We welcome all to follow along as Elder Nelson shares with us his experiences as a full time missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These are truly they best 2 years FOR his life!

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Do you love me" John 21:16

Dear Family and anyone else with some time to read this ;) This week I want to talk about Love. The miracles that have revealed themselves this week in the Tampa, Florida mission, and especially Tampa One, cannot be overlooked. They are simply "God winks" as one of our investigators says. But they are all driven and earned by LOVE! The savior asked Peter if he loved him and Peter answered three times, saying Lord you know I love you, as we remember Elder Holland talking about in conference. And the Lord said then feed my sheep. If that is what love is, then every single member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is a missionary. You don't have to wear a tag to feed his sheep! You just have to talk with people! They don't even have to been non-members, they can be your mother and father, or brother. But to show your love to the savior we must feed his sheep. This week I have learned that love is expressed by how much you are willing to share with one another! When you are willing to tell someone, "you are an incredible person and have help me so much with my life", that is feeding his lambs! It's that easy, and the more we do it, the more we love him! And at the same time we are showing LOVE TO ONE ANOTHER! I love these people of Florida and I wish I just had the strength to compliment every single one, and talk to them. On Friday, I had been praying for the ability to talk with people, look past all appearances and myself and just open my mouth. As my companion and I stood in line at the post office, a woman came next to me and I allowed her to step in front of me. She responded by saying, "how kind." She then looked at my tag, and I so desperately wanted to just say SOMETHING! and right then she said, you know, I read some things about the mormon church and I thought to myself..... here we go.... but her response surprised me. She said what she read about Joseph smith translating the record, intrigued her and she was wondering what the record was. I said, "well would you like to read it?" and handed her a copy of the Book of Mormon and she was so happy to get it. I was about ready to burst, but as I got her information and we left, I said I silent prayer thanking the Lord for allowing me to show my love her her and Him. Even when we start off with a closed mouth, and simply act lovingly, the Lord will let the spirit testify of the love inside someone else! I invited all of you to SHOW YOUR LOVE! Really show, and when you have TELL you love. And the Lord will be sooo happy. Family, I can't begin to tell you how much I love you. I am sorry I wasn't around every day to tell you how much I love you. but, I love you. You made me who I am. You are all examples of my savior and I love you deeply, and would do anything for you. I love you. Thank you. I cannot wait to hug all of you and tell you how much I love you. Mom, Dad, Bryce, Michael, and Megan. I love you. Be not afraid; only believe LOVE, Elder Nelson Ps. I love you :) <3

Monday, July 22, 2013

Moroni 7:37 It is by Faith that Miracles are wrought

Saka Ha Fe! (Hatian Creole) Tampa Florida, is absolutely amazing! The scenery is beautiful the weather is nice and the humidity feels good actually believe it or not!! HA first off thank you for all the emails, that seriously blows me away, the love and support almost brings me to tears, this week I just felt so much love, I can literally feels your prayers throughout the days!

So just to give a little preface to this week, we have been trying to do three things in this first area.  Elder Langi and I, become best friends with the members, reactivate those who have fallen, and love everyone with selfless service! Those are our goals, each day and week we have numbered goals that measure our success for the mission, but most importantly we try to see if we are doing those things, and at the end of the week, the blessings that come, are incredible.

Last week on tuesday and thursday Elder Langi and I and a trio companionship went to volunteer at the Wheel Chair olympic games at a field right. next to. the Raymond James Football Stadium, (home of the Buccaneers) , ya... Bryce? probably the coolest thing ever. They did shot put, javelin, and discus from their chairs and it was so cool! They take it so seriously and are all injured Veterans! They all had great stories, we did it as a finding tool, and met so many great people! They were great! Elder Langi has no fear and just talks to EVERYONE! I'm slowly learing how to do that, but love it all the same! Thursday was the archery portion...that....was so cool!!! We found some potential investigators from it, but the greatest part was really just meeting these amazing people!! We also did a car wash as a zone on saturday... so this was the craziest story of all.  So we got there and washed the mission cars for the first hour and a half just to make it look like we had a lot of customers ;) ha and as we started to get frustrated a lot of the missionaries were out holding signs, all the sudden they took off running and I was like what is going on???? 5 mins later, all 6 of them were pushing a small car down the street Elder Langi still had his "free car wash" sign up ha, we pushed it all the way into the church parking lot and washed it, it was out of gas, so then we pushed it all the way to the end of the street to the gas station, oh and it was pouring rain!!! haha the woman was SOOOO Greatful!  and promised she would call, everyone was so optimistic and I think because of our desires the lord blessed us! Moments like these fuel the mission, they boost you through the times when your appointments fall through and your investigators tell you not to come by anymore... they are the tender mercies the Lord Gives us. We were EXHAUSTED! Running down the street pushing a car, two of the Elders were in their white shirts, and we were all sweating and soaked, and yet WE WERE ALL SMILING!  

Take every day with a smile! No matter what happens just smile! Whatever you endeavor, whatever the mistake you made today, whatever you are asked to do, or what gets taken from you, smile and know the Lord is in charge. Just don't WORRY about what isn't going right! cuz the Lord is in charge. BE HAPPY! its hard yes, but you'll be happy! thats what makes it worth it! We can "Just be happy" because the Lord has promised us if we just have faith he will handle it, thats a promise!

 Last week we had one investigator come to sacrament meeting and it was great, Madison, she's preparing for baptism and her mother as well, but they were both out of town this week.  As we invited others to come to sacrament we were both skeptical, hoping they would come. Another less active told us she would come, her word is hard to trust since she says yes many times and yet we can barely track her down each week, BUT! as Elder Langi and I remembered this, we said "they said they would be there, so lets trust them" and then we were happy!:) Sunday came around, I was on the stand (i had to give a talk) and boom, she walked in, it almost brought me to tears. But what is even more amazing, is the miracles the Lord gave us with another family. That morning we recieved a call from a less active, she said her mother wants to come to church, so we were like WE WILL COME PICK HER UP! and we did, she walked out of her apartment, with her two grandchildren and got in the car with us and we went to church, her girls went to primary, she came to gospel principles and relief society and said, " I will be here every week." All. Non. members. Now that is a miracle. An unexpected blessing. As I spoke and looked at the people, and said whatever the spirit prompted me to say, my testimony of faith again was strengthened. Earlier that week at zone meeting I was called in the moment to give a five minute talk on....faith. I know this is scattered, but can you feel how MANY BLESSINGS COME WITH THIS?! So just DONT WORRY! Act on your faith! I am so humbled with the miracles that have come, and the strengthened testimony I have received! I still have so much to learn but i know that if we just act on the promises of the scripture D & C 84:85, the spirit will tell us what to say in the moment, if we just act on faith good things will come! :) 

Elder Langi and I each night, talk about our vision, we talk about how much the Lord has blessed us, and we say prayers that mention all the miracles we have recieved. We are so blessed and so lucky, how great is this life. 

I know that these things are true, i know them, and i know that the Lord will never, EVER leave us, he has promised us he won't! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOU SUPPORT! The church is true.

Be not afraid; only believe

Elder Nelson

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week #2 I'm in Florida!

Dear Family! Well week one is DOWN! HA im going to try my best to upload some pictures after this so you can see everything but wow. Let me begin at my trainer. His name is Elder Langi, he's tongan, HUGE, BUFF, and has a scholarship to the University of Utah as a running back. Ya. i know. look him up on their roster hahaha. He's the best trainer anyone could ever ask for. Seriously. Every day is such a blast, he is so nice and just does stuff for me all the time, and his whole life is love.(a quick funny moment) The other day we were making calls, and we had to call the bishop, and it was Elder Langi's like 5th call, and he's staring at our jesus wall...yea. its awesome...anyway he goes "well bishop give us a call and we love thee...i mean you and appreciate everything you do and we say these things in the name of jesus christ amen... OH SHOOT!!" I started laughing so hard and ran around the apartment for like an hour. So don't tell anyone we pray to our bishops. He says funny stuff all the time and changes the lyrics to regualr songs all the time and talks about our mission and stuff its hilarious.He can also rap freestyle, its crazy he just rhymes on the fly, its crazy, after church yesterday i was like..." Langi, why doesn't anyone just COME TO CHURCH" and he goes"two words. Brown missionaries" hahaha its great. Love him. He says we just lead with love, everything we do is about LOVE! he's the district leader! so i get to kinda see what he does! its great, we wake up at 5:45 every morning and jog to the gym and lift weights and then come home and make protein shakes haha. I love it so much. We are full bike, but we have permission to ride with the sisters in the neighboring area whenever we're going to nearby places!

 Im serving in the Tampa 1st ward, in the city of Tampa. on a map you can see the city of tampa and then the peninsula right below, the bottom half is our area. Its the bomb, the ocean/bay is like 5 minutes from our apartment. The downtown has an island called Davis Island and thats in our ward. Straight up DEREK JETER LIVES THERE! His. house. is. huge. haha, Bro. Hawkins from our ward sat in front of him in the movies last week and said he's a pretty nice guy. Ya no big deal. It's just derek Jeter. Ha. Its awesome. The humidity, isn't that bad the rain cools the temp down and oh man. The rain drops are GIANT! its awesome. The thunder storms are INSANE! the lighting strikes every three seconds. Oh man. honestly i love it. every day its just hard to suck it up and get outta bed, or take a deep breath and tell someone you're a mormon and talk to them, but the Lord takes care of you. Every time. Its amazing. we live in jerrasic park! The plants are like giant, the grass is so thick and long and there are 5 billion lizards everywhere! haha but ya. Its great. so no more knocking doors, I haven't knocked on door! and we wont ever! All our finding is different, either at stores or through service or different stuff. we have to be creative. It's suppose to be through the ward, and the ward is working so hard, but there are only 5-6 families who are really strong and dependable.

 So our main work right now is less actives. Thats what we'll spend our time doing, and find along the way. Our top three investigators are Dana and Madison Mclean. They both have committed to baptism right before the last transfer, Elder Langi's last companion tracked into them and out of their entire area, they are the only one's who opened up. They found them in February and they are finally getting ready, they just have to give up tea and coffee and then they'll be ready, dana likes her coffee and madison has given up tea! She's hopefully going to get baptized on the 4th! we're going to challenge that date for her when we see her tonight. Dana we're hoping the week after, shes just having a harder time. BUt they. are. amazing. We love them so much. The third I haven't met yet alexis heredia, she's harder to track down but hopefully we'll see her tonight! So my second day on the mission I went on exchanges while me and Elder Southem's comps when to district meeting, we went to his area. We were seeing less actives and after a couple, no one was letting us in, so we stopped at a members house to give a little spiritual thought, they were converts and I asked them about their missionaries and they showed us their names and I was feeling so overwhlemed, just hoping to be that for someone, and so far it just seems like no one really cares :/ but, as sister Bronson ( the wife, they are about 70), started praying and the spirit was so strong, and I felt Heavenly fathers love for me stronger than I ever have before, telling me that I am out here for that reason, to help someone, and man, that spirit was so strong, she was crying and the whole meeting I was holding back tears, cuz I was with a comp i had known for 10 mins in a place I've been for one day, but I cried and hugged this woman and thanked her and she hugged me back, it was like hugging my mom again! It meant so much to me! and that moment changed my mission. After we went and taught a part member family, the father had not been baptized but the rest of the family was very active, as we taught the spirit was there and gave me confidence, the father listened and made me feel important, and I bore testimony at the end that if he would accept these things and be baptized his wife whom he loved more than anything, and his 4 little kids, could be together forever. And i know he felt something. It was so powerful, and that gave me strength as well. There have been many other little things but most of all I am learning that I am not perfect, and I am not alone.

 The Lord requires us to have faith and act, the stronger that faith, the easier it will be to act, and the quicker he can bless us. Family I love you so much, I am learning how to love, how to really love, and boy do I love all of you. I would not be me without all of you. Mom, Dad, Bryce, Michael, and now Megan. Thank you! I invite you (as any good missionary would) to forget yourself, to forget about your time, your comfort, your feelings, and go help someone. Elder Langi has a saying Lead by love. Mom and Dad lead with love, in the family in the home, at work in our callings, lead by love. Magnify your callings, cuz you never know when your missionaries need someone to depend on but can't because the bishop is out of town and he's the only one willing to give them a ride, or when the investigator doesn't want to come to church because there is only 3 young women and they're all 12 and 13. So please, magnify your calling, and forget yourself. Bryce, lead on the team, always take the high road and never take the easy way out, I wrote you a letter so you'll be getting that this week. Michael and Megan, same to you. Especially with each other, just lead each other, together with love. I love all of you, and we are so blessed to live where we live, in utah, but please, don't get comfortable, It's so nice and happy, and easy going, but magnify! also my last request. TAKE CARE OF THE MISSIONARIES! Sign up to feed them and make sure they teach! It means the absolute world to them! I love you and can't wait to hear from you!

Be Not Afraid; Only Believe

Elder Nelson!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Week #1 Has it been a week yet?

Subject: Re: Has it been a week yet?

Dear Family! :) SOOOOOOOOO this place is basically zion! haha its incredible! Let me start off with the facts before I get into the GOOD stuff!

 My companions are Elder Grant from Santa Clara (st. George) and Elder Whaley from Rexburg Idaho! They are INCREDIBLE! HA when I get a chance to load some pictures I will!! ha thank you for the pictures but If you could send them in a letter that will be much better than printing them ;/ thats a lot of INK! but its okay! There are two other elders in our district! Elder Black from spanish fork and Elder Huber from Logan! Literally all of them are obedient and love the Lord more than anything in the entire world! I love being with them! Its amazing! There are 6 sisters in the district. Sister Behr from Canada! Sister Howard from Park City, Sister Davis from salt lake, sister rogers from st george (SHE KNOWS ELDER WOOD!) Sister Skeem from Delta and Sister Saxton from.... I dont remember ;/ somewhere is UTah hahaha. It kinda sucks saying... oh ya im from utah too haha but its humbling cuz you can still be a good missionary even if you're from utah! Not to say I dont remind lots of people i lived in cali for a while! ha! I see Elder Frampton EVERY DAY! As well as Elder Pedersen! Its so fun and they are loving it as well!

 Thank you all so much for the letters! Tell amy thank you and I love her! This place... oh my goodness. I cannot explain how much I love it. The first 4 days are literally SOOOOO LONG! but I loved every minute of them and now you kinda get into a routine! But its still amazing. If you just know your part of it all, and love what you're doing, humbling yourself you will have success.

 This entire first week I have been up and down (always trying to look positively but its stll hard sometimes) because I am trying to find the balance between humilty and confidence, without getting cocky or sad... Its honestly very hard. We listened tio a talk by Elder Bednar and He explained something that hit me so hard... We must obtain the character of Christ, to the point to where we have REMOVED ourselves from his work. Being a Representative means you are not here for you, you are here for someone else. And who better to represent then our Precious savior and dear redeemer (ps that song is amazing they sang it sunday night at a devotional and I gained a reassuring testimony of my savior. It was amzing.) By removing ourself from the work, we can know we are only truely happy when the lord is recieving new memebers, or at least those who are ready to listen. So every night thats what I have been praying for! and ohhhh how the Lord answers our prayers. I FEEL LIKE IM ALL OVER THE PLACE AND ITS BECAUSE THE TIME IS TICKING TIL I HAVE TO GET OFF! ANyway.... We can be confident when we teach and search for people because we are not being us, we are being a moutpiece for the savior, there is no reason to worry because its not our message its the saviors!! But its our responsibility to BE worthy for that. worthiness comes from obedience which at the same time will bring humility. As i searched for these things the Lord gave me precious moments of blessing that let me know im on the right path.

 A sister, Sister Rogers, and I were role playing teaching each other and when it was her turn (i had noticed earlier in the daytoo) she kept pausing and kinda taking a breath then conitnuing and I asked are you okay? she responded saying she just didnt feel well, so I asked what it was and she put a hand up saying " YOU DONT WANNA KNOW!) ahaha anyWAY!! I had this overwhelming impression to ask if she wanted a blessing, so immediately following the lesson I asked her If she would want one, and she burst into tears and nodded her head and covered her mouth, and My companions and I blessed her. I said the blessing, and right up until I said her name I was pleading with the lord to humble my heart so I could really feel the spirit to know what to say... and oh how the spirit flowed.... it was amzing. The blessing the lord had for her was absolutely beautiful. And later that day i asked how she was doing., and she responded " GREAT!" oh how great that blessing was. I aslo felt prompted to ask another sister if she would like a blessing, in which she was uring for one of comfort, she was having a hard time and she said she had been thinking but was just afraid to aks :/ my companion blessed her and she is doing very well! The other district of Elders left on monday morning and I then again felt prompted to ak the same thing, and All five of them received blessings from either their own district members or one of us. I got to bless the Zone leader Elder Mobley, he had pretended to not speak and act like a gorialla the first two days that was hilarious. he played football for Heriman. he was huge,. and black...anyways he asked me to bless him and it was amazing. And finally last night I felt prompted to ask another sister if she wanted a blessing to help deal with her ear infection she has, she said yes and before we left to our rooms she asked, and I said that one as well... the spirit was again with me... I CANNOT EXPLAIN HOW BLESSED I AM! I am still trying so hear to remove myself from this work so the lord can flow in me and the blessing that come are... amazing. and the feeligns cannot be described!

 I leave for florida on monday morning at 3:30 my flight is at 7 If I call it will be at about 5? so I will and if anyone is up please answer hahaha. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! AND WILL WRITE A LETTER LATER AS WELL! But just know that this work is far bigger than me. And you. If you truely wish to be a mouthpiece, or a servant of our lord all you have to do is forget yourself, humble ourselves enough to do that, and he will work miracles through you, have faith it will come and it will. absolutely come, for it is by faith that miracles are wrought. Moroni 7:37.
Elder Nelson!