Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happenings in Cannock, England

Hey All,

I missed last week due to lots of traveling, general business and not much time.  So here is an update of my adventures from the past week.

Monday we had a Zone p-day at the Mission Home in Birmingham and we got back very late so there was not time to email on Monday.  I am sure that my mom was wondering what was going on because I did not even get a short email to her saying I would email on Tuesday.  But we had a fun day.  I think that the most exciting thing that happened on Monday was that I got separated from my Elder Bass my companion at the Train Station. We travel threw Birmingham New Street which is a massive station with like 30 platforms (reminds me of a scene out of Harry Potter) and it was rush hour.  My companion jumped on the train and I didn't make it because it was to full.  But luckily I was with some other Elders trying to get on the same train, they did not make the train either.  So it worked out in the end.  I was not completely alone, which was good.

The last few weeks have been a busy.  We have been working hard to find people to teach and we saw many miracles during our passing this week.  We started to teach the massive family with all the children that I spoke about a few weeks ago.  And the great news is that after the first lesson we were able to set up a time to come back in the same week!  The best thing is that during the second lesson they told us that we could come back anytime we wanted.  So fingers crossed and lots of praying that all goes well and they will bring their family to church this coming week.  It has been really cool because the first lesson we taught them it was just the mother, father and one child.  Then as went back for the second lesson, another child came in and sat down to listen.  Hopefully by the end of the week we will be able to have all the children and the parents listening about the Gospel and the plan of happiness that we have to share with them.

Valentines day was actually pretty fun.  Elder Bass and I went to the other Elders flat and had "happy singles awareness day and we signed up for this great Mission" party.  It was pretty fun.  We all chipped in some money and made dinner.  We had a great time with lots of stories and laughter.

Elder Bass and I have seen some pretty cool things this week with the teaching of a new family and such.  The coolest happened on Sunday.  We where in Sunday School and the Bishop pulls us out.  He said there are two investigators in the hall.  So we thought it was someone that we had invited to come.  As we rounded the corner, to our surprise, it was not one of the investigators that we had invited by an older couple visiting with a couple of members.  So they had just walked in the meeting house and said "our son is a member in Leeds and we are thinking of joining your Church".   It can't get any better than that, so we visited with them for a bit and then sat with them during Sacrament Meeting.  I have never felt the Spirit so strong in a meeting as it was at that time.  The speakers completely changed their talks because they felt impressed that their talks needed to be different. After Sacrament Meeting the couple told us they were just thinking about joining before but after a spiritual confirmation, now they are sure they want to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.  I have a strong testimony that if the Ward is prepared to receive new people the Lord will bring them in. Whether these people come with the Missionaries or they just walk into the building.

As long as we are obedient and prepared, the Lord will provide miracles for us all!  I know this to be true!  Have a great week.

Love to you all,  Elder Nielsen

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New Area, New Companion, New Spirit and Committment

It is funny to me how a new Area (Town), a new companion and new people to teach can renew a Spirit.  I have found that with my latest transfer.  My commitment to Missionary work and my soul have been once again uplifted and we are seeing some success in the Cannock area.
My new Area, Cannock, is about the same size as Kidderminster.  But not as spread out which is good which means less time on the bike and more time teaching and finding.  The Ward is nice with many young families.  I didn't think that I would ever say this but it has been nice to hear little kids run around again it has been a long time since I have been in a Family Ward.  Since my transfer, Elder Bass and I have been trying to get into contact with the investigators.  I seems throughout the Mission that when we have a transfer that all the investigators kind of fall back a few steps and we have to become friends again before we can start sharing our Plan of Happiness and Testimonies with them.  The good news is that we have made contact and will be meeting with them this coming week. Yeah!

We had a really cool experience this week.  We were tracting in a really "rough" area and we saw a mini bus parked outside a house.  The mini bus peaked our interest so we decided to knock on the door and visit with the owner.  As we knocked, we heard all these kids screaming and then one answered the door.  The dad came to the door and we talked to him for a few minutes and asked how many kids he had.  He replied 14 kids!  So that explained the mini bus for us but it was a door open and an interest peaked about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  But as we were talking to him we all of a sudden saw a line of kids pushing their faces to the window looking at us.  Laughing and making faces.  It was a fun experience to see all of those happy kids and hopefully we will get to teach them this week.  We told the Ward Mission Leader about our contact and he told us if they want to come to Church we need to let him know ASAP because with the amount of kids the family has it will DOUBLE the attendance of Primary and they will need more help.  Isn't that exciting! Elder Bass and I have been praying that we will get some people to teach and to get things moving and hopefully this is will be an answer to our prayers.  That was one of the highlights of the week.  The other was the other team of Missionaries had a baptism Saturday night. And I had the opportunity of standing in the Confirmation Circle!  This has been the first opportunity of my whole mission! It was a really cool experience to stand there as a convert is confirmed and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. What a cool experience!

The rest of the week we have been on exchanges with the other Elders in the Area.  So it is back to traveling two to three times a week for me, but I like being busy and seeing the sites as we are traveling.  This week we went with the Zone Leaders.  So I had the privilege of riding in a car and doing Missionary work.  It has been almost a year since I have ridden in a car.  All of my travel thus far has been by bus, train and bike so it was really fun.  I forgot how much I missed going on exchanges with other Elders.  It is really fun because you get to know other Elders but it is hard as well because we usually get back to our own Area just absolutely tired. 

My little brother has asked me "What can I do to prepare for a Mission".  These are my thoughts, start by reading the Book of Mormon on your own and praying about its truthfulness.  We can only live off borrowed light for so long and there comes a time that we need to find the answers for ourselves.  I am having a great Mission, it is one of the hardest things I have done in my life but would not change it for all the money in the World.

I have been reading Doctrine and Covenants this week and have been reading all the scriptures that talk about how this is the last time the Lord is going out in the vineyard.  It was pretty cool to read that because I had just read Jacob 5 about the labors.  But as I was reading it finally hit me that we are close to the Savior Coming.  I don't know when He will come, but my studying has lit a fire under me to work harder.  Because of the promise that the Lord is with us and helping us.  And if we work hard we are going to lay up sheaf's and have plenty of success.  The Lord will bless us as we help him!

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes.  I still can't believe that I am 20, I still feel like a teen but a little wiser in the decisions that I have ahead of me.  Hope all is well!

Love, Elder Nielsen

New Flat Address is:
37 Hudson Way
Heath Hays
WS11 7ZQ