Friday, December 20, 2013

New Companion, Music, Conference 2013

Happy Christmas season to my friends and family,

This week has been a busy week. We have been all over the place. We had transfers on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.  So Elder Gardner and I went to Glouster to pick up my new companion and drop off Elder Gardner.  It was quite a long day.  Life with my new companion is good. We are getting along really well.  He has not been out in the Mission Field much longer than I, so it is nice to not get a companion that is close to going home and is anxious and not wanting to work.  His name is Elder Doty and he is from Seattle.  My mom has been telling my how cold it has been in Idaho lately and that they missed a day of School because of that, I had to laugh about the to cold to go to school. Here in Worcester, it has been 40-50 degrees and the best news is that it has stopped raining for the last few days, but no promises that the rain will stay away.

Thursday we had a pretty good day.  We have been talking to people in the streets most of Thursday.  The luck of our Mission is that we have investigators during the transfer but as soon as one of you is transferred out, everyone drops.  It is frustrating but I have learned to just deal with it. 

Friday was a fun day, we had the Mission Christmas Party.  So bright and early at 6:52 in the morning we got on a train to get to Glouster.  Then onto a bus at 8:30 for a two hour bus ride to Birmingham.  It was worth it in the end.  The most spiritual part of that day was when the Mission President told all of us Missionaries how much his wife like the LDS Hymn I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, so all of the Missionaries the Hymn loud and proud. It was pretty cool. The Spirit was really strong and I really enjoyed just belting it out with the others.  The Spirit that comes from singing Hymns and praises unto our Savior is very uplifting to me and often brings a tear to my eye.  This was one of those times and will be another memorable highlight of my time here in England.  It was really fun to see all the Missionaries and to talk to ones that I  haven't seen for about 6 months.  We had Cafe Rio pulled pork burritos for dinner.  That is the first time I have had any type of Mexican food since I have been on my Mission.

I think the best thing that happened this week is we found two Chinese people to teach.  I have taught a Chinese person once and that was with a Mandarin speaking Elder.  So Elder Doty and I, two guys from the US, went to the library to teach them on Sunday.  We walked out of the Library like deer caught in headlights.  It was very rough.  It was hard because we did not have the Book of Mormon in there language.  So note to self that we needed to get one for them by the next lesson.  But we will see what happens when we teach them again.

Church was also fun.  I got to play the piano in Priesthood and translate in Sign Language the lesson.  With two former Elders being transferred, I have become the "head Signer" for the Missionaries in this Area.  So pretty much that means I translate everything.  I decided this was a great way to become better at Signing, just jump right in and get it done.  It wasn't that bad until we got into the lesson.  The teacher had decided to talk about parables.  I learned a couple of new signs that day like the ten virgins and stuff like that.  It is all fun though and a great experience.

I am so thankful for the modern technology.  I have the last two General Conferences on my Ipod so I can read the talks or listen to them while riding trains or when I have down time it is right at my finger tips.  I am finding that most if not all of the talks in the last General Conference, Oct. 2013, are mostly about Missionary Work.  My mom and I have been swapping our favorite talks as we read and listen to them.  The Lord is Hastening His Work and needs all of us to be Missionaries.  In Doctorine and Covenants Section 4 the Lord tells us how we can be good Missionaries.

Now behold, a marvelous time is about to come forth among the children of men.

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.

 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

Remember that our Savior loves us and has a work for us to do during these latter days.  I love this Gospel and all that it teaches.  I love our Savior and rejoice in this Christmas season to celebrate Him.

Love, Elder Nielsen

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hard Work and Service

Hey Family and Friends,

Transfer season is upon us again and the good news is that I will be staying in Worcester, England for another six weeks.  I will be getting a new Companion before next week and I will give you all the ins and outs of where he is from and so forth.  I have included a few pictures from our Thanksgiving adventure with our District.  The first one is of the District Leader hiding up on the ledge of the building.  The District Leader is a nut.  His job before his Mission was a camera man.  He filmed people sky diving.  So he is use to being in high places.  The second picture is of a Nutella, marshmallow crepe.  The crepe was amazing. The marshmallow melted and it was way to good.  So much for that, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So this past week has been a fun one.  We have done a lot of finding and met a lot of cool people. The only sad thing is that none of them want to investigate the Church. They at least have had a positive experience with us and that's all that matters.  So later on in the week, w e had a really good lesson with a less active man.  He is less active because of choices and his life style.  But we talked a lot about how the Book of Mormon can help him.  He said that he has a hard time understanding the Book of Mormon.  But we promised him that if he tried God would make up the rest. 

Another great and fun opportunity we had which is one of Elder Nielsen's favorite things to do is get dirty.  I put on my fencing and tree chopping clothes and shoes on and went to work.  We helped a member who has just bought a new house in our Area put up a fence.  In the deed to the house the new owners have to have a fence around the whole property.  So we helped them.  It was so much fun.  Digging holes and pounding in wooden fence posts.  I loved it!  I also learned a new skill, moving very old, very heavy pieces of very expensive oak.  The previous owner deals in very old wood from very old houses.  The earliest wood he buys is 300 years old.  It was really fun!  I love the feeling of coming home way dirty and just absolutely knackered (which is British slang for very tired).  Below is a picture of the property that we were working on as well as a picture of Elder Nielsen sitting on a chair made out of a tree stump.

I have been reading the newest Conference talks from the October 2013 General Conference.  I read one by Elder Bednar The Windows of Heaven about tithing that was very good.  The principle of the blessing comes when the Lord sees fit to give them applies to everything.  It is the whole keep moving forward phrase.  So my thought to you is to keep going and it will all work out in the end.  That I can promise you.

Have a great week filled with good.

Love, Elder Nielsen

District Leader

Nutella, Marshmallow crepe

Members yard that we fenced

Elder Nielsen on a cool tree stump

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving.

This week has been a fun one and a quick one.  There are times on my Mission that the days and weeks just fly by and others that seem to never end. But anyway, didn't really have anything new happen out of the ordinary, but the one cool thing that happened was on our way to a lesson.  We where running late because of some things that happened in the morning with miscommunication. But it is about a twenty minute bike ride to the investigators house. The lesson was at 11:30 and we jumped on our bikes at 11:20.  The other draw back from being twenty minuets away is that it is all up hill.  As I was riding I was just flying up the hills and such.  I felt like I had extra help and someone was pushing me and helping me getting up those large hills of Worcester, England.  And the best miracle of all is that we got to the investigators house at 11:35 only five minuets late.  We have never made it up there that quick.  It was a really cool miracle that happened and we had a great lesson as well.

England does not celebrate Thanksgiving.  Usually the Missionaries are invited to Ward members homes that are transplants to England but this year we had Thanksgiving as a District which was fun.  Our District Leader cooked it for us and he came up to me and said "Elder Nielsen you look like you have carved a turkey before." So my job was to carve the turkey and pick off the best bits that I like and eat them.  Always the plus of carving the turkey, right. But it was really fun to be with the District and celebrate and be thankful.  I have grown pretty close to many of the Missionaries here in our District and we had a great day.  Even though Thanksgiving wasn't with my "family" it was with my Mission family which will be another great memory of my time spent here.

I have been thinking a lot about blessings and which ones I have seen come to me on my Mission.  I had to think really hard to realize them.  But then I was sent this poem in an email today and I think it made me realize the blessings that I have been given.

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for—but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

I am blessed and am grateful for all that our Savior Jesus Christ has given me.  I hope that you as well will search daily what blessings have come your way and thank Him for them.

Have a great week.

Love Elder Nielsen