Monday, October 27, 2014

Whose side are you on?

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a fun one.  I remember about over a year ago when I was in Kidderminster I had a girl hitting on me in the Library.  I remember freaking out when it happened.  But I did not freak out as much as I did this week to what happened.  We were waiting for a bus and a lady in her 80's started to talk to me.  I thought I would be nice and talk to her.  So we started to talk and for about five minutes she thought I was from Birmingham.  Then I told her I was from America and then the conversation went to what are you doing over here, etc.  The conversation started to die.  So I started to talk to Elder P.  for a little bit then she started to talk to me again.  She asked these questions, "How old are you?"  I said I am twenty and she just kind of laughed and said I thought you would be older than that to be on your own in a different country.  Then the kicker, she asks me,  "Do you have a girlfriend"?  I was pretty taken back and told her no and she had this smile on here face that meant a follow up question was in the works.  Thank goodness the bus came just then.  That was my funny story for the week.

A few weeks ago I had told you about our investigator, Donald.  He 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 to offer.  Donald's Funeral was a few weeks ago.  He didn't have any family that wanted to be in attendance so it was mostly some of the Ward and his friends.  He had Police Officers there and Preachers from another faith.  He had lots of friends that talked with him and took him around to his various appointments.  It was pretty funny though. They just told good stories about him that made everyone laugh.

The member have been in my good book these last few weeks.  We have finally gotten into some houses to visit and get to know them as well as have a good England meal.  It has been several months since we had been invited to different peoples houses.

Tender mercy for the week is just that I have been sleeping again.  I have been going about two weeks with not really sleeping at night.  So this week I have had a pretty good night sleep at least every other day.  My favorite activity would have to be Zone Meeting this past week and hanging out with all the other Elders and having a fun time.  And also seeing a member from Cannock at lunch after Zone Meeting.

But I have still been reading the Old Testament and have just finished the story of the brass serpent that Moses raises up on the pole.  But before that the Lord kills some of the children of Israel because they are rebelling against Moses and more importantly Him.  I thought about it in our day.  When we rebel against God now a days we don't get swallowed up by the earth of get struck by fire from heaven.  We die spiritually instead of physically.  We have just heard from our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and the Apostles that we need to strengthen our testimony's and get back to the basics.  I think that is one of my main priorities for the next couple of weeks so that I am on God's side and not against Him.

I hope that we are all on God's side and not against Him!

Love, Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 13, 2014

Busy but not much to report

Hey all,

What a fun week!  The weather has been nuts this whole week here in Solihull, England.  We have had lots of sun and really hot days and then in a couple of hours it is gale force winds and blowing rain.  So it has just been a bundle of joy to deal with (note my sarcasm).  But we just keep doing what we can do.  It's nice to see that the weather is changing again.  I was getting a little to comfortable without the rain to add new problems to the mix of Missionary life.

Not much to report on this week.  We have been continuing our visiting with our inactive fellow on his porch.  It has been interesting with the sun, wind and rain during our visits.  We also had the chance on Friday to travel to Birmingham and have our interviews with the Mission President.  I had my interview on Friday and then we again travel to Birmingham on Sunday after church for my companion's interview with the Mission President so that made for a fun day.

The tender mercy for this week is that I didn't mess up to bad playing the piano in Church.  They had me play hymn 305 - (you can listen to it here) The Light Divine after just walking in the building from a very cold outside with cold fingers. What a circus it was.  It was fun though.

I don't have much time today but hopefully the rain will die down and we can get back out there and find the lost sheep!

Have a great week!

Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blessings of Listening to General Conference

 Dear Family & Friends,

What a wonderful blessing to hear from our Prophet and Apostles this weekend.  We watched it in Harborn at the Stake Center.  So three buses and two hours later we were finally at our destination and ready to learn from the spirit.  We did not have investigators in attendance with us.  I have realized that not many of the Ward members in England don't go to General or Stake Conference.  As I have gotten older I have enjoyed General Conference more and more.  As a little kid it was the weekend you would try and sleep in as long as you could.  Or do something so you didn't have to listen to it.  I have just now found the blessings of watching and listening intently.  I learned a lot from this one.  I liked the common theme of how to get a testimony and how to keep it.  As a missionary we are always teaching people how to receive personal revelation and then what to do next with it.  I really liked how multiple people talked on that same subject.  The other talk that I liked was about how we cant believe everything we read in the news or Internet about what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe.  As a Missionary we have people that try and tell us what we believe.  Some of the the things they say are true and most of them false.  But as long as your testimony is centered in the fact that Joseph Smith is a prophet you don't need to worry about what other people say.  People are not perfect and mistakes have been made.

Question this week was "When did you actually know that you were going on a Mission"?  I think I decided to go when it was announced that we could go earlier.  I still remember what happened.  I think that my family was gone for the weekend.  I had gotten home the night before from BYU-I and had just taking three tests and was exhausted. So it was me and Bruno our big black lab at home and I stayed up way late playing Xbox and watching TV.  Slept tell noon when my mom called me and said, "are you watching Conference? You will never believe what President Monson just announced".  After that I Jumped on face book and saw all of my friends posting on face book that they were going to go now.  So I just followed the crowd to a degree.  I was already planning on putting my papers in December of that year, so the announcement just made my game plan one month sooner. 

The tender mercy for the week was busing to the Stake Center to watch General Conference.  We hit the buses just right and jumped off one and ran to the other.  We made good time getting to the Stake Center and back.  I have never had that happen.  We usually miss one.

But this week we visited a less active that we have been visiting every week.  He has been away from the Church for about twenty years or something like that.  We have started to see some progress with him. We have noticed that our visits are just on the door step but have been getting progressively longer.  He is starting to enjoying us coming around I hope.  So that was a cool thing to see.  I cant wait to see what will happen in a couple of months with him.

General Conference has been a spiritual recharge for the week, I cant wait to read and study the Conference talks as they come out!  Love this Gospel!

Love Elder Nielsen