Monday, December 29, 2014

Transfer Time & Christmas Blessings

Dear Friends and Family,

Well the week before Christmas I was transferred to Derby, England.  My new companion is Elder Jones and he is a cool kid.  He was in my District in Cannock and I was his District Leader for a little bit.  He is from Murray, Utah and about 9 months out.  Derby pronounced dar-bi is a City and is in the East Midlands region of England. It lies upon the banks of the River Derwent.
It is known as the home to Lombe's Mill, the first factory in the world, Derby is considered a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. With the arrival of the railways in the 19th century the city grew to become a foremost centre of the British rail industry.
Today, Derby is an internationally renowned centre for advanced transport manufacturing, home to the world’s second largest aero-engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, and Derby Litchurch Lane Works—the UK's only remaining train manufacturer. The Toyota Manufacturing UK's automobile headquarters is found just South of the city.
Other than a little bit of history I have not really gone out and about yet so don't know what the rest is like.  The Mission Home is about an hour and half on a train from Derby.  The Ward here is a good size Ward of about 100 or so. They are trying to split the Ward and should have enough people to do so by the end of next year or sooner. But lots of young kids and families.

Since the transfer, Christmas has come and gone and now life can get back to normal. It was a fun time. On Christmas day we spent the day with two families. We ate dinner and played games and so on. So it felt like being at home.  I also got to Skype with my family back home and it was a good to see the family and get the chance to catch up with everyone.  So my favorite thing that happened on Christmas was just spending time with the members that invited us over. Both families that we had lunch and dinner with are really nice and I can tell that they really care about us. 

One of the investigators that we are teaching is a spiritual healer. One hand takes away the pain and the other heals. That's all I really know about him. I have talked to him a couple of times and he has some deep questions but is always working so it is hard to teach him.

On Sunday we had a pretty cool Sacrament meeting. It seemed like all of the topics for the talks and lessons were about improving ourselves. It struck me because with New Years coming up everyone is going to set goals on what they want to do and so on. But we talked more about how we can improve ourselves spiritually. And the common theme was that we need to be reading our scriptures and saying our prayers. That is the only way we can improve as a Ward and become better.  As Missionaries, that is one of the first things we ask people to do of if they will do it.  We also talked about how humans take the easy way out. We take the path of least resistance to achieve what we want. It was a good lesson and good Sacrament meeting and I learned a lot.  Sometimes it is best to take the hard way even though the natural man wants the easy way. Taking the hard way to change is worth it in the end because you learn more about yourself and what you can really do.
favourite thing that happened on Christmas was just spending time with the members that invited us over. Both families that we were at are really nice and I can tell that they really care about us. All I know is that he is a spiritual healer. One hand takes away the pain and the other heals. That's all I really know about him. I have talked to him a couple of times and he has some deep questions but is always working so it is hard to teach him.
Derby is a good size ward of about 100 or so. They are trying to split the ward and should have enough people to do it by the end of next year or sooner. But lots of young kids and families.

Keep praying for the success of the Missionaries, I can see the Lord's hand in all that I do.

Love, Elder Nielsen



Monday, December 15, 2014

Lessons about D&C 20:77, 79 Sacrament Prayers

Dear Friends & Family,


Well time does fly. I can't believe it is time to write the blog again. This week was yet another cold week. No snow but very cold.  One cool thing that happened is that my Grandfather sent us someone to go see here in Solihull. She is a less active member over here that one of my Grandfather's friends is related to.  So Elder M and I went over to her home and had a good chat. One thing that she said is that she is 80 years old and is still looking after others. She works on Sunday to help people get their Sunday meals together and helps them clean up their houses.  At 80 years old!  We just looked at her with our jaws on the ground.  Still serving others. What a good example! The rest of the week was pretty routine really. With it being so close to Christmas a lot of the people we try to teach are just "to busy" to see us, which is a shame but it's their choice. 

Last week I told you about getting caught eating the cake with some Young Men.  Well my mom ask what the reaction was of the sister that caught us.  It was quite entertaining.  She opened the kitchen door and just looked at us then her little girl ran over and started to eat cake with us. Then she asked how long it had been in the fridge and stuff like that. It was one of those balloon cakes from Costco with way to much frosting on it.  But it was good and we had a good laugh.

I would have to say that the tender mercy for the week was just having so many members want us for the Christmas season. They were fighting over who could have us and when. It was really nice and I will miss it since I have now been transferred from Solihull to Derby England.  I will give you more information about the transfer next week. I think the fun adventure and the laughing for the week is one thing.  Like I mentioned above we went to visit a gal that my Grandfather had told us about so were on our way over to visit with her and the roads were really slick.  It was about half five and the sidewalks where already iced over.  So Elder M thought it would be funny to just fall into someones hedge to see how others would react as they saw him fall. So he told me to look and I looked and he just fell backwards into someones hedge.  Elder M is a big dude to and this poor little hedge held him up with no damage to Elder M or the hedge.  It was entertaining to me and the others that were walking by.  The worst thing of the week is just how dark and cold it is over here.  It gets dark at around four and has been below freezing the whole week. We have had lots of frost that has stayed until about noon which makes for a miserable morning of walking and finding.


One thing that I want to talk about happened during Gospel Principles this past Sunday. We were teaching about the Sacrament and reading the prayers for it.  I thought I knew everything there was about the prayers until a member that was in the class started to point out that the word ALWAYS isn't needed in the sentences.  But that it is put there to reinforce the fact that we are ALWAYS GOING TO REMEMBER HIM and ALWAYS HAVE HIS SPIRIT to be with us.  It was pretty cool. 

Doctrine & Covenants 20:77, 79.

77 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

79 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
The other thing he talked about was that we are asking God to bless and sanctify the bread and water. This is the one time during the week that we get to eat something that has been sanctified.  And because we eat it and it is truly clean if we are in the right mind set and go with a repentant attitude we can become clean.  

Well that is it for this week.  I hope that you all have a great week helping others Come Unto Christ.

Love Elder Nielsen




Sunday, December 14, 2014

He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows

Hey family and friends,

This week has been cold. And it is supposed to get colder. We have 70mph winds coming in this week and temps of -5C.  It has been a good week though.  A while back I talked about the man that I met in the bathroom that I have been talking to every week at the gym. We saw him this week and had another good chat with him. He lives pretty close to us and so we walked home together after the gym. But long story short we invited him to Church on the Dec. 7, 2014 and he told us that he was going partying that night so wouldn't be able to come. But said that he might come in the future. It was still cool to just talk to him. 

Tender Mercy for the week is we had a member who called us and apologized to us for not having us over for a Thanksgiving dinner and so they took us to a Carvery for dinner. A Carvery is kind of like a buffet but way better. All the food you can eat for pretty cheep.  We had a good meal.

Funnest thing for the week was probably going to the gym on Monday. Had very good work out.  I love going to the gym and dong a good workout. 

Hardest thing for the week was getting in touch with people. There are some people that we have not seen for a long time that just don't answer their phone.

Thing that has made me laugh out loud this week was getting caught with the some of the Young Men  eating left over cake after Church on Fast Sunday. We where eating cake and laughing when a member walked into the kitchen. I had half a piece of cake in my mouth and some of the young men where just about to take a bite.  We all had a good laugh!

Other than that it has been a pretty normal week trying to contact people and keep things moving. I have been reading in Mosiah this week and read this... 

He is despised and rejected of men; man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefand we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.



 Surely he has borne our griefsand carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 But he was wounded for our transgressionshe was bruised for our iniquitiesthe chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I have been reading this and then it hit me to replace the we, our, etc with me and I. So it read Surely He has borne my grief, and carried my sorrows; yet I did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for my transgressions, He was bruised for my iniquities; the chastisement for my peace was upon him; and with His stripes I am healed. 

As we come up to Christmas lets remember the real reason for it. CHRIST!

Love, Elder Nielsen. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

When you follow Christ you are always on the right path.

Dear Friends and Family,

Last week I mentioned that I strained my neck but it is better now.  It lasted for about two weeks and it is all good. ;-)  Tender mercy for the week was just my neck healing. It was to the point that if I got my heart rate up above 100 I had to sit down because my head was pounding so hard.  Since England does not celebrate Thanksgiving, Elder M and I had our own.  We had Pizza and Wings and lots of them.  I think that we might have overdone we were so full, but it was fun.

This week has been a busy weird week.We have had the "He is The Gift" training. It was crazy because of the traveling back and forth into Birmingham for two weeks in a row.  It was a good training though.  I am really impressed with the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints effort into stressing Christ during a time of commercial hype.  So after that we watched the video that goes along with the He is the Gift.  It is a really good video The Christmas Story.  But after the business of learning/training the week went back to normal. 

We went and saw some less active members and tried to get in contact with some people who had been investigating the Church.  Solihull is a weird area because people come and go really quick. What I mean is that you can stay in contact with them for a week or two and then they just disappear and you can't seem to find them for weeks.  It is a crazy pattern. 


This week in the Old Testament I have been reading about Saul and how he didn't wait for Samuel to come and perform the sacrifice right before the battle and then he spared the ox and sheep.  This topic led to an interesting talk with Elder M about social pressures.  How Saul gave into the children of Israel and went ahead and did those things because it would make him popular in the eyes of the people.  In the long run it hurt him more than the people. We have been challenging the members to not give in to the social pressure. To always remember that if they are following Christ they are on the right path. 

Have a great week and remember that "He is The Gift".

Love Elder Nielsen


showing off my new shirt/muscles.


Having fun at the park on Pday.  England is beautiful.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gratitude

Dear Family and Friends,

Solihull is a nice Area but nothing really goes on here in terms of Missionary Work.  Over the past two years nothing has happened really.  And the members have not really been helping at all.  They are good members on Sunday but the rest of the week we don't see them.  Please pray for hearts to be softened and that the Ward members will have a desire to Hasten the Work.

This week has been cold yet again. But that is okay since there are not too many weeks left on the Mission. The time will go quickly.  This week we had a Ward Reach Out Night.  It turned out pretty good.  We had about 8 people there and saw a good number of people that we have been dropping by to visit with. 

The work is slowly picking up.  My companion Elder M and I went and saw a man named Alan.  He has not been active for two years.  A very nice man and we talked about what was keeping him from Church.  And he flat out told us (but I will not share because of privacy).  But the cool thing is he is going to let the Missionaries (me and Elder M) come back and teach him again!  Yeah, it should be good.  We hope to have him back to Church by Christmas.  So we will see how this week goes with him as we continue to visit and teach him.  Finding over here has been really slow so we have started to just work with less actives.  And there are some good people that are close to coming back.  But also have experienced a little detour in their reactivation. 

I saw the man that I talked to about the Gospel in the bathroom at the Gym.  He is not really interested in being taught by the Missionaries about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but he likes to talk to us about our lives and what we are doing.  So hopefully his heart will soften and he will want to learn more about Jesus Christ.

The Tender Mercy for this week is Health Insurance.  I had a little accident at the Gym and strained my neck so after a visit to the Doc. no lifting anything for six weeks.  I can't even pull my suit cases down to get something.  Elder M has to get them down for me. 

I hope that as we all celebrate Thanksgiving this week we all think of the many things that we are grateful for.  I am grateful for my family and the support and encouragement they give to me, friends for the joy of having friends to listen to my venting, my health so I can run and not be weary and walk and not be faint, safety that I can walk freely, food so I can stay healthy, house for the warmth and comfort it provides, and the scriptures that I can study and learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving.

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 17, 2014

A little bit of Toilette Humor

It has been cold this week. The weather has diffidently turned this week. It went from a very nice Autumn to freezing in a day. The rain has been a pain but that is what I get to deal with.

As you can tell from the post title, I had a funny conversation on Monday last week.  Elder M. and I go to a gym on Mondays to get a good work out and I was in the restroom and there was a man that I have talked to a couple of times on the toilet.  While he was in the stall, he began a conversation and asked where I was from and I told him. Then he asked why are you here in England and a couple other questions about my Mission.  But definitely one of the craziest places I have had a conversation about the Gospel... as he was wiping ha ha. We will just have to see if it goes anywhere hopefully it will.  But there a little bit of toilette humor to start us off with.

But tender mercy for this week was Zone Meeting.  The training was presented in a way that I have never thought of and I learned a lot.  Best thing that happened this week is that I now have Elder M. as a companion.  He has just let me rant for the past couple of days about the things that have been going on with my last companion and with the Ward.  It was good to get all my frustrations out so I can move on.  The hardest thing for the week probably has just been trying to get around to all the members we wanted to see this week.  We are trying to build up the Area around where the members live.  So we have been going by their homes asking them to pray that we will have success in their Area.

I have just finished reading the Book of Joshua.  And one thing I did as I read the book was marked every time he was told to be strong and of a good courage.  It is repeated plenty of times.  I learned that no matter what situation we are in we need to be strong and of good courage and it will work out. That principle is illustrated through the whole book.   The people rebel and Joshua just has to put up with it until they change.  And also with driving the other people out of the promised land.  He had to be strong.  Lots of things going on and nothing really went his way.  But he stayed strong.

Other than that we are still working with less actives and trying to find new people.  Hopefully with Christmas coming up it will bring lots of softened hearts that are ready to hear about the good news of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Please join with me in prayer for soften hearts during this upcoming season for those who are ready to hear that good news.

Have a great week!

Love, Elder Nielsen


Monday, November 10, 2014

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Dear family and friends, 

I did not get transfers. I am still in Solihull.  I have a new companion this week but still in the same Area. I now have Elder M. from Snow Flake, Arizona.

But my time in the Mission Office while I waited for Elder M. was about two days.  One of the days I did service for the MP.  He likes the car park clean before transfers. So Wednesday morning I was out there at 8 am with a broom and a leaf vacuum with a couple of other Elders cleaning up leaves. I honestly loved my time as the office Elder.  I answered the phone and typed up papers for them. Easy work that was different. I had the opportunity to have a good chat with one of the Senior couples that are in the Mission Home.  He gave me some good advice and I have been thinking about how I want the rest of the mission to go.  In my patriarchal blessing it talks about disillusionment I have always wondered what it meant and how it would play out in my life, but after my time with Elder P. I now know it is to have false ideas going against the knowledge that you already have, or a reversal of right and wrong.  I am a witness that satan has a hand in disillusionment and will try to guide you down the wrong path so hold strong to the truths you know.

So this week has mostly been getting Elder M. caught up with the Area and what not. But we are in the same group of Missionaries. So we both have been out 18 months. This past Sunday was Remembrance Sunday. So basically our Memorial Day. Everyone has a poppy on their chest and there is a two minute silence at 11 am. It always has been a cool experience to do that 


After picking up Elder M. we then headed out to meet the Ward Mission Leader.  He wanted to go on splits with us so that he could get to now Elder M.  We had a good split. I went and saw the less active members while Elder M. went and saw a referral that we got from the Ward Mission Leader. It is pretty cool because they got in to teach this man. So hopefully we will be teaching him this week and he can start on the road of change.

I had a pretty crazy experience this week though. I was having a bad attitude about staying in Solihull for another transfers. I was praying and the thought came to read some Conference talks from 1970. But the first talk that I opened up to was called  "Love One Another".  As I read this talk it basically told me that if I was unhappy it was because I didn't have love for any of the people around me. That has been my goal for the coming week. To love the people around me and try to not jump to the attitudes I have had about them. It has been really good so far. I am looking forward to what happens in the next six weeks.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Seek the Lord for Divine Aid and Counsel



This week has been a trying one for sure.  Lots of ups and downs.  My companion went home on Monday.  I am sad that he is going home but also I know that it is probably the best thing for him.  I will admit that it has been hard to keep motivated to do things when he wasn't.  He always commented on how I would study every day even though he wasn't as regular at it and was impressed with my dedication.  So I am an Office Elder for the next couple of days until Wednesday maybe.

Transfers are coming up and it has just been a crazy week.  I don't think I have had a week like this in a long time. We were running all over the place to get things for the Elders in the District and then having the Zone Leaders over in Solihull for the day.  So a very long and crazy week that is for sure. But I am back to what I do best on the Mission and that is moving people. We helped a family move this week to another house in Solihull. It was a fun day moving them. It seems like I get to know the members better when I am serving them. We are helping another family move sometime this week, if I am back in Solihull, so it should be a fun week.

The tender mercy for the week is being in the Mission Office for a little bit.  It is nice to get into a new environment with Missionaries that I have not had the opportunity to meet and have a renewed spirit being around them and of course the Mission President and his Wife.  And I think that the hardest thing for the week has been packing up Elder P. and just trying to get him off.  I have enjoyed most of my time with him.  It has been hard but worth it.

Remember that the Lord loves us all and wants what is best for us.  Tad Callister said in the October General Conference "God will never leave us alone. God never gives us a responsibility without offering divine aid.."  We just need to seek that divine aid and counsel.

Have a great week!

Love Elder Nielsen





Monday, October 27, 2014

Whose side are you on?

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a fun one.  I remember about over a year ago when I was in Kidderminster I had a girl hitting on me in the Library.  I remember freaking out when it happened.  But I did not freak out as much as I did this week to what happened.  We were waiting for a bus and a lady in her 80's started to talk to me.  I thought I would be nice and talk to her.  So we started to talk and for about five minutes she thought I was from Birmingham.  Then I told her I was from America and then the conversation went to what are you doing over here, etc.  The conversation started to die.  So I started to talk to Elder P.  for a little bit then she started to talk to me again.  She asked these questions, "How old are you?"  I said I am twenty and she just kind of laughed and said I thought you would be older than that to be on your own in a different country.  Then the kicker, she asks me,  "Do you have a girlfriend"?  I was pretty taken back and told her no and she had this smile on here face that meant a follow up question was in the works.  Thank goodness the bus came just then.  That was my funny story for the week.

A few weeks ago I had told you about our investigator, Donald.  He had been investigating the Church for 18 years.  He came to Church as soon as he was invited and has kept coming.  Donald has a crazy story though. When he first prayed about the Book of Mormon he heard a voice, a clear voice, saying, "Donald if you get baptized with them I will send you to hell". Donald never did get baptized but he was a faithful member up until the end. Donald lost his fight with colon cancer that had spread to his liver.  He was one of the best Missionaries this Ward had.  But he is in a place where he can finally accept the Gospel and partake of everything it has to offer.  Donald's Funeral was a few weeks ago.  He didn't have any family that wanted to be in attendance so it was mostly some of the Ward and his friends.  He had Police Officers there and Preachers from another faith.  He had lots of friends that talked with him and took him around to his various appointments.  It was pretty funny though. They just told good stories about him that made everyone laugh.

The member have been in my good book these last few weeks.  We have finally gotten into some houses to visit and get to know them as well as have a good England meal.  It has been several months since we had been invited to different peoples houses.

Tender mercy for the week is just that I have been sleeping again.  I have been going about two weeks with not really sleeping at night.  So this week I have had a pretty good night sleep at least every other day.  My favorite activity would have to be Zone Meeting this past week and hanging out with all the other Elders and having a fun time.  And also seeing a member from Cannock at lunch after Zone Meeting.

But I have still been reading the Old Testament and have just finished the story of the brass serpent that Moses raises up on the pole.  But before that the Lord kills some of the children of Israel because they are rebelling against Moses and more importantly Him.  I thought about it in our day.  When we rebel against God now a days we don't get swallowed up by the earth of get struck by fire from heaven.  We die spiritually instead of physically.  We have just heard from our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and the Apostles that we need to strengthen our testimony's and get back to the basics.  I think that is one of my main priorities for the next couple of weeks so that I am on God's side and not against Him.

I hope that we are all on God's side and not against Him!

Love, Elder Nielsen






Monday, October 13, 2014

Busy but not much to report

Hey all,

What a fun week!  The weather has been nuts this whole week here in Solihull, England.  We have had lots of sun and really hot days and then in a couple of hours it is gale force winds and blowing rain.  So it has just been a bundle of joy to deal with (note my sarcasm).  But we just keep doing what we can do.  It's nice to see that the weather is changing again.  I was getting a little to comfortable without the rain to add new problems to the mix of Missionary life.

Not much to report on this week.  We have been continuing our visiting with our inactive fellow on his porch.  It has been interesting with the sun, wind and rain during our visits.  We also had the chance on Friday to travel to Birmingham and have our interviews with the Mission President.  I had my interview on Friday and then we again travel to Birmingham on Sunday after church for my companion's interview with the Mission President so that made for a fun day.

The tender mercy for this week is that I didn't mess up to bad playing the piano in Church.  They had me play hymn 305 - (you can listen to it here) The Light Divine after just walking in the building from a very cold outside with cold fingers. What a circus it was.  It was fun though.

I don't have much time today but hopefully the rain will die down and we can get back out there and find the lost sheep!

Have a great week!

Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blessings of Listening to General Conference

 Dear Family & Friends,

What a wonderful blessing to hear from our Prophet and Apostles this weekend.  We watched it in Harborn at the Stake Center.  So three buses and two hours later we were finally at our destination and ready to learn from the spirit.  We did not have investigators in attendance with us.  I have realized that not many of the Ward members in England don't go to General or Stake Conference.  As I have gotten older I have enjoyed General Conference more and more.  As a little kid it was the weekend you would try and sleep in as long as you could.  Or do something so you didn't have to listen to it.  I have just now found the blessings of watching and listening intently.  I learned a lot from this one.  I liked the common theme of how to get a testimony and how to keep it.  As a missionary we are always teaching people how to receive personal revelation and then what to do next with it.  I really liked how multiple people talked on that same subject.  The other talk that I liked was about how we cant believe everything we read in the news or Internet about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe.  As a Missionary we have people that try and tell us what we believe.  Some of the the things they say are true and most of them false.  But as long as your testimony is centered in the fact that Joseph Smith is a prophet you don't need to worry about what other people say.  People are not perfect and mistakes have been made.

Question this week was "When did you actually know that you were going on a Mission"?  I think I decided to go when it was announced that we could go earlier.  I still remember what happened.  I think that my family was gone for the weekend.  I had gotten home the night before from BYU-I and had just taking three tests and was exhausted. So it was me and Bruno our big black lab at home and I stayed up way late playing Xbox and watching TV.  Slept tell noon when my mom called me and said, "are you watching Conference? You will never believe what President Monson just announced".  After that I Jumped on face book and saw all of my friends posting on face book that they were going to go now.  So I just followed the crowd to a degree.  I was already planning on putting my papers in December of that year, so the announcement just made my game plan one month sooner. 

The tender mercy for the week was busing to the Stake Center to watch General Conference.  We hit the buses just right and jumped off one and ran to the other.  We made good time getting to the Stake Center and back.  I have never had that happen.  We usually miss one.

But this week we visited a less active that we have been visiting every week.  He has been away from the Church for about twenty years or something like that.  We have started to see some progress with him. We have noticed that our visits are just on the door step but have been getting progressively longer.  He is starting to enjoying us coming around I hope.  So that was a cool thing to see.  I cant wait to see what will happen in a couple of months with him.

General Conference has been a spiritual recharge for the week, I cant wait to read and study the Conference talks as they come out!  Love this Gospel!

Love Elder Nielsen





Monday, September 29, 2014

Things always get worse before they get better.

Dear Family and Friends,

Not much has really happened this week. We had transfers and one of Elders in the District got transferred.  So it was mostly getting him where he needed to be on time and getting the new Elder here and settled.  But other than that we spent most of the week trying to set things up for next transfer.  It is pretty funny because like I have mentioned before, the Area almost shuts down after the transfer and then has to be restarted.

I have been reading the Old Testament this week.  I am trying to finish it before I go home.  So it is seven pages a day and I should finish right before I go home.  But I was reading the last little bit of Genesis about Joseph getting sold into Egypt.  And all I could think about while I was reading it was the musical "Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat".  So that made my morning study pretty good. ha ha  But while I was reading in Genesis, I found an interesting principle.   That things are going to get worse before it gets better.  Joseph's situation got worse when he was thrown in prison.  But then after a year of waiting it got better and kept going up.  I also found this as I started the Book of Mormon over again.  Lehi had to leave and the wilderness was hard. Things got worse before they get better.  It reminds me of one of the Batman movies.  The night is darkest before the dawn.  It is going to be bad for a while but just as it gets worse the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel is there.

Some interesting questions were asked of me this past week.  "When did you have a burning in your heart and mind that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true?"  I don't think I can pin down when I believed the Gospel was true.  I thought it was in the Mission Training Center but then I met a born again christian in the streets and he changed that pretty quick with his arguing and bible bashing.  So maybe about six months out and after I started to understand the scriptures on a spiritual level and not a logical level.  I had a testimony of the Gospel before I left to serve my Mission but now it is a completely different understanding and feeling.

"What was your tender mercy this past week?"  Tender mercy for the week was just being able to go to Church and partaking of the sacrament. We didn't go two weeks ago because of Elder P. being ill and then the next week was Stake Conference.  So it was just being in attendance and the interaction with the members and being able to feel the spirit that is only at Church. That was much needed for the week.  Another tender mercy was having known Donald one of the investigators in the Ward I am currently serving in.  I will explain below.

Hopefully this week we can get out among the people more and talk to them.  One thing that happened this week was our investigator Donald passed away.  Donald had been investigating the Church for 18 years.  He came to Church as soon as he was invited and has kept coming.  Donald has a crazy story though.  When he first prayed about the Book of Mormon he heard a voice, a clear voice, saying, "Donald if you get baptized with them I will send you to hell."  Donald never did get baptized but he was a faithful member up until the end.  Donald lost his fight with colon cancer that had spread to his liver.  He was one of the best Missionaries this Ward had.  But he is in a place where he can finally accept the Gospel and partake of everything it has the offer.

Think about your tender mercy this week as well as when did you have the burning in your heart and mind that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

The Gospel is true!!!!

Love, Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 22, 2014

Divine Potential and Individual Worth

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been a hectic one. We had Stake Conference this weekend and with Elder P. being sick and not being able to work the full week we have been playing catch up.  It has been fun though to be busy again.  The beginning of the week we were in due to Elder P. illness so I have been doing lots of studying which has been nice.

Stake Conference though was really good it is a 45 minute drive to get there from Solihull so it was pretty early start to our day.  The Saturday session was packed. I have never seen a Saturday session that full.  Most of the Missionaries were out in the hall so there was more room for members and investigators to sit. Then the Sunday session  was probably one of the best Stake Conferences that I have been to. T here were some recent converts that bore their testimony and then a member talked about our Individual Worth and Divine potential.  She started the talk off with the Young Women's values which are Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity and Virtue (Young Women's Personal Progress).  She then broke each of the values down.  She then said if we understood our Individual Worth and Divine potential we would do things very different. Sometimes as humans it is hard to think about our potential because we have a hard time thinking ahead.  I have been trying to figure out my Divine potential and it has been a hard journey.  Having to push off the human elements and telling myself that I can do anything I really want to do.  It has been fun though.

Another talk was a member from the Solihull Ward that I am serving in.  She told us a story about driving down to London and her car broke down on the M25 which is a massive ring road around the city of London itself.  It is something like six lanes in each direction.  She broke down in the middle of the six lanes during one of the busiest times of day.  She could not get to the hard shoulder because there was none.  She called all the people she had to in order to get the car moved. She then had to call highway patrol because of how dangerous of an area she was in.  The highway patrol then used their cameras on the road to locate her.  She talked about all the joy she felt when they told her that they could see her and that they would send someone soon to help.  She related this to how we are never alone that Heavenly Father is always watching over us.  We just don't see Him, but if we have faith we can feel His love for us.  It was a good Conference though. The final speaker was a recent convert that bore his testimony.  He is a black man from Ghana that used to be a preacher before he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I have never heard a testimony like his.  The people we were sitting with wanted to jump up and give an Amen it was so powerful.  He is going to be a good member.

Transfers are this week so we get the dodge call tonight.  I think I will be staying here in Solihull but I will not know for sure until tonight.  It is crazy how fast the time is going.

Find your Divine Potential this week and have faith that our Heavenly Father is watching over us and will help us in any way needed if we just seek and ask.

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hebrews 12:1-2

Hey Family and Friends,

I will start off my blog this week with a Q&A session.  My mom has been sending me questions the last few weeks of things that she wants to know so I guess some of you all will be interested also.

Where do the people of England go on Holiday?  Most of the members just go to the south of England or to main land Europe.

Is it difficult for you to fall asleep at night?  Some days it just depends on what happened during the day.  Lately, my mind has just been running really fast  and I don't have anything to shut it off.  Back home I would just watch a movie.  But cant do that while here in England so I listen to music or read scriptures.

What time does your p-day start, end and where do you email and do your laundry?  We leave at ten on p-days just to get things done. We only have from ten to six to get the things outside of our apartment.  We have a washer in the flat but no drier, so we have a cloth lines in the flat.  We just email at the library and shop at the local stores.  That is about it because it cost money to go places and there are not many free things.

I think the hardest thing I have done is working with the Ward I am in now.  It is a bit discouraging to not feel welcomed or needed.

This week not much happened.  Elder P. has been sick so we were in all week and probably a little bit of this next week too.  But it gives me more time to study.  I have just finished the New Testament
for the second time as a missionary.  I have enjoyed reading the New Testament.  The one reason though that I read it again is most people ask us question about it and the Book of Mormon.  So it was nice to read it again.  But as I was reading it this time I thought I would write down all the verses that talked about how Christ Church was organized.  It was really cool to go back and look at all the verses I wrote down and saw that The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints checked all the boxes.  So that was the cool testimony builder for the week.  It was also nice just to get to know Elder P. better.   With us being in the flat for the whole week we had many hours just to sit and talk.  It is one thing that you don't really get to do.  You get to know your comps to a certain level but anything past that you just don't have time for.  But we had plenty of time.  Sorry not much happened this week.  But everyone gets sick once in a while.

One of my favorite scriptures this week is Hebrews 12:1-2, 

 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Let us lay aside what is burdening our soul this week and have faith in Jesus Christ.  He will comfort us.

Love this Gospel!

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 8, 2014

Daily Events

Hey Family and Friends,

A few people have asked me about my daily routine here in England, below is a summary of the days events and such.

For breakfast it is usually eggs or oatmeal.  I have stopped the green smoothies because I have been drinking them for the last ten weeks and I am pretty tired of them.  I really don't have a favorite breakfast food. I just eat what I can get that is within my budget.

We leave the flat at 10 am and our main areas that we tract are the main streets and town center.  We are not allowed to preach in the shops, so we just walk around the town center and outlying areas.  We head to lunch at half twelve or one and we have an hour.  I don't know what I eat for lunch, I just eat!  I don't share any of my groceries with my companion.  I did with my trainer and I hated it.  We didn't really have the same food taste.  I hardly ever get snacks or drinks when we are out and about. On very hot days I do because I get really thirsty, but we have not had to many of those as you may recall from last posts.  We don't have Sisters in our District.  And Solihull has not had a baptism for a long time.  Many of the Missionaries that have been here have gotten close but I think it has been about two years from the last baptism.  As a District Leader I just watch over Elders, help most and babysit the others.  I train the Elders in my Area once a week and then work with each Elder once a transfer.  So that is my day in a brief paragraph.

So here we are another week down and boy did it fly by.  This week we had Zone Conference on Saturday.  I have never had a Zone Conference meeting on a Saturday, but it was good.  It is hard to have it on Saturday because that can be the day you get the most done with finding people and teaching.  It was good though to get training from the Mission President on how we can become better.  I learned some good things that should help me out.

This week we have been trying to catch up with all the members who have been on holiday for the summer.  It was cool to see the Chapel almost full again.  We had about 80 people there on Sunday! That is the most that has been in attendance since I have been here in Solihull.  I think the coolest part of Sunday was members coming up to us and sharing their Missionary experiences they had over the summer.  We have also been getting back into contact with the people that were being taught before the summer started and trying to get in with them. We should be getting back to teaching more regularly in a week or so. We have been in contact with a family that was being taught when I came to Solihull who moved to Leeds and they are willing to be taught again.  So things are starting to look up.  I love the Fall when everyone gets back into a routine.

One thing that I have started to notice is that when we are in a rush to get places that is when things happen. We had a girl ask us, just as we were getting on the bus to go to dinner, if she could have a copy of the Book of Mormon.  It was crazy fast.  Hopefully she reads it but it was so quick that we did not have the chance to talk to her about it at all.  Because of that we are trying to be a little more on time to things so that we are not so rushed and so we can have the opportunity to visit with those that have that golden question.

 Have a good week I will recap what I learned at Zone Conference next week after I have a chance to reread what I wrote.

Love, Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen and Antony from Cannock about 6 months ago

Monday, September 1, 2014

Obedience

Hey,


I am trying to think of what happened this week.  But the more I think the less I remember.  I have been sick all week.  It started as a cold then went into my chest and head.  So I have been drugged up
all week. So everything is sort of a blur.

We started off the week with some service.  There is a man that has been investigating the Church for 18 years and has gotten really sick recently, so we, Elder Paton and I, have been going over once a week to just keep his yard in shape.  This is the same man who we cut down the back garden for.  But it was fun this time because we got to clean up what we had cut down and put it into bags.  He has one garbage can full of weeds and about thirty garbage bags full of more weeds and other stuff.  We cut down a ton but we also found out that we still have about another ten feet to go.  We will get to it one day.

I had a really cool experience this week though.  One of my old Companions was recently transferred to my District.  I got to go on exchange with Elder Doty, one of my favorite Companions from Worcester.  It was so crazy. We where talking and I said," Doty this is trippy.  We were together 9 months ago and now we are back."  It was so much fun to catch up and work with him again.  It was just like old times.

I have also started to Book of Mormon again this week.  I was reading in 1 Nephi Chapter 2  this week and what really hit me this time was this:

1 For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.

2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

3 And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.

4 And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.

The reason this impressed me was that 1) Lehi was ALREADY faithful.  The lord knew he would respond to this and leave.  2) is that Lehi listened and left and 3) Lehi took only his family, provisions and tents.  He left ALL.  He left everything that the world says is important.  I have been thinking about it and talking about it with Elder Paton.  I have learned a ton from these five verses.  When times get hard if we are already faithful we will be blessed.  And the best time to be obedient is before these blessings are needed.  What I mean by that is to be living in a way that the Holy Ghost can prompt us before we get into trouble not after.  Even when it is hard, being obedient is going to be the best thing for us.

I hope that we can all do our best in following Lehi's example.  I love this work and the Lord.

Have a great week.

Love Elder Nielsen


Monday, August 25, 2014

Finding those that are already found.

Hey all,

Lets talk about the weather.  Over here in England, it has been overcast for the whole week.  And it has been cold and raining.  I have been able to see my breath a couple of times this week. That is not supposed to happen in August and I am not ready for the cold!  I am not the biggest fan of the rain.  It has just been a constant drizzle this week. 

We have been mostly working with the less active members in the Area this week. With August being the holiday period of the year no one is around, everyone is on "Holiday".  Even the members, we had 40 people on Sunday out of the 80 or so that normally come.  We are working with a couple of them and the good news is that they are coming to Church more often and staying for more of it.  We really don't eat at members houses here.  We are lucky if we get in with one or two members a week.   This area is really posh and people don't want to talk about religion at all. 
 

I have found that sometimes the Lord tell us to stop finding souls and to get the ones who are already found back into the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Sometimes though working with less actives is harder than finding new investigators.  The members who are less active have a reason most of the time and they know exactly what the Missionaries are doing coming around their place.  We have been taking the "Ammon" approach to working with our less active families.  And that is we have been just doing service for them.  It has gotten annoying and trying a couple of times but hopefully it will start to work out.  This week should be a good one though. 

Hope everyone has a good week.  Sorry for the short email.  Because it is a Bank Holiday,  the computer is going to kick me off in thirty seconds.

Until next week!

Love Elder Nielsen
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Follow the Prophet

Hello everyone!

The good news is that I am not sore anymore.  Elder Paton and I did a two and a half hour work out last Monday and we couldn't move for the rest of the week.  It was bad.  I have never been that sore.  Elder Paton and I couldn't walk for most of the week. Tuesday it was alright then Wednesday to Friday it got worse.  It got to the point we couldn't get out of bed.  It was so worth it though. We looked like we where drunk because our legs couldn't hold us up.  It is over though thank goodness until we work out again.  Hopefully I will not be as sore the next time.

We had the opportunity to serve a member who needed help moving this week. They had most of their stuff out of their house but they needed us to get the stuff out of the attic.  It took us about six hours to clear the attic.  I was up in the attic and Elder Paton was at the bottom of the ladder.  One of the bad things that happened is that I ripped my pants on the ladder.  It was to the point of no repair (sorry Mom).  We all got a good chuckle out of it though.  The members have one of the best food storage I have ever seen..... in England.  They had one ton of wheat vacuum packed and ready to be ground.  By the way the wheat was in the attic.  I would clear all the boxes I thought where wheat then I would find ten more boxes.  They also had an impressive collection of music records.  They had the big twelve inch ones and the 8 track and every kind.  The records where easier then the wheat.  So thousands of pounds of wheat and thousands of records later we were done.  With every box of wheat we pulled out the wife just looked at us and said, "I AM FOLLOWING THE PROPHET."  I thought about her statement and I thought what great advice is that.  When the times get rough if we follow the Prophet we will be fine.  It is a pattern in the scriptures.  Every time the people followed the Prophet they were blessed and things just worked out.  We don't see the immediate results of it but it comes. When the next natural disaster happens the people who followed the counsel will be okay.

A tender mercy that happened this week has been just the things that have been happening in our Ward and Area.  Things are starting to slowly look up.  The Ward is starting to help us out and we are getting to know people in the Ward.  It feels to good to finally be acknowledged and helped by the Ward members.

Have a great week and continue to Follow the Prophet!

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, August 11, 2014

When through fiery trials

Dear Family and Friends,

The adventure at Five Guys was good, way overpriced but I had to try it.  We paid $9.50 for a burger and small fry which is outrageous.  I was a little ticked but the burger was good. 

Elder Paton is from Australia and he is twenty and has been out for just over a year.  On Monday, August 11th Elder Paton and I went and worked out for P-day at a local gym in the morning for three hours.  Elder Paton is a personal trainer, so he just whipped my butt into shape today.  I am already sore and ya.  We are going to try and go every Monday but we will see what happens.

We got hit with the left overs of Bertha a huge rain storm and it was alright.  Just rained and rained most of the day on Sunday.  But we didn't flood or anything, it was just very wet and hard to get anything done.

This week has been a good one as usual.  We have been picking up the pieces of what is left of this transfer.  It has been one of the most heck-tit transfers I have had on the Mission.  It has been worth it
though.  Mostly this week we have been trying to get to know the members.  I have only been here for five weeks and Elder Paton has only been here for a week and a half.  We have just been going by members houses and introducing ourselves to try  and get to know everyone.  We have met a lot of cool members and are starting to get members excited to come out with us.  It is crazy how much of Missionary work is a cycle.  You start to get things going and then a wrench gets thrown in.  Then you start the process over again.  But it is what makes Missionary work fun.  On Sunday I was looking at the hymn How Firm a Foundation and this verse stuck out to me.

When through fiery trials
thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

I have been I little miffed about all the trials I have been going through and this answered my question why.  But it is all for my good.  As much as at the time it doesn't feel like it is for my own good, it all is. I have learned that the hard way.  Some things that you go through develop things you need to have and learn.  But the light is always there at the end of the tunnel. You just need to look for it.

Sorry this entry is so short.  But we thought the Library closed at six today but it is at five.  So only an hour today to email.

Have a great week and may your trials be light.

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Natural Man

Dear friends and family,

This week has been pretty stressful.  I lost three Elders out of the District in 24 hours.  Tuesday I got a call from one of the team and he said that he is getting transferred to Wales and that his companion is going home because of a medical issue.  So there went two people.  On Wednesday we had District meeting with Elder Fonseca, myself and the other team and after that we all went on exchange.  So we are biking to a dinner appointment and the phone starts to ring.  I thought I am at a red light I will see who it is and then call them back.  I look at the phone and it was the Mission President, President Rasmussen, so I answered while I was stopped at the red light.  And Before I said HI this is Elder Nielsen, I just said President I am really busy right now can I call you back?  He said sure and shortly I called him back and explained that I was on my bike at a red light and he just laughed.  But then he told me that my companion, Elder Fonseca, is getting emergency transferred tonight.  I didn't know what to say.  I was shocked and I asked when does he need to be ready and that could be a problem since we are on exchange.  But we worked it out.  I now have a new companion,  Elder Paton from Australia.  It was just a crazy day.  I went and picked up Elder Paton and we got back to the flat at about ten at night.  So while he unpacked I cleaned the place a bit.  Elder Fonseca had been in Solihull for six months so his stuff was everywhere.  We torn the flat apart making sure we got everything he needed because we only had an hour to pack.  Everything worked out.  But other than that it has just been a massive learning curve for me since I have only been in the Solihull area for three weeks and now it is the two of us that are new to the Area.  It will work out though.

Below is a picture of a statue that I took this past week and I want to explain why I took the picture. The statue is of a man working with a horse.  The man represents the human man and the horse is our passions and natural man.  I just looked at the statue and it hit home to me how hard it is to put off the natural man.  I have been thinking about this and how we can tame the natural man.  And it is through charity.  The natural man thinks only about himself and no one else.  A charitable man thinks about everyone but himself.  It is the only way that we can truly change the natural man and tame our passions to become the instruments that God needs us to be.

I hope that we can all become charitable men and women and be the instruments that God needs us to be to hasten His work.

Love, Elder Nielsen

Pictures below.

Box of new shirts Mom sent. Elder Nielsen square feet.

Elder Nielsen new shirt and tie.

Church of England

Outside our flat in Solihull, England.

Elder Paton at the grocery.

Elder Nielsen trying out the new Five Guys, smell and anticipation of how good it will be.

Five Guys burger.  YUM

New Five Guys restaurant.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Sacrament

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was a hard week. We just had to many things to do and not enough time in the day to do them and it has been very hot and humid over here. We will go out for about two hours and then will need to come back to change our shirt because it is wet from the humidity.  It has made the work hard because people do not want to talk. They just want to get indoors and out of the heat.  It has made cycling hard as well.  Oh well, that is the life of a Missionary!  I need to enjoy the sun while it is still here because before you know it, the rain and fog will be back.

We have been going by a lot of less active this week that the Ward did not know about.  It was really fun. We met some really nice people and had a couple of them at Church on Sunday which was good to see.  The one hard thing that happened this week is I went on exchange (where my companion and I go with different Elders in different Areas) with a Elder in my Area.  It was a fun exchange but the Elders flat is right next to the airport.  The planes flew right next to their window and you could see the people in the plane window, that's how close they are!  It was really cool but also frustrating because it made talking to people in the streets really hard.  You would be having a good conversation with them, then a plane would fly over and you couldn't speak it was just to loud.  It was a good exchange though.  I like having the opportunity to work with other Elders.  I learn so much from them and their working style. 

One day last week we also had the chance to play football as a Ward.  It was a lot of fun but very hot. We played for about two hours and after that I had to go home and shower because it looked like I had just been thrown in a pool.  I was absolutely dripping with sweat, but it was worth every drip. Before we played football, a member of the Bishopric came up to me and asked if I would give a talk on Sunday.  The day he asked was Saturday evening,  so I had about an hour to prepare a ten minute talk on why it is important to prepare to partake of the Sacrament.  It turned out to be a good talk for so little effort put into it.  The one thing that I have never really realized is how many times the Sacrament Prayer say remember.  They each say it two times.  That they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy son, and always remember him. Blessing on the Bread D&C 20:77  Then the water has do it in remembrance of the blood, that they do always remember himBlessing on the Water D&C 20:79  Every time we partake of the Sacrament we promise to always remember Him. The question I used to start my talk was do we Always Remember?  Life is hectic! We are all busy. But do we always remember Christ and his sacrifice for us.  Do we partake of the sacrament by just going through the motions or are we taking it with the intent to change. As I was preparing the talk I found lots of things I need to change.  I get to caught up with the things that need to be done this week rather than preparing myself to partake of the Sacrament.  We are not all perfect but have the chance to become perfect and we grow line upon line and principle upon principle.  We do this by partaking of the Sacrament and doing better each week.  It is the greatest blessing to be able to do that once a week.  To become better.

Tender Mercy I had this week would have to be attending Church this week.  I was way beyond frustrated with a lot of things and people so it was nice to just sit and do nothing and feel of our Savior's love for me.  Love this gospel!

Have a great week!  Love Elder Nielsen

Pictures below are from some of my adventures the past while.  The first set are pictures of the Elders flat and Church building that is near the airport.  Elder Nielsen raiding the refrigerator, more of the beautiful Country England and of course my green smoothie.  I try and drink one twice a day, who knew a Mission would make me so healthy!  And then the last few are of an old chapel and me in one of my new suits. 












Monday, July 21, 2014

Busy and Fast Week

Dear Family & Friends,

Here is just some information on the new Area I am in at this time.  The new flat in Solihull is alright as missionary housing goes.  I really liked the flat in Cannock better because we had a house and a back yard that I could go out and just sit and enjoy God's rainy green earth.  But the new flat is in a good neighborhood.  With my little bit of cleanliness OCD, I have already stripped the place and cleaned it twice but the floor in the kitchen is bad.  Our feet just stick to it no matter what we have cleaned it with.  Our neighbors are usually pretty good.  I don't think there has every been any problems with them.  The only problem we have had was that our shower leaked into our downstairs neighbor's flat.  But it was a quick fix.  My Companion and I are getting along quit well.  We only religious English talk not small talk English since he does not speak English very well it is hard to see if we have much in common.  The hardest thing I have done as a District Leader is having come to Jesus talks with other Elders.  It is hard to do this because it usually leads to them getting disciplined from the Mission President.  The other reason it is hard to do is because most of these Elders are my friends and we have lots in common.  But it has to happen.  The other day I was thinking about what strengthens my faith when I am down and discouraged.  Just thinking that I can choose how I feel helps but sometimes the power of Satan is strong enough that choosing to be happy doesn't always come easily.

I have not been in my Area of Solihull at all this week.  I have been gone four out of the seven days. We were out Monday which was P day to play football with some Elders in another Area. Wednesday we where out for District Meeting.  Then I went and worked with an Elder in his Area.  Then we came back to Solihull Thursday night then back out on Friday night to Saturday.  It was a fun and eventful week.  One cool thing though is when I was on exchange with the Zone Leaders and I got to ride in a car!  I have not ridden in a car for about a year and a half.  The best thing was that it absolutely dumping rain that day.  We saw some other Elders biking and we pulled over and told them that our heater was out and that we were freezing! ha ha  But that wasn't the best thing that happened that day.  We had the Stake BBQ.  I got to see some members from Kidderminster.  It was really crazy to think that it was almost a year ago that I was in that Area.  It was crazy to catch up with them.  Some of the people that I worked with in Kidderminster to bring them back to Church are still active and they are working to get a Temple recommend!  I was so happy for them!  The other cool thing this week is I ate a Kangaroo burger.  It was so good.  When I was with the Zone Leader we had to go into downtown Birmingham for something. We were both hungry so we just walked into a food court and there was a place selling Kangaroo burgers.  So I decided, that is something that I should try and got one.  It was really good. 

But the week went very fast.  It is good to back in my own Area of Solihull though.  As a Mission we have been working on conversion.  How to help people become converted and to convert ourselves.  It has been a good thing to look at.  It has helped me strengthen my testimony and has helped me work toward being more converted.

Have a great week!

Love you all,  Elder Nielsen

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Parable of Sin and Stinging Nettle by Elder Nielsen

This week was long.  We had meetings all this week so not much got done.  We had Zone Meeting on Wednesday and then on Friday I had a District Leader training meeting.  So Elder  Fonseca and I headed to Birmingham to the Mission Home. All of the District Leaders from the whole mission were in attendance at the Mission Home for special training.  We talked lots about the noble and great ones.  It was pretty good for me to hear.  I had been doubting why I was called to be a District Leader.  The Mission President, President Rasmussen, said that we are all called at this time to do something that needs to be done. We have the ability to reach an Elder/Sister in the way he or she needs.  It was pretty cool to hear that and made me realize that I should not doubt what I have been called to do.

Saturday was a fun day though. We had three service projects. We started at 10 in morning and finished at about 7 that night with all of them.  It was a long day and I will tell you about it in story form.

I would like to tell you the story of Elder Nielsen Vs. the stinging nettle.  There is a man we have been doing service for this past week.  His garden is very overgrown. With brambles and stinging nettle. We had cleared a good chunk of it but when we got close to the back we stopped. We stopped because we had a wall of stinging nettle that was taller than I am.  The wall of stinging nettle was even taller than Elder Fonseca who is six foot two.  We put off clearing it away in hopes that the stinging nettle would just go away.  But on Saturday we decided it was time and the plant needed to go.  I have now learned from first hand experience that stinging nettle really hurts when it gets you.  When we got home we both had to wash our arms to get the stingers out of them.  But even after careful washing, we are still feeling the effects two days later.  But it was a good lesson.  It was fun providing service until we got to the nettles.  Sin can be fun at the start as well, but the further we get into the sin and the more we sin sooner or later this sin will get you back.  We had fun doing the first two thirds of the garden. The last third was Hell.  We learn in the Book of Mormon that wickedness never is and never will be happiness.  Just because it is fun now it will not be fun later.  Stinging nettle takes about four minutes before it starts to hurt.  Those four minutes are fun but then for the next three days you are hating life. We had some cream though to put on our arms which took the pain away.  The cream is like the Atonement.  The Atonement is there for us we just need to know how to use it and be willing to act.  It was a good lesson to learn this week.  It also was a painful one though.  But the most painful lessons we learn the most from.

I had a question asked this week.  "What are Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ doing at this very moment?"  Here are my thoughts.  I honestly think that Christ is preparing for the second coming.  He doesn't know when but in the Doctrine and Covenants it talks about how he will come tomorrow. So that is what I think He is doing.  Heavenly Father I think is probably doing the same thing, but I also think that He is weeping too.  Just like he did when He talked to Enoch. Weeping because of the wickedness and hardness of the hearts of the Children of men. With Christ preparing He is doing lots. Separating the wheat from the tares and bringing people who where promised to be put in a favorable position to hear the Gospel before it's to late.  Leave me your comments on what you think Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are doing. 

It is my hope that we will all help those that have been promised and that have the desire to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love this Gospel, the people of England and all of you that support me in this effort.

Love Elder Nielsen