Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Last PDay email as a Missionary

We had a really really busy day on Monday, April 6, 2015. On Sunday, April 5, 2015, we got a call from the Mission Home saying that they are closing the flat here in Derby.  So we spent Monday cleaning all day. I t was like being back with the cleaning crew that I worked with before my mission cleaning out apartments. So we had to have everything expect the furniture out by Monday night. 

That night we had the Ward open house from half one to half three.  So we had to show up to that as well. I had my last interview with the Mission President that night as well at the Derby Chapel.  Then after the Ward open house President R. came over to the flat to check and make sure that it was ready to hand over to the landlord.  Then Tuesday, April 7, 2015 I am traveling to the Mission Home at half five.  I will be traveling with Elder B. on the way home until Denver where we will split. He is heading home because he Visa ran out. 

Until I see you on Wednesday, have a great few days.

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 30, 2015

I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell." 2 Nephi 33:6

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has kind of been about the same as last week. We are teaching a few people but they are almost all University students. So we have been teaching them and then they started their Easter break this week.  So we went from having eight people to teach to having two maybe three until they come back from break. As I have been reflecting back on the past almost two years, Missionary work would have been way easier if I had a University campus to work with. The reason why is that the students are more receptive to learning about God and are more willing to say that they are on the fence about if He is there. So it just makes finding a ton easier because other than their busy schedule they are willing to learn.

We had our Ward Conference this past Sunday and had lots of people show up late.  I think that it was because of the time change. We spring forward this past weekend so every body clock is off. But Ward Conference was really good. It is always nice to hear on a more personal level from the Stake President and the High Councilors over our Derby Ward. But yesterday's Church was probably one of the best ones I have been to on my Mission. For three reasons. First the Chapel was overflowing. We had to open two overflows instead of one. It was really nice to see all the people that came. Two the Spirit was there in abundance. And three they had food afterwards. The best way to my heart is through my stomach. Ha ha

My mom is always asking ,"Elder Nielsen what is you favorite scripture? Or the scripture that has helped you the most this week?" I have been pondering what scripture has helped me the most.  I think I have finally found it. "I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell." 2 Nephi 33:6

Over the last two years I have been in the service of my God. I have taught the plainness of the Gospel to the people who would listen. I have come to know on a personal level my Savior Jesus Christ and that He has redeemed my soul from hell. I too glory in the plainness of the Gospel. I have been reflecting over the events that have transpired over these two years. The people I have taught, the ones who have entered into the Covenant of Baptism, and the ones who have come back into the fold. But more importantly is where I was at the start of these two years and where I am now. I left home with a match stick of a testimony even though at the time I thought it was a good size candle. I thought I could do it all on my own with my intellect and my persuasive powers. It wasn't until someone tore down my testimony that I realized how feeble it was.  I am now grateful for that man who tore down my testimony because it helped me build the one that I have now. Over these two years all I can say is that I believe this Church is true and all the things that are associated with it are true as well. It has taken me almost a year and a half to have enough little experiences with the Spirit and the Book of Mormon to gain this testimony. But because of all these experiences I have come to love the Savior. To marvel at the price He paid for me and the unmeasurable amount of love that He has for me and all of God's children. And to learn it all in the plainness of the Gospel. 

The Book of Mormon teaches principles so clear that eight year old children can understand. It changes lives because of the plainness of its teaching. It has changed my life and some of the lives of people I have had the apportioning to introduce it to.   As this might be the last entry I make on this blog I would like to invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. This Book of Mormon has brought me the most happiness and comfort that I have ever had in my life. This is the book that will bring you closer to God. It will give you a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It will help you understand that there are prophets on the earth again. 

Just to finish off if you have not read the Book of Mormon read it and ponder in your head the message it contains. If you have read the Book and stopped please pick it back up and drink from the pages that have the living water in them, that if we drink deeply from it, it will bring solace to the soul and peace to the heart. 

I just want to finish off with my testimony I testify that the Book of Mormon is true. I testify that Joseph Smith is a Prophet and did see God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. That Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of God on the earth today. That the authority to act in God's name has been resorted to the earth. And that this is Christ Church once again established on this earth. 

God Be With You!

Love, Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 23, 2015

I Love Jesus Christ, He Is My Best Friend!

Dear Family & Friends,

This week I have been reading in  Alma 55:30 and learned a very valuable lesson. The Nephites, in a couple of chapters earlier, had taken their wine to the Lamanites.  Now in Alma 55 the Lamanites are trying to do the same thing to them.  And in Alma 55:32 it says this,

"And they were thus cautious that no poison should be administered among them; for if their wine would poison a Lamanite it would also poison a Nephite; and thus they did try all their liquors". 

We can apply that to sin. If it will harm a child it will harm an adult and so on.  It made me to start thinking of things that I had justified just because I was old enough to "partake" of things that a younger person couldn't or shouldn't.  But according to that scripture no one can partake of any amount of sin and expect to live at the last days.  No unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God.  So if He can't let any unclean thing in, how do we get in?  It is through Jesus Christ, our older brother and mediator for us before the father.  Through Him and only through Him can we return. 

Mosiah 5:8  And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.

This week we have taught a couple first lessons and this is always the point that we try to get a crossed the best that we can.  But the three most important things Jesus Christ did for us was,

1. He set up His church and gave the ordinances that pertained to our salvation. 
2. He gave us the way to live. "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your father who is in heaven is perfect". 3 Nephi 12:48.
3. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing he did was perform the Atonement. The suffering in the Garden combined with the public humiliation of the cross and the victory over the grave made it so we too could over come physical death. And if we accept Him and try to follow him, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. We can return to live with God. 

I think that the greatest thing I have learned on my Mission and possibly the greatest thing I will ever learn is how much we all need Jesus Christ.  He is the center of this Church.  All of the doctrine taught revolves around Jesus Christ and how to return to live with God. That is why the Book of Mormon in the  Introduction says this "Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah".  The first point the Introduction says that when you find out this is true you will know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

 I love Jesus Christ.  He is my best friend and older brother. I have felt the enabling power of the Atonement on my Mission.  The days that I just couldn't take one more step or talk to one more person He was there. The transfers that I struggled with companions and depression He was there. The happy moments when I was at my best He was there. He is always here for us. It is never to late to reach out and jump into his arms. 

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Until we meet again in a few short weeks!  Love to you all.

Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reflecting on Blessings Given

Dear Friends and Family,

Not much to report this week.  I am having a scatter brained day.  Transfers were last week and I have a new companion.  He is here in the Mission as a Chinese speaking Elder.  He has been frustrated with the transferred to Derby because there are not many Chinese people.  I personally seen 3 in Derby in my 12 weeks of being here.  So he is not very happy so I have my work cut out for me for the next 3 weeks. 

Last week I spoke about getting blessings and this week I was reflecting back on the blessings that I had the opportunity to give.  They were a nerve racking experience and were both given to investigators.  One blessing that has really struck and confused me is one that I gave in Solihull to an investigator names Donald.  He was really six and he told us that the doctors had no idea what what wrong.  So we gave him a blessing.  In the blessing I told him that he would recover from the sickness.  A couple of weeks later he got more sick and came to me and said why am I not better. You said that I would get better.  Come to find out Donald had cancer for the past year and it was spreading all over his body.  I have often wondered why I was prompted to say that he would recover. Donald eventually died and I started to question why I had said that. The more and more I have thought about it he did get better and did recover.  But not in this life.  Death was his best doctor.

Tender Mercy for the week... was just sports night. I have been very frustrated with my new companion so it was good to work out some of that frustration.

Off the wall experience this week was probably going to the Mission Home for the departing Elder and Sister Missionary dinner.  They call it trunky night.  So we have dinner and a testimony meeting and then spend the night and then fly out early the next morning.  So it was a little different since I was not flying out the next morning.  But the whole funny experience was what happened at night. Twenty-four Elders in the Assistant to the President's flat all running around and being boys.  You would think that we would have matured a little bit, but no.  It was so much fun.  It was really cool to hear the different stories of everyone Mission.  Everyone was just way exited to go home so lots of jokes being told.

Hopefully I will have some better events and stories next week.  Keep praying for the Lord's work to go forth and that the honest in heart will seek Him.  I love this gospel and all of you. 

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blessings of Peace and Comfort

Dear Family & Friends,

I have been feeling a little blah lately so I asked Elder O. for a blessing this week.  It was a nice blessing, just me and him feeling the Spirit bear witness and comfort me.  The blessing told me things that I already had feelings about, for example that I have done the best I could of in Solihull with a former companion and his trials and just to keep pushing forward. 

I had a former Mission President in our Ward back home comment on my last post about the fast that "I think that Elder Nielsen has got the vision of Missionary Work".  I have seen that a few Missionaries come on Missions and just want to baptize.  After realizing that I was coming to England where the work is hard, I decided that I wanted more than just to baptize.  I want to be successful in bringing myself closer to Christ and not just others.  I have seen Missionaries come and go without getting closer to Christ. So why come?  What else should I learn?

My favorite event of the week would have to be quiz night.  We had a Ward quiz night on Friday instead of games.  It is kind of like Jeopardy.  It was really fun with some off the wall questions.

Worst thing for the week......  Nothing to report. I think that this week has been a good one. Nothing really awful happened.

We have had some really good success with University students lately. They are pretty interested but hard to get a time to meet up with them because of their schedules and our rules.  They always want to meet late at night.  But we have 15 university students that we are hoping to work with in the next couple of days or a week away.

My favorite person for this week would have to be one of the Ward Missionaries.  He invited us over for dinner the other night and we ordered Chines take out. We had so much food. It was crazy.

Tender Mercy for the week was the weather.  It was sunny and about 70 degrees.  It was so nice! I got a tan on my arms.  I love the sun!  It has been nice having the sun out because people in England are affected by the weather.  If it is raining they don't want anyone to talk to them. Sunny they will stop and chat. Our success depends on the weather. Crazy ain't it.  Another Tender Mercy for the week was just the lesson in Elders Quorum.  It was a really good lesson and I learned tons.  In Elders Quorum we talked about repentance. And one of the members said a quote that went along the lines of "I would rather die physically then spiritually, that is why I repent".  And that quote started a really good discussion on repentance.

But other than that it has been a normal week.  No big moments of inspiration to share this week. Not like last week. I have found that I have to really ponder them before I truly understand them. The fasting one took a couple of months. It is crazy to think that the end of my Mission is in sight. Thanks for all your prayers and letters.

Until next week!

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 2, 2015

Law of the Fast

Dear Family & Friends,

We have not been able to do anymore finding with the fan chart. The weather has not been good enough to break them out without getting them soaked. We have them covered in plastic but the rain still gets through.

My favorite moment was just playing basketball with the Ward this week for games night. We have a games night every Friday and lots of people are coming out to it. We have about twenty members that come and a couple of investigators.  Worse moment of the week was that it was just raining down yesterday after Church.  It is about a twenty minute walk home from Church and we were soaked by the first five. But we didn't melt.

We have been talking and learning lately about the traditions of our fathers. One of the Europe area Presidency gave a talk in the Mission about how it takes up to the fourth generation for the bad traditions to be broke and the only one for the good ones to be broke. 

The best part of the week was...... Fast Sunday! Fast Sunday has become one of my favorite Sundays on my Mission. At first when I got into the Mission I was like I have to fast for two meals! What are you kidding me!  But the more I have learned and grown the more I have come to enjoy going for two meals.  It is hard but worth it all the time.  I was reading in the Old Testament in the Book of Isaiah this week about fasting.  In the Book of Isaiah Chapter 58  he talks about the true law of the fast and the blessings that come with it. And I really like this verse from it. But I love the whole chapter.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

 4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

 5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

I remember when I first fasted for two meals I fasted and complained. But this chapter has really helped me see the real reasons we fast. To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free. I honestly almost copied and pasted the whole chapter in this email but stopped myself. Read it, it is good.

Thanks for all of your letters and support.  Not much has changed here in Derby but seeds are being planted for the next generation of Missionaries to come.

Love, Elder Nielsen

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thoughts of My Mission

Dear Family, Friends,

This week has been a interesting one. On Monday we played basketball with the other Elders and Elder J got hurt. He twisted his knee and hasn't really been able to walk for the week. We think he either hyper extended it or tore something in it.  So that has put a damper on the plans for the week for sure.  But we made the best of it.  We have been finding with our family history fan charts this week. It has been fun. We stop people and ask them if they know what the chart is. Then we explain how much our family means to us and show them the picture of Nephi on the ship and have them read 1 Nephi 1 about how he talks about his family.  It has gone well so far.  Not to much success but it will come with time that is for sure.

Other than that a pretty boring week. We had Stake Conference this week and it was alright. They talked lots about how the Ward Council can help people in need if they are unified and working together. It was nice to hear it but hard to apply it for Missionaries. But on Sunday the Stake President gave a really good talk about how daily reading from the Book of Mormon will help us. He gave examples of how it has helped his family and even friends. It was really cool to hear.

I have some goals set for the last little bit of my Mission.  At first it was the baptize one more.  But the more and more I thought about it, it just didn't seem right.  So my goal is to get to a place spiritually were I can continue to build on the knowledge that I already have and to make sure that I am in a place were I know that I will NOT go less active down the road.  I will look into other goals to.

 Last week my family sent me a birthday/valentines box.  It had a cake mix, frosting, birthday hats, candles, candy, etc.  Elder J and I baked the cake and it was really good. We ate the whole box of goodies in two days. I told Elder J this box is going to ruin my diet so I had two cheat days and we just ate the whole box of goodies and the cake. Lots of candy and sweets. I was a little sick after that though, but all is good. 

I have been reading the book Infinite Atonement and it is a very good book. It has answered questions that I have had about the Atonement and not only that these questions have led to deeper questions that have been answered with the scriptures. 

I think the tender mercy for the week was having a chat with President Rasmussen.  I gave my departing testimony in Zone Conference this week as there is not another one before I go home.  But I talked to him about how things went with Elder P and President just told me that I had done the best that I could with what I was given. I think the miracles I have witnessed on my Mission have been walking away from getting hit by the car, Ingrid and her family, and the blessing I received from the Ward Mission Leader while serving in Cannock. Those have been I think the most defining moments of my Mission. Ones that I will not forget.

My favorite person for the week is the Bro. and Sister Grey. They are from Nottingham and worked in the Mission office for 18 months as the Finance secretaries. And I got to see them at Stake Conference this week.  Elder Grey had helped me get over some of the things that had happened with Elder P and has always been a good friend to me.

Well I am out of time.  This blog post is just a reflection of my thoughts this week.  May you all be blessed with the spirit of the Lord.

Love, Elder Nielsen