Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tender Mercy

Hey All,

This week has been a fun one. I made sweet and sour tofu for dinner one night this week. It was pretty good if I do say so myself. It has a interesting texture that is for sure. But enough of the food I ate I could go on for a couple of hours.

The biggest success we had this week is that we found out what is holding Graham back.  We taught Graham and Maxine this week. We had two really good lessons with them.  As I mentioned last week, Graham had said that our preaching was different than the other Christian Religions.  I had to wait until the following Tuesday to ask what he meant by that.  He told us that it is that we read from the Book of Mormon and quote from the Bible.  That was it.  So this appointment, we switched our teaching and used the Bible to back up the Book of Mormon. I have gotten a good relationship with Graham and Maxine and they are starting to ask more questions which is good and starting to open up more.  Elder Thurgood and I found out that Graham doesn't know God.  He has never had a personal relationship with him and finds it hard to pray to him.   My jaw dropped!  I realized I had assumed that Graham had a personal relationship with God because he knows so much about religion.  But they are coming along great.  Hopefully everything will work out and they can be baptized soon. They are pretty much already members because they defend the Church and invite there friends to learn about it.

We have another investigator that we are currently teaching and his name is John. We got a list of new people that have moved into the Ward and guess whose name is at the top of that list.  You guessed it right, John.  We had been teaching him for about a month before we got the new list of members that needed to be visited.  So we will see if he is a less active member or not when we see him next.  As a Mission here in Birmingham England, we have been changing the way we have been teaching.  One element that we changed is how we read the scriptures with investigators.  We used to just leave a Chapter from the Book of Mormon and hope they read it.  We are now asking them to think of a question and then we will give them a Chapter to read to receive an answer.  We ask them to write down the answer they get and then pray about it.  As a Zone we decided that the best way to testify of this new teaching was to use this activity ourselves.  So we did it.  It was crazy!  I prayed and asked my question for a Chapter to read from the Book of Mormon.  And I got it answered in about five minuets.  The prompting was so strong and clear about which Chapter to read. It was crazy!  It has helped me to have an even stronger testimony of prayer.

My favorite people this week have been the Ward Mission Leader and a member named Lee.  Our Stake in the Cannock Area wants to knock on every door in the boundaries.  So once a month we go out as a Ward and knock on doors.  This week I went with Lee who has the same personality as me, sometimes serious with a little bit of fun and humor.  Since I have been struggling with Satan affecting my attitude, I guess that I needed someone to talk to and just ended up unloading everything that has been going on with me and my companion.  Lee gave me a simple answer to my trials.  He told me to get a priesthood blessing.  So I thought about it and decided to get one on Sunday after Church.  I asked the Ward Mission Leader and one of the other Elders in our Ward to come and give me a blessing.  Since my Companion and I were at odds, I left him out of the loop.  But the Ward Mission leader gave the blessing.  I have never had a blessing like that.  I have never cried that much ether.  I guess it just shows how much I needed a Priesthood blessing.  He quoted some lines from my patriarchal blessing. He said that my trails will end soon, great power is going to come through my priesthood, and my name is going to be praised on the other side and there are many on the other side that are helping me more than I know.  It was crazy because after the blessing he kind of stepped back and said I have never given a Missionary a blessing before and that he was shocked at what was coming out of his mouth.  I have never felt anything like that ever.  I was floating on cloud nine for the rest of the day.  It was diffidently a Tender Mercy and testimony building experience for me.  I encourage all to take the opportunity to receive a Priesthood Blessing even when you don't think that you need it.

I am so blessed to be able to stay here in Cannock for another transfer.  Elder Thurgood was transferred this week and my new companion is from Ireland.  Maybe I will have and Irish/English accent by the end of this transfer. Ha Ha

I love this Gospel and Because of Him I am who I am! Enjoy your Easter Day.

Love, Elder Nielsen


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