Monday, May 26, 2014

Six more weeks in Cannock

Dear Family,

Not much time today so I apologize in advance for the short blog.

This week has been a fun week. We have had some really hot weather during the week.  I was looking forward to having a good weekend. But then it rained all weekend.  It didn't just sprinkle it dumped.  We where soaked so many times.  On Saturday we where talking to people in town and I saw some clouds and looked at my companion and told him we need to go it is going to thunder and lighting.  He really didn't believe me.  So I let him lead the way.  We where about fifteen minutes from the flat and the heavens opened.  We had rivers running down the street. It looked like we had just jumped into the pool with all our stuff on.

The big news is that I am staying six more weeks in Cannock. The Ward is pretty happy but I am a little torn.  It is time to move on to a new Area.  I guess we will see what happens.  But other than that it is just been a hectic week with the weather.  Since it is so hot and rainy, people just don't want to sit and visit.  So on hopefully we will have some great teaching this next week.  The Lord knows when and where our next investigator will be, I just need to be patient and open to the promptings that are given to me.

Trust in the Lord!

Love, Elder Nielsen

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hurray for Israel

Hey Family,

This week has been one of the best/worse most stressful most rewarding week of my Mission that is for sure.  It was a really good week because we had Ingrid and most of her children get baptized!  I had the opportunity to baptize one of her twin boys and my companion Elder Omokora baptized the other one. We then had another Missionary that is serving in Cannock baptize one of the daughters and a recent convert that I have worked with baptized the other two family members.  It was a really good thing.  Our Ward Mission Leader was saying the names while we where getting in the font.  He said we will now witness the baptism of so and so.  And as soon as I said the prayer and dunked the youngest twin the Spirit just hit everyone.  There were very few dry eyes during the baptism.  It says in the First Presidency message in Preach My Gospel "that more joy and happiness awaits you then you have ever experienced".  I have experienced that joy! There are very few things that can even come close to the joy that was felt that day.  On Sunday Ingrid and her children were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It was pretty short considering five confirmations were taking place.  I had the opportunity to confirm the other twin boy that my companion baptized.

The reason it was the best/worse week was the baptism made it the best. The reason it was worse was that nothing went right. We couldn't teach Ingrid and her family at all this week.  Hence why we where stressing out.  Satan works hard with people investigating the Church and the Missionaries work hard against Satan.  So we were calling her every day sometimes twice a day to make sure they were still doing the things they needed to be ready to be baptized.  It has been the highlight of my mission so far.  It has strengthened my testimony of the Gospel.

Have a great week!

Love Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen and Tieman

Elder Nielsen and Tieman

Elder Omokora

Ingrid, a ward member and Ingrid's daughter

The whole family and Elders.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers that have been a big part of my life. 

It was so nice to Skype home on Mother's Day!  The best part is more of just it is nice to see the family and to see how much my younger siblings have grown and changed.  I was talking to Elder Omokaro about it.  Email is enough really but Skype is nice because you get to talk and don't have to wait for a week to hear back from them.

Elder Omokaro's family isn't very big, I think three or four.  But he is 21.  It is nice to have an older companion instead of a young one.  So we are having a great time together and working hard to Hasten the Lord's Work here in Cannock.

This week has been a crazy one. The weather over here could not make up its mind.  It is almost as Bipolar as Idaho. We have had really strong wind this week.  It has been a pro and a con. The pro is that going down the hills on our bikes we didn't have to use our brakes the wind stopped us.  The con was going back up that same hill.

We have been working this week finding and also teaching Ingrid and her family. We have had some really good lessons with them. They are scheduled to be baptized this weekend. I am stressing a little bit.  It is pretty quick to be baptized four weeks after the Elders started to teach you.  But it just shows that the Lord is preparing people to hear the message of the Gospel. We found a new investigator this week.  He is a pretty cool guy.  It will take a week or two to see how interested he really is.  He asked one of the golden questions though. We where teaching the restoration and talking about how God has called a Prophet in every dispensation of time.  He then stopped us and said," Lads, If God has called a Prophet in every time period why don't we have one now?"  We just smiled and said we will get there. We then talked about the first vision and Thomas S. Monson.  He was blown out of the water.  He kept saying why hasn't anyone told me about a prophet on the earth.  Wouldn't it be big news?  We have something so precious do we realize how precious it is?  We talked about the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth right now in Gospel Principals. One of the recent converts said something that made me think, "If this is the true Church Satan would do anything and everything he could to keep people away.  Look at all the anti and negative things that are said about the Church."

That is part of his testimony of why this is true. I have been thinking about that and how true it is. That is why we have Missionaries. To spread the good news of there is a Prophet on the earth. That is why Missionaries are always being tested and tempted. We are constantly battling against principalities and Satan.
 The Lord is with us.  This is His work. With His help we can not and will not Fail. 

Love Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen showing off his new clothes. Cannock, England May 2014

Elder Omokaro and Elder Nielsen Cannock, England May 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Learning Patience

Hey Family and Friends,

This week has been a great week. We had Interviews with the Mission President.  It is always nice to talk to him.  My interviews with him are pretty good.  This meeting was more of just a chit chat because I went in not too long ago to talk to him.  I had a two hour meeting with him about a month ago when I was struggling with my former companion.  He is a great man and we have a special relationship.  He has helped me out a ton that is for sure.  But I got to talk to his wife and she asked me for advice on how I lost so much weight?  I replied to her,  I lost it.  I just told her with the all the walking and biking we do the weight has just fallen off.  It wasn't something I expected to be talking about with the Mission President's wife, but it was a fun chat.

We have been running around Cannock like a chicken with its head cut off.  With teaching Ingrid and Graham and Maxine we are busy which is fantastic!  We have also had return appointments with lots of new investigators.  We haven't gotten a new one in a while though.  Most of the people either forget or just say sorry lads I felt bad for you and said yes.  It is pretty frustrating but we are getting closer to finding the one. 

I have been thinking a lot about my Mission so far as I only have a little under a year left.  Thinking about all I have learned and done.  But I have been going back through my journal.  Yes, Elder Nielsen does keep a journal.  I have not missed a day in almost a year of writing in my journal.  So while I was reading past entries, I saw how much I have changed over the year.  My knowledge and testimony definitely have. I was reading a entry from the fifth of May 2014.  I was at the MTC in Provo, Utah.  I entered on May 1, 2014.  Due to VISA issues, I went to the Provo MTC instead of flying straight to the England MTC.  I realized how little patience I had a year ago.  My VISA wasn't coming and all I wanted to do was go out and work.  It was a hard lesson to learn and I am still learning patience on a daily basis.

The exciting news is that Ingrid and her family are on track to be baptized on the sixteenth of May.  It is getting close that is for sure.  One cool thing is how quick she and her children are learning the Gospel.  They have been asking some really deep questions. They asked a question in our last lesson that I didn't know how to answer so I looked at Elder Omokaro and he looked at me. We then looked at the member we brought with us and he gave us the "your on your own with that one".  It wasn't that we didn't know the answer, it was explaining it simply enough that they could understand.  They are doing really good though. Teaching someone who is so prepared has really helped me strengthen my testimony.  One way is that I am studying the lessons more and trying to help them get answers to their questions.  But the other thing that has strengthened my testimony is how receptive they are to the Spirit.  Almost all the kids had an answer within the first week of us teaching them.  I am so glad to be a part of this work. To help bring the children on God home.

Have a great week!

Love Elder Nielsen

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hump Day!


I can't believe it has been a year.  It doesn't feel like it.  When I was with the companions I didn't get along with the time seemed to dragged on.  But it feels really good to be at this point in my Mission.  I think the highs of the year have been the experiences that I have had, for example going to Midnight Mass, hanging out with the members, and making many new life long friends.  I don't think that I have really had any real lows on my Mission that I can remember.  It seems like the high moments have made me forget the low moments.

My companion and I have been talking about spiritual witnesses.  There is a Ward member who is always saying that she has visions. When I first heard that I laughed and was like ya right.  But we took her teaching a few nights ago and she talked about how she couldn't read that well and that Heavenly Father played the Book of Mormon like a movie for her one night in her dreams.  I thought about that and how I have had experiences that I can't explain how it happened.  I thought back to when I got hit by the car in December 2013.  There were too many little things that happened just right before and when the car actually hit me to not be a miracle.  I can't explain exactly what I mean but it is just like all the spiritual experiences I have had.  I can't explain them.  It is like telling someone who has never tasted salt what it tastes like.  But all these things are for my good and I am grateful for them.

Well on to the past week.  We have been teaching Ingrid and her family.  She is the former investigator that showed up to the Easter BBQ.  We visited with her Monday after she had come to Church on Easter Sunday. She said that after Church all her children that had gone to Church said they wanted to be baptized.  So we went over to her place and taught them and they are all on a baptismal date for the 17th of May!  It was a crazy day.  To get them ready for that date we have been working with them three times a week.  Her kids are really smart and are asking questions that are really deep.  I was surprised how quick the kids are picking things up and then going deeper than what we teach. We spend about ten minuets teaching and 50 minutes answering questions that come from what we have taught.  It is really cool to see someone who has investigated the Gospel before want to be taught again and see how prepared and ready they are when they choose to investigate again.  We taught them the Ten Commandments this past Sunday after Church and they were worried that they wouldn't be ready for the date of May 17th.  The next thing I know I open my mouth and told them that as a servant of Jesus Christ that if they do the things we ask them to do they will be ready.  After I said that I looked at my companion and he just looked at me with a surprised look on his face.  The Spirit was really strong at that moment and I have never done that before nor have I ever been prompted to do that.

We still have been teaching Graham and Maxine. They are still doing well.  Maxine said this week that she is ready to be baptized she is just waiting for Graham.  So we will see how he takes that.  The other cool thing is that we taught Tash also with Graham and Maxine this past week and she said the closing prayer and said "help us to get an answer to whether the Book of Mormon is true or help us recognize the answer we have already gotten".  Hopefully they start to recognize the answers they have already gotten.

I know this Gospel is true I have had too my Spiritual experiences that I can not deny it.  I can't explain exactly how I know it is true but I know it is true.  I know that others can get the same experiences that I have had if they put in the work that is needed and have faith.  God is always reaching out to us.  It is us that don't reach back.  "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been."  Live with no regrets so that when we all return to God and account for the time we had on this Earth we to make this quote true.

Have a great week.

Love, Elder Nielsen