knowing that Christ would make every part of us like him.  Then Elder Jones trained on the atonement and repentance and how we can apply that in our lives, which in turn allows us to help our investigators apply it.  We moved to Elder Walker who counseled us to not run away from the promises we made at baptism and to find the elect who need baptism.  And Sister Faucette continued the powerful spirit by teaching us what can get on the way of hearing promptings and how we can cut those things out of our lives. We closed by sitting in a circle and talking about why each of us endures the hardships of the mission. Some profound things were said there and the spirit was strong as we sang the spirit of God, I felt angels singing with us. So many things are coming full circle and looking back towards the close of this precious time is changing so much. We left that meeting and began seeing more miracles than ever before. The Holy Ghost prompted us to say and do things that we knew were not from us, like listen to some hard trials that our ward mission leader was going through and to pray with him, or the less active husband of an active member. One of the most profound things I've heard was said and I knew it wasn't coming from me because I was astonished as I said it. We watched the video "Reclaimed" which talks about turning our lives around through Christ's sacrifice and at the end we were talking about the scars that life gives us. I remember saying something along the lines of "You know, scars are actually one of the most beautiful things. Christ has scars that remind Him of us always, our scars allow us to remember the scars He took on for us and that through Him, they are no longer open wounds, but a reminder of his infinite love for us." Sister Faucette and I got in the car and were thinking where in the world did that come from, we were both surprised but I know it's what he needed to hear and I feel grateful that I was a worthy vessel to let the spirit speak through me to him.

So many wonderful things are happening here and I'm so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ. This means everything to me and I'd never trade it for anything in the world. I'm coming to know my Savior in a much more personal way than ever before. I know He's covered up many wounds of mine through the wounds he took on for me and I have many scars but those scars mean I've healed through Him and that's a need for rejoicing.

We closed the week off with a mini mission for our stake where the youth came out with us for a day. I missed a good portion of it because I evidently had an allergic reaction to the weather (I've never had allergies in my life) and my eyes swelled up really bad and became super itchy and then it moved to my cheeks. (I'll refrain from sending the ugly pictures of me...) but I got hooked up with some medicine. Being an old missionary, I've pretty much run out of money so when we went to drop off my prescription, we were walking around and this lady followed us. She came over and said, I had a prompting that I need to give you 20 dollars... I started crying because it had been a crazy day and I was so thankful for the money because when I got to the counter, my medicine was going to cost 45 dollars and I definitely wouldn't have had enough on my own. Heavenly Father is definitely looking out for me. Someone else later that day gave me 20 bucks too. I feel so grateful for the prayers and help I receive from on high.

I also was able to see Tracy get baptized and got to skype in Sister George. It was so great to see all my wonderful ward family out there, I love Boulder (The puffiness was kinda going down in my face, but definitely still visible) We have a baptism coming up this week and I just feel so happy.
There are 7 weeks left to make miracles happen and leave everything on the table. I plan to do so. I find out what happens with transfers on Saturday and then the new transfer begins next Tuesday, I can't believe this is it. Last transfer here we come.

I love you all so much! May you have a wonderful spirit filled week!
Sister Nelson

PS: We've been going on so many temple tours, our investigators love it and it's so peaceful there.

There Can Be Miracles

(Written Monday, March 7, 2016)

Hello wonderful family and friends,

This week was a week of miracles, every day goes by so quickly it's hard to remember it all but when we get a chance to sit down and email and reflect on the week, there are so many blessings that the Lord gives us daily. Let me share some of these miracles with you.

The picture below was Erica on her baptism day this past Saturday, it was a cray day and the baptism was on and off a couple times the days leading up to it because Satan was working really hard on her emotions. We were able to sit on the temple grounds and feel the peace there and have a really great talk that ultimately lead her to firmly desiring to be baptized and look how happy she was. She's a great woman and we love her so much. It was a great day.

Another miracle, not in the pictures below was that we've been working with a less active family who, after a couple visits really desires to go be sealed as a family in the temple. They just needed to know they were loved and thought of. I love going to their house because the spirit is there and I know that the work that we're doing there is just as important. We saw our work pay off when the family was at church yesterday. They haven't been in a long time and they haven't been regularly coming in even longer, but to see them there warmed my heart. I know that we can get them to the temple and the Lord is pleased with our work. I know we are here to teach them.

Also while at church, our sweet little eight year old investigator Keyana was sitting next to me and she asked me if I'd go and share my testimony for her and so I got up to do it. I am so grateful for her faith because she's such a wonderful example to me. Two Sunday's ago her cousin wanted to come to church with her but his mom wouldn't let him, we said that we should say a prayer and so Keyana said it and they went and asked and his mom said he could. He loved church and primary and he said afterwards, "Sister Nelson, I want to get baptized too." We also had another experience with Keyana where we lost our car key in their yard and it was dark and we couldn't find it.   Keyana was the first one to think of saying a prayer and not two minutes after she said it her brother found our key. She now has such a strong testimony of prayer and mine has grown by seeing faith filled prayers answered. I love that sweet girl. We also got to drive up to the temple and show her how to use familysearch.org a free program for anyone in the world to find their ancestors and find stories and photos and records about them. It was great fun and she felt the peace there as we walked around.
Last but not least, I got to spend some quality time with one of my favorite people, Sister Navarro on exchanges, we were able to talk about life and the mission and since we go home together, we got to chat about the future a bit. She's so great and it was fun. I know the last picture makes us look so ugly, but we are tired and worn out but most of all happy in the service of the Lord and I will take that tired and happy any day. (And yes mom, that is mace on my keychain, we are so safe).

I love this gospel, every moment is precious. Reach out to those who's hands hang down this week, visit the people on your home teaching or visiting teaching route, every time we reach out, our life becomes richer, Ive seen it time and time again as a missionary and oh it is wonderful to me.
Love you all,
Sister Nelson

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"Just Say No to Meetings"

(Written Monday, February 29, 2016)

Hey y'all

There goes another week down in history. I think I blinked and now I'm sitting at the church writing another email. We had a ton of meetings this week and trainings given by districts and by President.  We had interviews with President and meetings with the Stake High Councilor, Stake President and Bishop. My trainer, Sister Defreitas, had a notepad that hung on the fridge that said, "Just say no to meetings."  I understand now -haha.

But other than that it was a great week, we taught a lot of lessons and saw a ton of miracles. We met a family and as we talked about the great apostasy they said that it made so much sense and that although the truth is on the earth in the fullness today there are still people walking around in their own apostasy. It was such a cool way to describe it that I'd never heard of before. It makes perfect sense and is so true. That's why God loves us and sends out missionaries so that no one has to walk through that apostasy, but can have eternal life. How cool is that, he is so celestial and is pictured below.

Many other great miracles happened. I'm so glad to be a part of this. Life is good! Also, I'm emailing later because we've been running all over the place celebrating Sister Faucette's 20th birthday! Technically she's only five though since she's a leap year baby. It's been a fun day haha.

So here are some pictures from my wonderful week. We have a baptism coming up this Saturday and we've got a ton of sweet kids that love when we come to teach them.

I'm so glad to be here. I know this is where I'm supposed to be.
Sister Nelson

A People Prepared

(Written Monday,  February 22, 2016)

Hello world!
It's been another great week!  Our immune systems are just so great that we have to just catch every little thing that's going around so we caught another little bug and were wiped out in the mornings, I think it was a combination of allergies and kind of some respiratory stuff that just made us not feel so great at the beginning of the week, but we just kept working despite it and saw lots of miracles this week!

We had so many of our investigators at church and we found many new elect people. The picture below is us with Blaine, it's kinda awkward, but missionaries are awkward.
We took him on a temple tour and he loves what he's learning and wants to be baptized.

We also had little Keyana and her sisters with us at church this Sunday, they are holding so fast to the gospel, she's only 8 but she came! God has prepared some great youth here like Donea and Maya who are so accepting of the gospel and applying it in their lives.

We've also seen some great miracles with going on exchanges with our sisters. Our sisters are growing and doing so well!

I am loving every minute of my service and trying to savor them since there aren't many more left. What a privilege it is to serve the Lord and teach His children. One thing I did notice this week was I was always feeling super crummy and not-with-it until we were teaching a lesson and then I didn't feel sick at all as the spirit worked through us to teach these precious sons and daughters the truths they already know.  Right afterwards, however, I'd feel sick again.
The spirit of God is amazing. I love this gospel. I know it's true with all my heart and I can't wait to continue to share great miracles with you!

Love you all so much,
Sister Nelson

These are the Forty

(Written Monday, February 15, 2016)

My awesome family and friends,

It's been a great week. I truly have seen miracles and the hand of God in my life this week. We were above the standard of excellence for our key indicators this week which means our hard work to show the Lord and God's children our love paid off. I truly feel like I'm fulfilling my calling and I'm running, time is running out. Eleven weeks to talk to everyone and give away millions of book of Mormons and testify of Christ as a representative of him. We have set a goal that there are 20 people in this area who need to get baptized before May 4th. I know they are here we just have to find them. I plan to have many stories and miracles to share in the coming weeks.  I love this area, it's so ripe and prepared to hear the gospel. The members are great and the work is moving forward.

I'd like to tell you a little more about our zone and the vision we have created together. This zone has so much potential to find the elect and bring them to the waters of baptism to help them access the atonement and receive a remission of their sins. The highest baptisms per month has been 39 but we know it's so possible to do more for the lord. We have 15 companionships in the zone so each companionship only needs three baptisms to achieve this goal and it is a righteous goal. We set the vision as "Make ready a people prepared for he knows his sheep and they are numbered" it comes from combining a scripture in the New Testament and one in the Book of Mormon. Christ knows there are sheep here that need the gospel, they have stories of hard lives and challenges that can be overcome by His sacrifice, we are keeping that in the back of our mind as we search. Anyone could be part of the forty. Missionaries in the zone are taking pictures with the people they are teaching and sharing their stories on a group we have in the zone to help us see that baptisms aren't just a number but a person with a beautiful story and it's so great to be learning about and feeling connected with these people who God sent us to touch.  We are finding many elect and prepared and I can't wait to start sharing the stories of our forty with you over the coming weeks.

I feel blessed to be serving the Lord in this area at this time, to bring as many souls until him as I can. I know God's church is on the earth once more in its fullness with the entirety of his blessings, revelation and it's priesthood, I know Christ is at the head of this church directing all the work that is moving forward. I'm grateful to see the lasting changes in people's lives. I know it works and I know this is the best way.

I hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day, cherishing your loved ones and remembering the greatest love we can feel of all, the love of God and Christ. As we move into the season of luck, remember where all luck comes from.
So much love,
Sister Nelson

PS:  We got heart attacked this week!

This is Raul, he's a florist and he's the neighbor of one of our members, he gave us free flowers for Valentine's Day and we are going to teach his family.

Our area is so celestial, Kolob exists here!
We also got to do exchanges with two of our sisters in the zone Sister Hansen and Sister Gacke.
It was a wonderful week. May this one be even better! Check the blog for more pictures!

"This Could be Para Para Paradise"

(Written Monday, February 8, 2016)

Hello wonderful family and friends,

Coming to you live from the heart of Vegas, where the hit TV show Cops originally began is Sister Nelson, starting her last two transfers off to a great start! This place is nuts! There is always something happening out here, I can tell I'm going to have crazy stories, but I already know that this place is paradise for missionary work, the people are so humble and ready to listen and our area is so big and so high (meaning lots of apartment complexes) that we'll never run out of work to do or places to find new people, I wish there were more of me so I could go all over and be super effective.

I still feel really tired but I feel like I have the energizer bunny coursing through my veins prepping me to do really good work here! I'm ready! I got into our area on Tuesday and met my new companion Sister Faucette. She's the sweetest most nurturing person I've been companions with. She really cares about the sisters and about the work here and we'll be able to do more than we've ever done. The only sad part about this week was that she got really really sick with a horrible sinus infection that made the whole left side of her body go numb and made her teeth sore, crazy.  I've never seen it so strong like that. I was able to go out with a member a few times when we found one willing to go, but it was hard since I'm very new to the area and don't know where anything is. So this week wasn't up to what this area normally is capable of doing, but this week better be ready because we're going to blow it out of the water. "THIS ZONE IS ON FIREEEE!" heck yeah it is, I think I'm back to my old crazy self. The mission hasn't allowed me to lose that trait, but I'm using it to my advantage these days.

As I've gone throughout this week though, I've had some neat conversations with members and with Sister Faucette that have led to really ponder on gods greatest gift to us. Yes we have agency and our bodies and Christ's sacrifice for us and many other things, but the one thing that helps us get through this life and helps protect us, comfort us, helps us find truth in this confusing world and brings peace in times of trial is the Holy Ghost. What a beautiful gift that God gives the constant companionship of a member of the godhead after priesthood and baptism by immersion to anyone willing. There's a scripture in the Bible that says even the very elect will be deceived. I've always worried that could somehow happen to me, but I've learned that if we're doing all we can to have the Holy Ghost with us, we cannot fall. What a great blessing that when things become confusing I can pray, read my scriptures, attend church and build my faith daily, I can get answers that keep me on the path of making correct choices even when it's unpopular, uncommon, or hard. I'm not adequately describing what I learned, but just know that I learned how important the Holy Ghost is in my life this week and how important it will be for me to teach my kids how to have the Holy Ghost with them and how to listen to it.

I'm so happy to be in this area. I'm grateful for the gospel and for the opportunity to have the Holy Ghost with me.
I love you all, may you have a blessed week!
Sister Nelson

This is me and Sister Faucette this morning, I didn't get a chance to take any more pictures this week since she was sick but just know there will be many this next week! Love you all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Boulder Baptisms

(Written Monday, February 1, 2016)

Hey friends,

It's been an amazing week! We got to do a fireside for the youth in Boulder about doing missionary work which was so fun! We had three baptisms, Dave and Cat got baptized and another investigator named Eliza.

I've felt the spirit a lot this week but especially as I watched Dave's friend of twelve years finally fulfill a promise his patriarchal blessing said that he would bring a close friend into the gospel, they cried and hugged before the baptism and the spirit was incredible.  He came up to us afterwards and said, "Sisters I've never felt this clean in my life," he was glowing. I'm so glad for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the cleansing power of the priesthood of God that allows us to be cleaner than ever before. I know they could feel it and I felt it as well. The spirit of God brings peace, love and joy.

My time in Boulder has come to an end and I'll be finishing my mission in the Paradise East Zone, I get to die in "paradise" it will be an adventure, but I'm ready for it. My new companion's name is Sister Faucette.

I love my savior, I love this gospel and I love being a missionary.  May each of us draw closer to him that we might learn more and feel more of his never ending love for us.

Sister Nelson

PS: I walked out of my house today and there was snow on the mountain right by our house, this doesn't happen so it was exciting! Sending you all love, stay warm! Hugs!

The Greatest Time To Be A Missionary

(Written Tuesday, January 26, 2016)

My dear family and friends,

This was such a better week physically! I think I am out of the woods for being sick, but don't worry, I'm taking lots of vitamin c tablets to prevent illness!

I only have three months left and I plan to work myself to the bone! I want to come home on a stretcher completely exhausted from the work that I'm doing. I know that wherever I go next is going to be the perfect place to "die" (end my mission) in. I only have two more transfers and I find out what my fate is this Saturday and will move areas next Tuesday. It's pretty exciting, but on to this week.

This week was a great week to be a missionary as you can see from the title of my email. Two very monumental things occurred. 1. There was a worldwide broadcast for missionaries to listen to the Apostles of Christ's church counsel us on how to be better and more effective missionaries and going back to the basics on many things. 2. We were also visited by another General Authority in the church Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Quorum of the seventy. For you other missionary out there, he is the one that wrote "The Fourth Missionary" Talk.  Also, fun fact, I met him at one of our member's houses out here in Boulder for Thanksgiving, so I already knew him haha.

At any rate, this has been an incredible week filled with lots of inspiration and what they've all been focusing on is the most important thing which is The Atonement, Christ's sacrifice for us. But also the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, teaching people to have faith in him, repent of their sins and be baptized to receive "the power of God" which is the holy ghost and to endure to the end by bettering ourselves.

It's been a truly incredible week. Some other exciting things that happened this week included, Sister George's 21st Birthday in Vegas, so I decorated the house for her.

We ate at the elders' favorite restaurant called Chicken Shack, it was the first place I ate at that gave me heart burn, but it hurt so good. Their food is really good (although, this day I got McDonalds... I'd already had the heartburn before.)
And we also did service for salvation army packing canned goods for the needy.
It's been a cool week. Oh and I rode a dinosaur but you'll have to check out the blog for that one!

I love you all so much! I know the church is true.

This week I was able to sing in one of our Sacrament meetings, I sang "I Stand All Amazed" We had many investigators come to listen and the whole meeting I prayed the Lord would send angels to sing with me and testify of the message the song says and that I would be able to convey my love and testimony through it. I practiced before church (which is the recording I have) and my voice was shaky because I had a bit of a sore throat, but as I sang for the congregation, I knew it was the best I had sung it but it wasn't because of me. I knew Angels were singing with me. Sister George told me afterwards that it was better than the practice round. I know that Heavenly Father answered a simple pray about me singing a song and I'm so glad for it. I truly do stand amazed at all the love that my Savior offers me! I am richly blessed to be able to serve him at this time in my life!

May you all have a good week and find moments to simply stand amazed at the world and the love the Lord has offered you!

Sister Nelson

Sick Of Being Sick

(Written Monday, January 18, 2016) 

Hi Family!

I wish I had more to report this week, this will be a bit of a shorter email because somebody got sick again. (ME) But I have things that will help me not get sick again. The science of yeast and bacteria and their balance was explained to me and now I have preventative measures being taken, I shouldn't get sick anymore on my mission and be able to work CRAZY hard!

I got reunited with sister Navarro for a day when she came here on exchanges and that was really fun. She helped me get pumped and believe there was more and have lots of faith. I'm glad about that. While I was sick, I was reading a talk that I found on LDS.org called The Last Sacrament Cup and it really helped me understand how important Christ's sacrifice for us was and that even if there was just one of us to suffer for and experience our pains and our sadnesses, he would do it so that he could say, I've been where you are and I know what comes next. Let me help you. Take some time to read it and think about the sacrament, it will change the way you look at it.

I love you all! I hope you have a good week! Remember how much the Lord loves you and what he's done for us. I'm glad I'm finally feeling better! Let's just pray that it stays that way!

Sister Nelson

PS: Next week, Pday is on Tuesday, so if you don't hear from me on Monday, don't freak out!
Me and Sister Navarro on exchanges when I was well.
Dave and Cat who were our investigators that we gave to the elders. We got to see them the other night.
Dave and Cat
Me and Sister Navarro when I was sick (it got bad on our exchange)
This is me and Sister George this morning to prove that I'm doing better! Have a great week!