Thursday, May 30, 2013

Believe in God

Hello All,

Well I guess the big news for the week is that my VISA hasn't come yet.  But the Lord has a reason for it and I just haven't found out yet. 

This week has been and interesting one that's for sure with its ups and downs.  Looking at this extra time I have had here has been interesting also.  Some days I'm happy that I have had the time but other days I just want to get to England.  But the Lord has a purpose. 

The biggest news is that I'm with my third companionship.  I have gone through three companions and five Districts that have come and gone or are still here or just got here to the MTC.  I feel like an old man that everyone turns to for advice and guidance (I'm called the great great great grandpa of the zone because of how long I've been here). Which isn't bad but it has been interesting because there are no more prepared lessons so I usually get to study or learn whatever I want on my own.

I don't think I have talked much about class so that's what I'm going to do. The first two weeks I was here at the MTC there were lessons planned and I was instructed in a District.  So that's how the first two weeks went.  But by the third week I had a new companion, we had a class that to my knowledge has never happened here before at the MTC at all.  We had six teachers for the two of us, and why this is so different is there are usually only two teachers per District.  So you have one teacher for twelve Missionaries. When we had six Missionaries, it was three teachers to one Missionary.  During this week I progressed very far and very fast in my own conversion and in Gospel principals.  One thing that most Missionaries are jealous of, is that my companion and I meet with six teachers and therefore we visit with six investigators.  The normal English Missionary teaches maybe 10 lessons the whole time there are here at the MTC.  I have had the opportunity to teach forty-four lessons as of yesterday, Wednesday, May 29, 2013.  And those are a full forty five min. lessons.  The sad part is that we only had that class for a week and then a bunch of new Missionaries came in and we where put in a class that has VISA waiters in it also.  That new class was alright but kind of boring but I made the best of it.  But right now I teach and help Missionaries plan for investigators and help them make better use of their study time.  Some of the things that I have been teaching is how to pull the doctrine out of lessons and how to teach to the needs and concerns that their investigator are having.
So I guess that my MTC experience has been very different then other Missionaries because of all the different things that I have been able to experience.

I will leave you this week with a scripture in Mosiah 4:9:  Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

Have a great week.

Love,   Elder Nielsen

Thursday, May 23, 2013

We Serve in the Lord's Time

Hello All,

I guess the only really big news for this week is that my VISA should be here by Tuesday, May 27, 2013 and then I should be out of the MTC (Mission Training Center) soon after that.  I have enjoyed my time here and have had a lot of great experiences.  One thing that I have found out or noticed is that I thought I knew my scriptures pretty well but I was wrong.  Me and my companion, Elder Trepenier, are teaching a lady that has been a Baptist her whole life and she just took us to town on the Bible.  I must admit that I was pretty humbled after that.  But it gives me something to work on.

On Sunday we had a devotional by one of the Relief Society teachers and something she said really stuck out to me.  She said, "I'm not OCD I'm CDO I just like my letters in order." As a Missionary the devotionals are uplifting and stuff like that but this one was a stand up one.  I don't think I have every laughed that much here in a long time.  But the devotionals on Tuesdays are really cool.  It is always an Apostle or someone from the Quorum of the Seventy.  Last Tuesday, May 21, 2013 was Elder M. Russel Nelson and he gave a great talk.  He said the easiest way to describe what the Church believes or does is to say, "We follow Christ."  That was pretty impressive because most people don't have a clear understanding of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints believe or follow.  We follow Christ we rejoice in Christ we Believe in Christ.  Hopefully people will recognize that we are not so different.  But the other thing that really stuck out was that our ancestors want to help us with this great work and that we should be asking Heavenly Father to send the ones who have attributes that we struggle with.  Now I only say this because it was not only said by him but by another Apostle of the Lord at our weekly devotional the week before.  As it says in the scriptures "out of the mouth of two or three witnesses I will declare my word."  I have always wondered why the Church has us go in companionship's and it is because of that scripture.

One thing that I have learned as I have spent extra time here at the MTC is that the Lord works in mysterious ways.  There is a reason my VISA has not come in, do I need to learn something, do I need to say something, help someone, hear what one teacher needs to say, or to read something.  All I know is that there is a time and a season for all things. The season is right to be serving a Mission but maybe the time isn't in England yet. 

I can testify that the Lord is preparing people for me to teach in England, that my purpose as a Missionary is to bring others to Christ by calling them to repent.  Just like the Prophets of old my job is to call people to repent and to rescue them and let them be nourished by the good Word of God.  I know for myself that Christ lives, he is my Savior, that his Atonement is not just for me or you but to all that will believe on his name.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on all this earth and that it is true. This brings to mind a verse from the Hymn Come thou Fount "He to rescue me from danger interposed his precious blood".  Christ's Atonement was the most supreme act of love and I am grateful for that.

Make it a great week!

Elder Nielsen

Elder Trepenier, my current companion from CA.

My district before they flew out, Provo, Utah.

Our room we call the Garden of Eden.  Elder Trepenier and I are the 
only Elders that use this room to teach.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Like Nephi Getting the Brass Plates

Hello everyone!

Another exciting week here at the Provo MTC.  It has been a rough couple of days with trying to obtain my VISA but I'll talk more about that later. 

This week has been a week of spiritual highs, as another Elder and I who both have VISA problems, enter our third week here in Provo, Utah.  Because we are starting our third week here that the instructors had not planned for, we have been given the opportunity to learn about whatever we want and to structure our classes and lessons to best fit our own needs.  So we have chosen to teach two to five lessons a day which takes a lot of time and prayer.  I don't think I have done my own personal study because of all the lessons we teach and prepare for but all is well and the spirit is really strong.

My VISA problems continue and the story I will tell is true and I have likened it to Nephi getting the brass plates (but my brass plates are a VISA).  My story begins on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 of last week (it might of been Thursday because the days here really mesh together and I lose tract of time). I was informed that the second part of my VISA had arrived and that I could start filling in the blanks.  The only problem was that Wednesday one of the Elders in my District got extremely sick and we had to have an Elder watching him all day and night.  So long story short all the Elders where with different companions so that the sick Elder could be watched.  As I walked to the building with my companion to fill out paperwork, I had the feeling that this isn't going to go well.  And I was right. The application was very in depth and asked for almost everything but my blood type.  But I filled it out and set up an appointment to get finger prints and then continued to pay for my VISA.  The rest of the week was very uplifting and great.  But the day came for me to get finger printed.  And the Lord works in mysterious ways because I had a thought that I should bring all my paper work and my passport to get finger printed.  And I'm glad that I listened to that prompting.  Me and my companion where driven up to Salt Lake City, Utah to the Department of Homeland and Security we had fun talking to our driver and looking out the window.  When we got the the Department we headed in and had to go through security but I didn't bring any of my VISA stuff in with me.  So we where told to go and get it, so we did.  This was the first attempt.  As we walked back into the building with the right stuff we were led through security.  For a Missionary who has almost everything he needs to talk to someone about the Church in his pockets going through security was interesting lets just say that.  When we got everything back into our pockets we went to the desk and they checked all my paper work.  They wanted me to log into my VISA application which is online.  But I had forgotten to bring a number with me that I needed.  But I did have that number in the car.  There is the second attempt. As the third attempted started, we grabbed everything we could possibly think off out of the the car and went back to the building.  We went through security again taking everything out of our pockets and so on and so forth.  But as we got up to the desk to log into the application it showed that the payment had not gone through.  So I couldn't get finger printed that day!  We came back to the MTC and I attempted to pay again.  As I did that it said that my card had been denied so I have attempted to pay three times now.  But as you know, Nephi was blessed and he eventually got the Plates and I to know that I will be blessed and that all will work out in the end.  That is the extent of getting a VISA.

I love this gospel and the great opportunity of being a Missionary.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true with all my heart.  And as Job has said," I know that my Redeemer lives".


Elder Nielsen

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Marvelous Work

Well the first week of the MTC (Mission Training Center) is done and on to the next.  It's very exciting here with all the Missionaries that are coming and going at all hours of the day.  But it's all well because we are all in the service of our God! 

When I arrived here I was put in a trio companionship with another Elder going to Birmingham and the other going to Scotland Ireland Mission.  But as the days progressed the Elder that is going to the same Mission as me got his visa and was flown out on Monday, May 6, 2013.  But my other companion is staying here until next Tuesday, May 14, 2013, which is when hopefully we both get to head to our prospective missions.

The spirit of the MTC is just amazing and wonderful.  Like it says in D&C 4 "a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men" and I can testify that it is a Marvelous Work.  I love having the spirit with me at all times and also love all the personal revelation that I have received for the investigators that I have been teaching.  The spirit really does bring to remembrance things that I have read or have heard.  Let me explain, me and my companion where teaching an investigator named Bobby.  Bobby has had a rough past but wants to be more like Jesus.  We have taught him I think four times and each time the Spirit has brought things to my remembrance that I had forgotten about.  Like Tuesday's lesson we talked to him about repentance and the gift of the Atonement.  I had an impression that we should share Alma 22 in the Book of Mormon with him but I pushed it off, and for those who are wondering that's not the right thing to do when and impression comes, but stubborn Elder Nielsen pushed it off and the thought came into my head, Elder Nielsen your an Idiot, Bobby needs to read Alma 22.  So we shared with him that chapter and asked him to read it.  I didn't realize that the reason why that chapter came into my mind was that it talks about the creation and the plan of salvation a little bit.  The Holy Ghost set up what is to be taught in the next lesson with Bobby.

All is well here at the MTC even though the food isn't really that good at all.  So most of the time it is a bowl of cereal or a sandwich for me but I appreciate all the hard work that is put into the making of the food and understand that it is hard to cook to please the masses.

I know that God is happy with my decision to serve a Mission and I know that I'm happy to be serving a Mission.  I know this is the true gospel and that this life is a time for men to prepare to meet god.  I love the Book of Mormon and all that it teaches.


Elder Nielsen

Delivery to the MTC, May 1, 2013

Getting packed and ready to go!

All loaded up, Elder Nielsen, Samuel.

Elder Nielsen and Nana Maloney

Benjamin, Grandpa Florin, Elder Nielsen, Dad and Samuel.

Unloading the car at the MTC, Provo, Utah.

Mom, Benjamin and Elder Nielsen at the Provo, MTC.

Due to a late Visa to enter England, Elder Nielsen went to the Provo, Utah MTC instead of flying directly to England to train in the MTC there.

And off he goes!