Monday, September 29, 2014

Things always get worse before they get better.

Dear Family and Friends,

Not much has really happened this week. We had transfers and one of Elders in the District got transferred.  So it was mostly getting him where he needed to be on time and getting the new Elder here and settled.  But other than that we spent most of the week trying to set things up for next transfer.  It is pretty funny because like I have mentioned before, the Area almost shuts down after the transfer and then has to be restarted.

I have been reading the Old Testament this week.  I am trying to finish it before I go home.  So it is seven pages a day and I should finish right before I go home.  But I was reading the last little bit of Genesis about Joseph getting sold into Egypt.  And all I could think about while I was reading it was the musical "Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat".  So that made my morning study pretty good. ha ha  But while I was reading in Genesis, I found an interesting principle.   That things are going to get worse before it gets better.  Joseph's situation got worse when he was thrown in prison.  But then after a year of waiting it got better and kept going up.  I also found this as I started the Book of Mormon over again.  Lehi had to leave and the wilderness was hard. Things got worse before they get better.  It reminds me of one of the Batman movies.  The night is darkest before the dawn.  It is going to be bad for a while but just as it gets worse the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel is there.

Some interesting questions were asked of me this past week.  "When did you have a burning in your heart and mind that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true?"  I don't think I can pin down when I believed the Gospel was true.  I thought it was in the Mission Training Center but then I met a born again christian in the streets and he changed that pretty quick with his arguing and bible bashing.  So maybe about six months out and after I started to understand the scriptures on a spiritual level and not a logical level.  I had a testimony of the Gospel before I left to serve my Mission but now it is a completely different understanding and feeling.

"What was your tender mercy this past week?"  Tender mercy for the week was just being able to go to Church and partaking of the sacrament. We didn't go two weeks ago because of Elder P. being ill and then the next week was Stake Conference.  So it was just being in attendance and the interaction with the members and being able to feel the spirit that is only at Church. That was much needed for the week.  Another tender mercy was having known Donald one of the investigators in the Ward I am currently serving in.  I will explain below.

Hopefully this week we can get out among the people more and talk to them.  One thing that happened this week was our investigator Donald passed away.  Donald had been investigating the Church for 18 years.  He came to Church as soon as he was invited and has kept coming.  Donald has a crazy story though.  When he first prayed about the Book of Mormon he heard a voice, a clear voice, saying, "Donald if you get baptized with them I will send you to hell."  Donald never did get baptized but he was a faithful member up until the end.  Donald lost his fight with colon cancer that had spread to his liver.  He was one of the best Missionaries this Ward had.  But he is in a place where he can finally accept the Gospel and partake of everything it has the offer.

Think about your tender mercy this week as well as when did you have the burning in your heart and mind that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

The Gospel is true!!!!

Love, Elder Nielsen

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