Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thank you for the Words that touched my Heart

Hey Family and Friends,

This week has been a good one. We have been busy which is good and things are starting to pick up and move since the transfer.  We taught Graham and Maxine and there family twice this week. We have been trying to teach people twice a week so that they fill the Spirit more often.  So we were teaching Maxine and Graham this past week and felt that we needed to extended a baptismal date to them.  Elder Thurgood and I thought that April 12, 2014 would be a good date and we proposed this date to them.  The crazy thing is that they did not accept or decline the date, so we are still in limbo regarding baptism.  A really cool thing happened when Elder Thurgood and I went to their home for teaching the second time during the week.  Graham and Maxine brought two of their friends who had been asking them questions about what we believe and the Gospel.  Graham and Maxine answered the questions as best as they could but then invited them to meet with us.  So we show up to teach and there are two extra people listening and participating.  How cool is that!!  Tash, who is one of Graham and Maxine's friends, had lots of questions and then at the end of the lesson we asked if anyone would say the prayer and Tash gladly volunteered to say it.  She said something very interesting and something that as a Missionary you love to hear.  She said "thank you for the the words that have touched my heart".   I was touched by the Spirit and so excited to hear these words that I had puddles of tears in my eyes.  We are going back to teach the Restoration again because of our new friends and investigators and also because Graham and Maxine are always running around taking care of their many children so they each know about half of the Restoration.  I think it will take them a longer time to investigate but hopefully they will come unto Christ through the waters of Baptism.

I have been reading the General Conference talks from 1972 and it is cool to see the prophecies that are coming to pass about our day that are being fulfilled!  It is interesting how the prophets and apostles have been preparing people for the hastening of the work almost forty years ago.  I am excited to hear from our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and the Apostles in the coming week and look forward to being instructed at their feet in how I can be a better Disciple of Christ.

Be happy, Serve with a Happy Heart and Love Everyone.

Have a great week. 

Elder Nielsen

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Hey All,

This week has been a long, crazy week.  Elder Thurgood and I are adjusting to as companions.  There is always an adjustment period when new companions get together.  We are all different in our teaching styles, cleanliness, mannerisms, etc., so it will be interesting.  I am senior companion now which isn't new to me since with a few of my past companions, I had to be senior companion even though my companion had been out longer.  But due to so circumstances, I got the job.  I have really enjoyed most of my companions.  They taught me how to relax and have fun, but also to work.

The members in the Cannock Ward are really nice and I am enjoying my time here in Cannock.  This is by far my favorite Ward.  I love working with the Young Single Adults.  It helps me relax and let the fun Elder Nielsen come to the surface once in a while and I have developed some great friends among them.  We are all about the same age so it is fun to meet them weekly. 

We have been running around trying to get things sorted and back up and running.  As soon as transfers hit it seems like the work just stops and then you get to revive it and then transfer hits again and the work just stops again.  It is a vicious cycle.  I had a really cool experience this week. We had Zone Conference at the Mission Home in Birmingham.  We had the opportunity to hear from Elder Teixeira.  He is the president of the European area and is from Portugal.  He is a very nice man and man oh man can he teach with power!  He started out speaking to us by explaining "Patience" to us. He used the Latin root and what the Portuguese word for "Patience" means.  So in a nut shell it means to suffer but at the same time to move on.  Elder Teixeira also talked about how most people think that "patience" is just pressing the pause button and sitting in the corner just waiting for everything to end and pass over.  Or that can also be the fast foreword button and we just want it to end.  But patience is letting things play on and work it out.  It is hard because I know for me I just want to press pause and let it pass over.  But we have to face it!  The night is darkest before the dawn.  He talked about how things might get worse before they get better but to trust that things will get better.

The sad news for the week is that Graham and Maxine couldn't come to Church this week.  I was waiting for them as long as I could outside the Chapel, but then had to run and play the piano in Sacrament Meeting.  As I sat and played, I quietly hoped that they would walk in but their attendance was not in the cards that day.  We talked to them Sunday night and Graham got called into work.  They really seemed disappointed. They want to come but Graham's work always seems to need him.  Hopefully things will start to work out.  The couple that walked into Church about a month or so ago got baptized on Saturday.  It was really cool to be a witness of their baptism.  I did not really get to teach them much because they were technically not in our Area.  But Elder Bass and I were the missionaries who initially meet them in the hall at Church and got the ball rolling.  The cool thing is that I did get the opportunity to teach them the Gospel Principals.  So I helped in a very small way.  I can testify that the Spirit at their baptism was really strong.  The other really cool thing that I got to witness was to see their son, who is a faithful member, baptize his father and step mom.  I am blessed to have been a witness of this great step in their lives.

It has been a good week full of ups and downs.  But with prayer, hard work and obedience, things will start to look up.   Remember that "the night is darkest before the dawn" we just need to have patience and press on!  Love you all and this Gospel!

Love Elder Nielsen

Elder Bass & Elder Nielsen, Cannock, England 3/11/14

SNOW!!! in Cannock, England.  This Utah/Idaho boy has not seen snow in almost a year.  Only rain, lots and lots of rain.  Elder Bass and I went nuts and had a great snowball fight.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Companion and Blessing of Serving with Former Companions

Hey all,

Well, Maxine and Graham have not been able to make it to Church yet.  Graham had to work and his boss wanted a weeks notice for days off.  So he has scheduled next week off for sure! 

As you heard last week, Elder Bass went home and I have a new companion.  His name is Elder Thurgood and is from Nampa, Idaho and has been out for about six months, so still pretty young in the Mission. We get along alright so far. 

Some great news is that the older couple that walked into Church about a month ago are getting baptized this coming Saturday!  Wow, when we are prepared as well as the investigators, things move quickly.  So that is exciting!

It has been a pretty busy week with transfers and getting everything sorted.  Monday Elder Bass and I went and had lunch with the young single adults from the Ward down in Walsall which was really fun to be around some people around our age. Then the rest of Monday was spent getting Elder Bass packed up and hanging with Elder Bass as he said goodbye to members.  It was a long day.

Then Tuesday I had to run with Elder Bass to the Mission home and pick up a temporary companion for the night.  My temporary companion and I came back and taught a lesson. Then Wednesday was the big day.  I went back to Birmingham to the Mission home and met up with Elder Thurgood.  It was hard to see Elder Bass go home, but it is all good.  It got me thinking about all the Elders that I have served with since I have been in England and three out of the six companions I have had went home last week.  So I am down to just two still in the Mission which means that I am becoming one of the older Missionaries if you call 20 old! Ha Ha.  It has been hard to see them go home but I have learned so much from them that I will use the rest of my life.

So this week we taught Graham and Maxine.  We taught them the Ten Commandments.  The on to teaching about the Word of Wisdom Doctrine & Covenants on Friday.  It was a scary lesson.  It is the lesson that can either make or break an investigator.  But the lesson went really well and Elder Thurgood and I were happy.  We have been taking members with us to teach and sometimes taking a member is a little scary but it is also good to take someone that had been through the same things as the investigator and how he/she gave up these temptations.  It was really good!   It has been a challenging week but one full of good things. We introduced the new Mission Plan to the members in our Ward and it went over really well.  Hopefully with us all on the same page, it will all work out.  I know the Mission Plan will work but it is going to be a lot of work for the members. 

I love these crazy, fast weeks with lots of ups and downs.  It keeps me on my toes preparing and studying about the Gospel that I love.  I testify of Jesus Christ and know that He loves me!  I love my family for the love and support that they give to me.  Have a fantastic week!

Love,  Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been another great week in Cannock, England.  The parents of the large family that we have been teaching are Graham and Maxine and things have been going well.  I was talking to the Mission President last week and apparently the Area Seventy has been asking many questions about Cannock because of how many baptisms have been performed in this Area recently.  Talk about pressure!  It is good though, it just means we can't stop.  We need to "Put our Shoulder to the Wheel, and Push Along".

Transfers are coming up and my companion, Elder Bass, is going home.  He has finished his Mission. It has been great serving with him and I have learned tons from him.  So I will be getting a new companion later in the week.

The weather here in England has been crazy.  It has been really cold and raining most of January and February.  I am ready for some sun and warmer weather without rain, as I am sure that all of you in the States would like.  The sun on my face always makes me happy and puts a little spring in my step and a little song in my head to hum!

This past weekend I lost a dear friend of mine.  He was a great man who helped me through the rough times of High School by taking me fishing or out shooting and just talking.  He was a practical joker and I have learned a lot from him.  I will miss him dearly but I know that he has been called to do a much greater work than he did here on Earth, I will miss my friend but I have comfort that I will see him again.  I know this to be true and am comforted by the knowledge that I have of the resurrection and the plan of salvation.

This Mission has been the hardest but the most rewarding thing that I have ever done.  Everyday, I know that as I do my best the Lord will bless me and it is all worth it!

Have a great week!

Love Elder Nielsen

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dear Family,

Another busy week in Cannock, England. This week has been a good one. We have been working hard to find new people still.  But the family of 14 is doing great.  We have taught them four times and hopefully they will be at Church on Sunday.  We were worried that they were going to drop us so we prayed as to what we needed to do.  And we had the thought to take a member of the Cannock Ward with us.  So we invited the Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Wilcox, and had an amazing lesson.  I have found that members make or break teaching appointments.  They can invite the Spirit in a way that Missionaries just can't.  It was just great! We invited them to be baptized and all the ones who are over 8 said yes.  So fingers crossed and lots of praying for them!  They haven't made it to Church, BUT they said that this coming Sunday they will most likely make it because the husband (Graham) doesn't work.  I don't know how many are boys and girls but the ages range from 17 weeks old to 14 years that live at home then they have an 18 year old and I don't know about the rest.  Elder Bass and I haven't even met the whole family yet.  The little kids are in bed when we come.

I have been asked to introduce the new Stake Mission plan to the Ward.  They are reemphasizing a plan which has worked so well in the past that it has split Stakes in 2 years over here.  So the goal is that they will split the Ward I am currently serving in 2 years and create another Ward.  But as I have been working on presenting it I have been thinking about the scripture that talks about having a Pearl of Great Price and selling everything to get it.  It is like the Gospel, we give everything to get it but nothing to share it. 

It is crazy what can happen out in the Mission Field.  The Cannock Ward is ready for new converts and the Lord can see that and is blessing the Ward with them.  It is simply amazing!

I would like to thank all the people who sent me Christmas cards and packages.  I have been trying to write a thank you note to you but no time.  I got a Nike shoe box full of stuff too.  Thanks to who sent that as well.

May the Lord bless you all!

Elder Nielsen