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, September 23, 2013

To the Rescue

First off I love Florida more than anything!! This place is the most beautiful place EVER! The Palm trees and the cool breeze and the BEACH?!?! Its beautiful! I have fallen in love with this paradise! But when i sit back and appreciate being here I realize why i am really here, to plant as many seeds as I possibly can, and then all of a sudden the Lord will allow us to reap a seed that has been nourished.

The week before last we recieved a text from a father of a part member family saying he wanted to meet with us and talk about what he needs to do to be baptized... we were shocked! He wasn't on our minds or in our weekly planning or anything. He told us his desires to help his family and take a stronger, and leadership role in his family. He had been investigating the church for 13 years.. .and now he was ready. So friday night at 6 pm Elder Langi baptized him and on Sunday I was able to confirm him a member. The lord provides these little miracles that just lets us know, " hey don't stop im watching over you, just keep going" and then he opens the heavens and pours out his spirit. Whats even crazier is all week we struggled for ONE appointment!... our ward hasn't completely grasped this "hastening the work", so often we find ourselves seraching for ways to help this work. But the Lord has spoken through our Prophet with a new plan! Called "To the Rescue" a plan to bring back our less active and part member families and from them we will find our best referrals! So that was another miracle! And then the baprtism just overwhlemed us with blessings. He is never quiet, if we jsut stop asking and begin to thank him, the spirit will uncover the tender mercies that happen every day. 

I know this work is true, I am so grateful to be here! Elder LAngi and I are determined to help this ward as much as we can, there are so many special people and there are many who just need an invitiation! I invite all reading this to invite someone. Someone, just invite and watch the Lord work wonders among you! Don't be afraid, just open your mouth!! The savior is coming soon and we need to bring as many of our brothers and sisters to him so they can be prepared. I know this is true. I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I need him so dearly. And love him.

Be not Afraid; Only Believe
Elder Nelson

Monday, September 16, 2013

Help thou mine unbelief

Dear Family!
This week felt SOOOO long. But it could have possibly been one of the most influential weeks on my mission so far!

 It started out with an exchange with the District Leader Elder Woodard, a great missionary and it gave me a great opportunity to take the lead a little bit more and things went great! We prepared a little 8 year old girl to be baptized her dad was baptized recently, but she is adorable! Violet is her name! The rest of that split was great I felt good but as the week went on it progressively got worse.

 We met with a man who is married to a ward missionary in our ward! Great people but we were tired of going over there and just talking, we are called to bring them closer to christ by the RESTORED GOSPEL not by chit chat. So we talked about the book of mormon and used Elder Hollands talk "Safety For the Soul" woah... his heart was HARDENED! major. I could feel the spirit inside me saying that he was not ready, not open and that i would need to hold strong to the things i knew to be true... but... i didn't.  I sat there slumped over in my seat, looked at Elder Holland and instead of enjoying his steadfast, concrete immovable testimony, I cowered and when it was time to talk I gave a weak wavering testimony... For the rest of the week I felt disappointed in myself but I never questioned what i knew to be true. I believed so strongly... but... i felt like Elder Hollands talk: "Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief".  It was so dificult, my fire for the work had diminished and was being pushed out of my heart and replaced with skeptic thoughts :/. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. And finally i realized if I just look at this with a positive mind, seeing that the lord allows us to go through trials in order to teach us necessary lessons, and those whom he loves he rebukes and chastens! So i began to press forward in confidence. Continuing to pray and search for reconfirmation, revelation and love from my savior. 
He spoke to me as I studied for specific lessons we had, (the revelation was about the priesthood and the power and authority that comes btw) so I knew I had not denied him to the point he would not speak to me. But as I prayed thursday evening I received a prompting to ask a blessing from Elder Langi (we're staying together another transfer btw ;) and I knew that saturday we would be baptizing the browns too! So I finally realized what the lord was teaching me, he was strenghtening my testimony of the priesthood, as well as how to push through and take full advantage of trials. 

SO! From that revelation on, I could be HAPPY! Still holding on to that revelation and praying in my heart whenever I got the chance! and then saturday morning, Elder Langi and I both dressed in our whites for the baptism exercised the priesthood we hold. The words I spoke flowed so powerfully and he expressed some special things from what I said and when he spoke he answered my prayers! The Lord spoke to me! and I felt a rush of restoration within my own heart! Elder Langi on top of that has given me so many inspiring words about me and my life and all of it brought me out of this! I feel so grateful for the spirit through him and the revelation I received and I experienced such peace of the spirit!! I know that its true, I know the spirit converts!! The spirit that was sooooo strong and present during the baptism! I got to baptize Zaryiah and Sis Brown and langi baptized violet! I'll send pics asap! :) and in sacrament meeting yesterday we gave them the holy ghost it was incredible, Zaryiah the 9 year old after her blessing (by me! i was so lucky) stood up and walked away and we were whispering "hey come back" so we could shake her hand, but as she got further away she began to wipe her eyes! She was crying! I knew she felt it! After church our ward mission leader and his wife came to their house and expressed their love and they talked about how the relief society was helping her in so many ways... I almost began crying there because I just knew we had done our job and now the ward could show their love and help these new saints:)  I love this work and being here in Tampa more than anything. The area is sooooo beautiful. we had a picnic RIGHT next to the beach and around 7 it began to cool down and there was a breeze and AHHH i fell in love with the poeple, the work and the place! I love it. and I will do ALLLLL I can to take advantage of the time I have to do this work!
I invite anyone who feels the weight of the world, even in your own mind, even if your feelings just weigh you down, you doubt yourself, you just feel like you aren't as strong as you should be or would like to be?? JUST KNOW THE LORD IS ABOUT TO TEACH YOU SOMETHING WONDERFUL! And he will. And he will bless you for it!
Mom you too! Whenever you feel the depression hit just know that he is about to teach you something wonderful, your spirit may feel weak, only so you'll be vulnurable to the promptings and teachings! PRESS ON WITH FAITH! HE loves us way to much not to trust that he will always try to teach us! I love you mom! SO MUCH!
Be not afraid;Only Believe
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Grandma Brown

This week Elder Nelson's email was mostly personal to our family so I decided not to bore you with the details of that.  But this is the portion that included what is happening this week.  He is still on fire! 

(I believe the oldest girl is the one getting baptized with her grandmother.  
The little boy in the picture is a friend of theirs.)
Stephen is in Love with this family!

We HAVE A BAPTISM THIS SATURDAY! Gma Brown and her g duaghter!! I love them SO MUCH! She has so much faith! I know with all my heart this is going to help her so much and change her g daughters lives forever! The adversary is fighting her hard, but he will not win!

Transfer calls are this saturday so we'll see what happens between us! Caleb wrote me a letter! He's doing great! serving in CORN FIELDS! haha thats awesome! And three Elders who were  in the mtc w Payton are in my ZONE its so cool! I hope we all hang out after the mission!!

This gospel, these missions, this work. It's all divinely established and Christ literally leads it. Every single day. I know it :) I love you

be not afraid; only believe

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You Cannot Go Back!

This week was just crazy. But oh my goodness how the Lord will make us what he will, and work the miracles he chooses to in our lives if we are just willing to do the work and try! 

Last week we were preparing for the baptism of Kim, she was a referral from one of our recent converts and she was as golden as it could possibly get. When we showed her the book of mormon she said "It's got to be true, it talks about Jesus Christ" and we explained the prophet and she said it makes complete sense, and she expressed the lack of the spirit that accompanied her previous baptisms, she said she just didn't feel anythingand when we explained the priesthood she said that must be why! She came back the next week to church with her daughter and we began to teach both of them. They loved all of it, but her daughter Aisha wasn't as certain as her mother. Its all good though we're still working on her. Wel,l that was two weeks ago last monday. Kim told us she was leaving(moving) for work the next tuesday! ( today) we began praying and praying trying to figure out if she was suppose to be baptized before she left or not?! it was crazy... but we finally felt that it REALLY needed to happen. And that was on saturday! So sunday we organized the fastest baptism anyone would ever see. We called all the people in our ward.  The 1st counselor helped us a ton and we did it! we were not expecting very many people to come on such short notice and FAST sunday but oh my goodness. It was packed, and there were soooooooo many primary kids! ha :) I was blessed with the opportunity to baptize her. The baptism was sooo beautiful and the spirit was so strong. Sitting there wearing those whites, seeing her in white the spirit was overwhelming. I had been preparing, for 18 years straight, trying to learn all I can, make the best choices I can, spent nights staying up praying until I cried trying to find out if I was really good enough and ready, and could really serve this mission. Then I sat there, worthy, next to a daughter of God, who was completely ready to take that step of faith. We walked into the font, I grabbed her wrist, raised my arm, and with the authority given to me by my father and Ultimately from Jesus Christ, Baptized her and afterward Elder Langi gave her the gift of the holy ghost and confirmed her a member... Man. I was just so overwhelmed with the spirit. 

But the craziest part is every single day, the devil combats my heart with feelings of insecurity, with inadequacy and a lack of confidence. As he does with all missionaries. Yes, yes, I and all missionaries can improve, yes I will work harder to be more obedient, yes I am a brand new missionary in the feild but I hold the power and authority of God, as well as being set apart as a minister to preach the gospel, cry repentance to every ear and lead them to baptism.

 I heard a talk by Elder Holland, one he gave in the mtc. He explained that we need to teach with authority, and power just as ammon and aaron and alma and amulek did, get to the point that our natural impulse is obedience, and above all (combinding another talk I heard directly after listening to this one) do not cast away therefore your confience. I know that this calling is divine. I know that we are all destined for great things. For one we are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father.  But above that ,the Lord will make us what he will if we endure and accept trails, and allow him to shape us. From that same mtc devotional by Elder Holland he explained that after the crucifiction of the Savior Peter returned to his boats and began to fish again, doing what he did before, and when christ came back asking him "Peter, do you love me?" three times, and Peter answers 3 times yes,Lord Thou knowest that I love thee! and Elder Holland explains what the savior was really saying when He said " Then feed my sheep!" He was not saying only feed them when I'm here, or for a little while, he was saying when I called you from your old lives Im calling you forever, when I called you as a disciple im calling you forever, when I called you as an apostle im calling you forever, when I called you as a missionary. It's forever. YOU. CANNOT. GO BACK. When Peter answered the Lord the Third time, saying it with all the power of his soul, truely responding to the commandment to feed His sheep, he truely became what the Lord had called him to do. I feel the same in me, as a missionary I am called forever. I will be whatever the Lord wants of me, I will leave my net forever, and just as ammon I will feed his sheep "perhaps until I die" because I have responded to the Lords question " Do you love me?" Yes. I do. I do love him and owe not only my mortal life, but eternal life to My Lord and savior and teacher and friend. When i am denied, he was denied first, when I am hated i am hated for his sake, and when I succeed, I boast of my Lord. I know that this is a divine work and i am a very very very small and insignificant tool. But the Lord uses very small means to accomplish his purposes. Through the hard times, I am made weak, and I endure, choosing right, hoping the Lord will make me strong, and accomplish some great purpose. This is my eternal, hope forever, I love this gospel so much. I love the chance to do this. I know my redeemer lives, and I know he chose Joseph and I join him, I stand next to those two proclaiming the Truth, in a world who denies those trying to save it. Any time I feel afraid, I remember a quote by Ezra Taft Benson, when one of the apostles asked "president any advice? he said "yea, remember its not 1830 and there's not just 6 of us :) haha I love it and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store!
Elder Nelson
Be not afraid; Only Believe