Monday, December 29, 2014

Transfer Time & Christmas Blessings

Dear Friends and Family,

Well the week before Christmas I was transferred to Derby, England.  My new companion is Elder Jones and he is a cool kid.  He was in my District in Cannock and I was his District Leader for a little bit.  He is from Murray, Utah and about 9 months out.  Derby pronounced dar-bi is a City and is in the East Midlands region of England. It lies upon the banks of the River Derwent.
It is known as the home to Lombe's Mill, the first factory in the world, Derby is considered a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. With the arrival of the railways in the 19th century the city grew to become a foremost centre of the British rail industry.
Today, Derby is an internationally renowned centre for advanced transport manufacturing, home to the world’s second largest aero-engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, and Derby Litchurch Lane Works—the UK's only remaining train manufacturer. The Toyota Manufacturing UK's automobile headquarters is found just South of the city.
Other than a little bit of history I have not really gone out and about yet so don't know what the rest is like.  The Mission Home is about an hour and half on a train from Derby.  The Ward here is a good size Ward of about 100 or so. They are trying to split the Ward and should have enough people to do so by the end of next year or sooner. But lots of young kids and families.

Since the transfer, Christmas has come and gone and now life can get back to normal. It was a fun time. On Christmas day we spent the day with two families. We ate dinner and played games and so on. So it felt like being at home.  I also got to Skype with my family back home and it was a good to see the family and get the chance to catch up with everyone.  So my favorite thing that happened on Christmas was just spending time with the members that invited us over. Both families that we had lunch and dinner with are really nice and I can tell that they really care about us. 

One of the investigators that we are teaching is a spiritual healer. One hand takes away the pain and the other heals. That's all I really know about him. I have talked to him a couple of times and he has some deep questions but is always working so it is hard to teach him.

On Sunday we had a pretty cool Sacrament meeting. It seemed like all of the topics for the talks and lessons were about improving ourselves. It struck me because with New Years coming up everyone is going to set goals on what they want to do and so on. But we talked more about how we can improve ourselves spiritually. And the common theme was that we need to be reading our scriptures and saying our prayers. That is the only way we can improve as a Ward and become better.  As Missionaries, that is one of the first things we ask people to do of if they will do it.  We also talked about how humans take the easy way out. We take the path of least resistance to achieve what we want. It was a good lesson and good Sacrament meeting and I learned a lot.  Sometimes it is best to take the hard way even though the natural man wants the easy way. Taking the hard way to change is worth it in the end because you learn more about yourself and what you can really do.
favourite thing that happened on Christmas was just spending time with the members that invited us over. Both families that we were at are really nice and I can tell that they really care about us. All I know is that he is a spiritual healer. One hand takes away the pain and the other heals. That's all I really know about him. I have talked to him a couple of times and he has some deep questions but is always working so it is hard to teach him.
Derby is a good size ward of about 100 or so. They are trying to split the ward and should have enough people to do it by the end of next year or sooner. But lots of young kids and families.

Keep praying for the success of the Missionaries, I can see the Lord's hand in all that I do.

Love, Elder Nielsen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lessons about D&C 20:77, 79 Sacrament Prayers

Dear Friends & Family,

Well time does fly. I can't believe it is time to write the blog again. This week was yet another cold week. No snow but very cold.  One cool thing that happened is that my Grandfather sent us someone to go see here in Solihull. She is a less active member over here that one of my Grandfather's friends is related to.  So Elder M and I went over to her home and had a good chat. One thing that she said is that she is 80 years old and is still looking after others. She works on Sunday to help people get their Sunday meals together and helps them clean up their houses.  At 80 years old!  We just looked at her with our jaws on the ground.  Still serving others. What a good example! The rest of the week was pretty routine really. With it being so close to Christmas a lot of the people we try to teach are just "to busy" to see us, which is a shame but it's their choice. 

Last week I told you about getting caught eating the cake with some Young Men.  Well my mom ask what the reaction was of the sister that caught us.  It was quite entertaining.  She opened the kitchen door and just looked at us then her little girl ran over and started to eat cake with us. Then she asked how long it had been in the fridge and stuff like that. It was one of those balloon cakes from Costco with way to much frosting on it.  But it was good and we had a good laugh.

I would have to say that the tender mercy for the week was just having so many members want us for the Christmas season. They were fighting over who could have us and when. It was really nice and I will miss it since I have now been transferred from Solihull to Derby England.  I will give you more information about the transfer next week. I think the fun adventure and the laughing for the week is one thing.  Like I mentioned above we went to visit a gal that my Grandfather had told us about so were on our way over to visit with her and the roads were really slick.  It was about half five and the sidewalks where already iced over.  So Elder M thought it would be funny to just fall into someones hedge to see how others would react as they saw him fall. So he told me to look and I looked and he just fell backwards into someones hedge.  Elder M is a big dude to and this poor little hedge held him up with no damage to Elder M or the hedge.  It was entertaining to me and the others that were walking by.  The worst thing of the week is just how dark and cold it is over here.  It gets dark at around four and has been below freezing the whole week. We have had lots of frost that has stayed until about noon which makes for a miserable morning of walking and finding.

One thing that I want to talk about happened during Gospel Principles this past Sunday. We were teaching about the Sacrament and reading the prayers for it.  I thought I knew everything there was about the prayers until a member that was in the class started to point out that the word ALWAYS isn't needed in the sentences.  But that it is put there to reinforce the fact that we are ALWAYS GOING TO REMEMBER HIM and ALWAYS HAVE HIS SPIRIT to be with us.  It was pretty cool. 

Doctrine & Covenants 20:77, 79.

77 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

79 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
The other thing he talked about was that we are asking God to bless and sanctify the bread and water. This is the one time during the week that we get to eat something that has been sanctified.  And because we eat it and it is truly clean if we are in the right mind set and go with a repentant attitude we can become clean.  

Well that is it for this week.  I hope that you all have a great week helping others Come Unto Christ.

Love Elder Nielsen

Sunday, December 14, 2014

He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows

Hey family and friends,

This week has been cold. And it is supposed to get colder. We have 70mph winds coming in this week and temps of -5C.  It has been a good week though.  A while back I talked about the man that I met in the bathroom that I have been talking to every week at the gym. We saw him this week and had another good chat with him. He lives pretty close to us and so we walked home together after the gym. But long story short we invited him to Church on the Dec. 7, 2014 and he told us that he was going partying that night so wouldn't be able to come. But said that he might come in the future. It was still cool to just talk to him. 

Tender Mercy for the week is we had a member who called us and apologized to us for not having us over for a Thanksgiving dinner and so they took us to a Carvery for dinner. A Carvery is kind of like a buffet but way better. All the food you can eat for pretty cheep.  We had a good meal.

Funnest thing for the week was probably going to the gym on Monday. Had very good work out.  I love going to the gym and dong a good workout. 

Hardest thing for the week was getting in touch with people. There are some people that we have not seen for a long time that just don't answer their phone.

Thing that has made me laugh out loud this week was getting caught with the some of the Young Men  eating left over cake after Church on Fast Sunday. We where eating cake and laughing when a member walked into the kitchen. I had half a piece of cake in my mouth and some of the young men where just about to take a bite.  We all had a good laugh!

Other than that it has been a pretty normal week trying to contact people and keep things moving. I have been reading in Mosiah this week and read this... 

He is despised and rejected of men; man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefand we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 Surely he has borne our griefsand carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 But he was wounded for our transgressionshe was bruised for our iniquitiesthe chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I have been reading this and then it hit me to replace the we, our, etc with me and I. So it read Surely He has borne my grief, and carried my sorrows; yet I did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for my transgressions, He was bruised for my iniquities; the chastisement for my peace was upon him; and with His stripes I am healed. 

As we come up to Christmas lets remember the real reason for it. CHRIST!

Love, Elder Nielsen. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

When you follow Christ you are always on the right path.

Dear Friends and Family,

Last week I mentioned that I strained my neck but it is better now.  It lasted for about two weeks and it is all good. ;-)  Tender mercy for the week was just my neck healing. It was to the point that if I got my heart rate up above 100 I had to sit down because my head was pounding so hard.  Since England does not celebrate Thanksgiving, Elder M and I had our own.  We had Pizza and Wings and lots of them.  I think that we might have overdone we were so full, but it was fun.

This week has been a busy weird week.We have had the "He is The Gift" training. It was crazy because of the traveling back and forth into Birmingham for two weeks in a row.  It was a good training though.  I am really impressed with the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints effort into stressing Christ during a time of commercial hype.  So after that we watched the video that goes along with the He is the Gift.  It is a really good video The Christmas Story.  But after the business of learning/training the week went back to normal. 

We went and saw some less active members and tried to get in contact with some people who had been investigating the Church.  Solihull is a weird area because people come and go really quick. What I mean is that you can stay in contact with them for a week or two and then they just disappear and you can't seem to find them for weeks.  It is a crazy pattern. 

This week in the Old Testament I have been reading about Saul and how he didn't wait for Samuel to come and perform the sacrifice right before the battle and then he spared the ox and sheep.  This topic led to an interesting talk with Elder M about social pressures.  How Saul gave into the children of Israel and went ahead and did those things because it would make him popular in the eyes of the people.  In the long run it hurt him more than the people. We have been challenging the members to not give in to the social pressure. To always remember that if they are following Christ they are on the right path. 

Have a great week and remember that "He is The Gift".

Love Elder Nielsen

showing off my new shirt/muscles.

Having fun at the park on Pday.  England is beautiful.