Monday, June 30, 2014

Tansfer Calls/Hold to the Rod

Hey Family and Friends,

This week things have been winding down, again. Transfers are coming up this week.  We will be getting the dodge call tonight (Monday, July 1, 2014).  I am ready to leave the Area but not the Cannock Ward. The Ward here has been really good to me.  I have many good memories made here in Cannock.  But change is all part of the work.  We have been dropped by most of the people we have been teaching this week.  So we are starting again.  It is fun though.

We had Stake Conference this week and Elder Donaldson spoke to us.  He talked about the four groups that are making there way to the tree of life.  How two groups cling to the rod one didn't even try and one held fast to it.  But Elder Donaldson explained the difference of the two. When you cling you hold tightly to the rod.  You can hang on with one or two hands, but you are still holding the rod but are you really? You can hold on with one hand and half a foot in both camps. When you hold fast you hold the rod like it is the last chocolate bar on earth and it is yours.  NO ONES IS GOING TO GET IT FROM YOU.  It is the whole work out your salvation with fear and trembling.  The other thing about clinging is that you don't move, you stay put. You are happy with the work or level you are putting in.  This new lesson has changed the way I have been looking at life. There are definitely some days that I just cling to the rod and there are other days that I am holding fast and progressing forward.  But other than that it has been pretty cold over here. There have been three days this week I could see my breath and had to wear a jacket and gloves.  It is crazy!  Almost July and still wearing jackets.

Hold to the Rod with all your might!

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, June 23, 2014

Truly Converted

Hey all,

This week has been a pretty normal week. We have been teaching some new people and trying to find new ones. It is just the cycle of Missionary work that we are constantly trying to overcome.  We find lots of people and then half of them don't want us to come back.  Then we again get in with one or two of them and they don't want us to come back.  Then there is an investigator that is willing and ready to hear everything we have to say.  It is a ruthless cycle but we have gotten used to it.

The crazy thing this week with being a District Leader I have the opportunity to work with the other Elders in my Area.  An exchange is where I am knocking and teaching with another Missionary in our Area other than my current companion.  We are with the other Elders  for about 24 hours.  It seems as I look back in my planner that we have been mostly traveling.  But anyway,  I went with on splits with another Elder this week who is still pretty new to the mission.  I took him to a lesson with some new people that we are teaching in our Area and I have never seen someones eyes get so big.  When we finished our appointment, we walked out and the other Elder just said "Elder Nielsen, I didn't know what to do or say".  It was a good lesson to learn for both of us.  I had just assumed that he knew what to do and could read my mind like my current Companion.  And the Elder I was with  thought that he knew the lessons better than he did.  It was pretty eye opening that is for sure.

Wednesday we had a Zone Conference. We got to hear from the Mission President, President Rasmussen.  He talked to us about True Conversion.  President Rasmussen pointed out something interesting as he spoke. We read out of Luke the Intercessory Prayer that Christ gave.  Before he gives the prayer he talks to Simon Peter.

Luke 22

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

In verse 31 Christ says Simon.  Simon was called Peter by Christ when he was first chosen as a disciple.  Peter in Greek means rock.  So he says Simon when you are converted strengthen thy brethren.  He then says in 34 what he wants Simon to become.  He calls him Peter or the rock.  He wanted his faith to become unshakable so that when Christ is gone Peter can lead the Church.  I have been thinking a lot about that because what does Christ want most from us?  It is to be truly converted to become what He wants us to become and to be like Him.  It is a hard process to follow but it will bring the most happiness.  It might not bring us happiness now but in the long run the reward in Heaven will be worth more than anything that can be given down here on Earth.

That is my lesson for this week.  I love this work and hope that we will all be Truly Converted.

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, June 16, 2014

Trials of being a District Leader

 Hello Friends and Family,

This week has been fun.  As I have mentioned before, the weather can not make up its mind on what it wants to do.  It rains then the sun is out then the rains some again and then it is very hot and humid.  The nice thing is though is that we are starting to get busy preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ again.  The work is going so well that it has gotten to the point where if it doesn't make it in the planner we don't go and get it done.

As I mentioned last week, I was made a District Leader for my current Area.  Becoming District Leader in a sense is a honor.  But for Elder Nielsen, who keeps to himself and just puts his head down and works, it more of a pain.  The biggest trial with being a District Leader for me is probably working with the leaders above me.  To report to them and then try and tell them why things went the way they did.  Hours on the phone, getting asked why Missionaries are not doing well in their Area?  Why their numbers aren't going up?  I am asked many questions that I have to give an educated guess to.  But on a positive note, I am excited and it should be fun.  One great thing about being District Leader is that I have the opportunity to go on exchanges with all the Elders in the District.  Last Monday we where racing around to teach two lessons. One at half six and the other at eight. We raced to the eight one and they said it was supposed to be at six. Whoops.  But we got to reschedule which most of the time you don't get to do. We have also been doing lots of service the past week. We have helped a member move and then helped another one to get her house painted. We have been pealing wallpaper a couple times a week for an hour.  I have told my companion that if my future wife wants wallpaper that he needs to talk her out of it.  I have gotten the chance to go on my first exchange as a District Leader.  It was fun.  I had fun with an Elder from Samoa.  In my new leadership position, I have come to the realization that "you lift where you stand".  I have come to the conclusion that as long as I lift the Missionaries I am over then I have done a good job.  If I help them change and become better I have been successful.  I will also have the chance to work with the other Missionaries closer and learn from them as well.  That will be great!

Our Stake here in Cannock has started a program called knock on every door. The goal is to knock every door in our Ward every couple of years.  So as a Ward we go out and knock doors once a month and we had a big miracle.  The last door we knocked one, we had a couple of people that where interested in the message we had to share with them.  We went by their flat last week and they wanted to set up an appointment.  So we had the opportunity to visit with them again this week.  This experience has taught me that when we do what our Stake Presidency has asked, we are blessed.

I have been reading 3rd Nephi Book of Mormon this past week.  It has been crazy to read about the people and events leading up to when Christ comes.  How quick they were to return to the sin they had just left behind a couple of years ago.  I have also been listening to the talk Beware of Pride By President Benson.  As I was listening, I learned that we humans are a prideful people and it is a hard cycle to break.  But we are blessed so much more when we humble ourselves and put our will in line with Gods.

I hope that you all have the opportunity to listen to and learn from the words from a great Prophet, President Benson.  I know that he was a true Prophet and that President Monson is our true Prophet today.  I love this work and the Gospel that I have the opportunity to share with others.

Thanks for all of the emails and letters!  I love you all!  Have a great week!

Love Elder Nielsen

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rain and more Rain

Dear family and Friends,

It has been a crazy week this week. The weather has not wanted to be on our side all week. It has been sunny one day then raining the rest. On Wednesday it just rained all day.  It wasn't to bad because we were in meetings all Wednesday.  I was made District Leader last transfer hence the reason I am staying in Cannock for one more transfer for training. So, anyway, by the time we got home we both had soaked suits.  But I woke up on Saturday and felt like I had fallen asleep in the Ticki Room at Disney Land. It was raining cats, dogs, and sheep. We also had a pretty impressive light show to go with it. The good thing was that we were painting a members house most of the morning so we didn't get wet. A really cool thing though that happened was we looked on our map and saw a road called Bishops Close. We have not been to this area so we decided to go and knock it. Out of the 20 houses that were there, we had 6 that wanted us to come back!  So hopefully they will start to want to learn more.  As I sit and type this email, another big rainstorm just finished. It rained horses this time. Ha. 

This week as I was studding I came across something cool. We are always getting ask or told,  "If there is a God why are there so many bad things happening in the world."  I really dislike that question because it is just a cop out question.  So we usually tell those that ask this question that we all have agency they can choose to do bad or good in the world.  And we also talk about how many of the bad things in the Book of Mormon and Bible where stopped and not talked about.  While reading I the Book of Mormon, I read in Helaman the real answer I would say. And it says this Helaman 3: 12 "And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him".

The Lord lets the bad things happen because people refuse to acknowledge him and learn about him. If more people would believe in God the bad things probably wouldn't be as worse. But there is the little tid bit of advice from over the pond.

Have a great week and may The Lord bless each of you in your efforts to acknowledge our Savior. 

Love,  Elder Nielsen. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Service and Waffles

Hey Family,

I had a pretty funny experience this week. We had a member who was running to Costco.  He asked if I wanted anything.  I told him that if he could get me some Krustez pancake mix that would be great. I have been longing for some pancakes or waffles.  A member overheard our conversation and gave Elder Okamuro and I what was left of theirs because they don't use it.  I went back to our flat all excited to make some waffles.  I found a waffle iron in the flat and cleaned it up and got it ready.  I made the batter and started to cook them. It smelled so good. I was really excited to start to eat them. My mouth was watering and I could just imagine how good they were going to taste.  But to my surprise, the first waffle of the batch stuck to the waffle iron because it wasn't greased enough, and the other half was burnt.  So on to round two.  The next waffle came off  of the waffle iron and I put butter on it.  As the butter was melting, I realized that I was out of jam.  So I decided to put peanut butter on it.  With knife and fork in had, I sat down and looked at the waffle and my mouth started to water even more.  The anticipation was killing me!  I started to eat it and it was............ Disappointing.  As I was chewing, I remembered that I don't really like waffles.  The only waffles that are the best are made by my Grandpa Jerry.  His are perfect with a little bit of crunch on the outside and soft in the middle.  Maybe it is the love and care for us grand kids that makes them so good.

But on that note it has been a pretty good week.  Last Monday we helped a member with his garden. That is why I didn't have much time.  It was fun though.  I got to work along side one of my best friends in the Ward.  And this week has been lots of service.  There is a member who is moving and asked for help moving the big stuff.  It was like playing the Traffic Jam game where you have to get the red car out of the parking lot.  We had to get there American fridge/freezer out the front door.  We had to open both doors on the fridge and angle one in.  Then straighten the fridge out and angle the other in.  What a fun time.  Good thing I have moved enough people on my Mission to be pretty good at getting big things out small doors.

As I have mentioned before, it is a never ending cycle of picking up the pieces and finding those that are ready to hear the good news of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Every time in my Mission that I start a new transfer all the people we had been teaching just drop.  So we just have to find new people and try and salvage the ones who are still semi interested.  We have been doing lots of finding this week. But that is what a Mission is all about.  I have been reading The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. It has been a very eye opening thing to read.  But we talked about it in Priesthood.  It is pretty cool to learn about it though.  It has given me that little extra push to be a better person.  And to try my best.

Have a great week and remember that the Lord loves each of us!

Love Elder Nielsen