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, December 30, 2013

Hope you had a great Christmas!

Dear Family,

Thank you so much!!! :)? seriously... that you value my words so much... it gives me so much strength and confidence in myself. thank you for wanting to write it down and keep it. I wish I could write down and read everything you guys said to me. I feel..... ah... i just cant explain what its like to be valued so much? I would ask why but i know why, its cuz you LOVE me. Just like Heavenly Father loves us? He's given us that gift so we can know what its like to give that love to others... i literally can't think about you guys without almost crying because.. honestly... I don't deserve it, and it makes it that much more sweet... I'm so blessed. And when we are blessed, we must give back!! And i feel like im not giving enough all the time... but then when I read the words you wrote in this email... I realized. Wow, im all the way over here!? i gave up my whole life, im with so many ppl ive NEVER met or known, just trying every day to serve God. Wow, we are ALL doing so much better than we think :) 

Christmas sounds amazing! I totally knew u guys were gonna have lobster a and steak for christmas eve... tell brad im so flippin jealous. i miss THAT so much hahaha :)
in the pictures i saw, bryce looks like a BEAST! man, i so miss him... i wish i could be there to see him grow... i love him so much its not even funny. 

So glad you went to saras farewell!! thank you! glad you got to see the rowes! :) :) she is gonna be great! she is a rock!! cant believe she is leaving so soon! and brooke has been through so much i cant believe she is still going a mission! shes incredible!! ha wow, same mission as marie! thats nuts! :) SO COOL! how is marie doing? 

The pants are PERFECT! I LOOOOOOOOOVE them. seriously, ive been wanting brown pants! and they are perfect! i have these SWEET! brown shoes that langi gave me, ha. so i only wear them on special occasions:) and ya im wearing the green sweater right now, its perfect! :) u did good mom!! im so good! i have the freaking best family ever! just like in my setting apart blessing the love of my family will get me through the hard times of my mission. You guys are the flippin best! we are becoming a family of ZION! :) 

YES! all sisters!! :) (In his district) we all get a long great, they are all awesome obedient missionaries, and the sister training leaders are in my district, so ya... its really actually nerve racking to do district meeting ha. But its going well. Its great.  

New years i think we are going to Bro. Lewis's :) btw his daughter Jessica is bringing a package home for you guys! ha, its just all my letters that i kept, and some book of mormons in other languages, and then theres some other stuff and , a note to you and a letter for dad and then a letter for the graves :) 

Facebook? we have an hour each day to get on :) and the goal is too friend all our members friends and ppl we meet and to send em messages and clips and stuff that will teach them the principles. Its so flippin cool!! :) we are just beginning. Early next year we will be getting tablets, so like... by my b day i think :) 

I really think I could stay another transfer, it would be a shock, but not a surprise ya know? so its like... 60/40 if i go or not :) crazy... jan 18th we will see :) 

okay!!!! :) the moment we've all been waiting for when i try to type EVERYTHING I REMMEBER FROM THE WEEK!:) SO MOM IS PROUD OF ME :) hahah

so last p day, we had christmas conference at fort de soto beach in st. Pete :)! it was way fun, These two hawaiian Elders sang, and holy crap it sounded so flippin good, Presidnt Cuisick found out that I sang in church and he asked me to sing, well i had nothing prepared, so i grabbed my toko Elder Langi and we sang im trying to be like jesus and it kinda sucked but its okay cuz ppl love us hahahah jk. But we had a ugly sweater contest and we would stand up in front of all the missionaries and they would cheer for who they want, well... elder shupe and I got first and second and another sister from our district got third. When I stood up, i took the candy canes that were stuck in the little stockings (idk if you saw the sweater sister ball made me) but I threw them out to ppl, kinda bribed them haha. it was awesome!! :) we won and got 15$ gift cards to Chipotle... ya it was freaking awesome... 

got to meet a bunch of new missionaries, and man, it was so cool. I met another sister from Springville! Hannah packard? the basketball girl! her older sister is in the mission! way cool!

Tuesday was christmas EVE! The hawkins took us out to outback! It was so flippin good, we got ribs! oh! and earlier that day Sis ball had us over with one of her old friends who is a psychologist, has a Ph.D and he hypnotized Elder Shupe into liking vegtables! :) it was way cool! ha. anyway after we went to dinner we took some pictures with em, they have an awesome family, im gonna get them and then send em to you guys! then we went to the Lewis' and ate more and watched mr. Crugers christmas:) it was actually really good! and Dana and Madison showed up and we talked about the birth of christ, and Bro Lewis bore his testimony and asked elder Shupe and I to speak and we expressed our gratitude to them and shared testimony, such a powerful night. SOOOO grateful, and If you were praying that I would feel your love during this time of year, well your prayers were answered! 

Christmas morning we had district meeting! and i didnt know what to do, i wanted everyone to feel the love and spirit of christmas... but still feel missionary spirit. So we talked a litttle about our families and christmas at home and then we shared good experiences, and then I read them all the story of the three trees ;) they... LOVED!! it . they want a copy of it :) and after we talked , and the spirit was so strong, and it just went perfectly! well then we tried to get on base...lost my wallet, and then like 2 hours later, we got on cuz sis. belisle picked us up and got us on... well she fed us and then we skyped... awesome... played some fun games :) called... headbands? and another... called 5 seconds i think :) way fun. Then to the Giboneys and we made homemade candy! her parents are from sacramento! Lincoln Loomis area :) they are so funny! it was such a good day. WE GOT SO MUCH GOODIES.

Thursday was our adjust CLEAN day... and i realized i really... lost my wallet... and i said like a billion prayers... well that day kinda sucked so we'll go to friday...

friday! we got on the computer... and i had a message on facebook from a lady in our apt complex saying " I found your wallet what # are you ill give it to you?" 

WE JUST ABOUT FREAKED OUT! so the lord answers our prayers! it was a miracle... that night we played basketball with the elders quorum and their friends trying to get some others there to meet and start teaching. its been a great finding tool in the past. 

Saturday we went to the Giboneys again and had some bomb food and actually got a LESSON in, w bro giboney! jsut a mormon message... but man, he is such a stud! he will come eventually! :) 

then sunday!.... ahhh i needed sunday... I needed the sacrament... it was a rough week minus christmas, all our ppl left or just werent responding... and I was just struggling with confidence... WELL! kenny!!! came to church!! he jsut SHOWED UP! looking GREAT! he is the friend of bro Freestone and man... it was so awesome! 

AND this random guy was coming home from a trip and literally just walked in and sat down! his name is billy and he is really intersted... we are so excited to teach him! President Cusick spoke and it was so good! missionary work is literally HUGE RIGHT NOW! so grateful to be a missionary now! 

sorry i forgot something hilarious that happened...we were riding out bikes... finding... and we stopped a light to decide where to go, and we hear behind us...

"Jehovah witness! (in this FLAMING VOICE!) hey!... SMILE! ( and he pulls out his camera and takes a couple pictures! well we were like... sweet! and we smiled and I was like "Hey we are actually mormons!" and the guy puts his hands up and goes "praise him..." and i was like no MORMONS! and he goes "praise him" again, and they drive off... it was hilarious :) hahaha

Anyway... I love you guys it was such a good week... I learned so much this week... but most of all... I learned it doesnt have to be some amazing break through and this huge change... it is simply the fact that we are ALL trying to make it... we are all the same, we are all accepted into the arms of christ, all we have to do is decide to get back on the path... and he will help :) I know my redeemer lives. And i know i am called of GOD :) 

Elder Nelson

Be not afraid; Only believe

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Christmas time!

Dear Family!

LOVED that 12 days of christmas! fav. obviously the 3 trees! and OF COURSE im trying so hard to write in my journal! and i think you are right actually, about the whole making a list of things I wanna share w u on p day. U are right! we had an exchange with Elder Peters, one of the Assistants to the President and he showed us how he keeps a sticky note in each day of his planner and writes down things that happen during the day, RIGHT when they happen so when he writes in his journal he remembers. Ive been doing good in my journal! in my setting apart blessing it says be an avid journal writer so im keeping up!

Can't wait until karson gets his call.. holy cow. Also! will you please text shauna and get hummers email PLEASE!! i need to email him! did u hear Caleb broke his leg? how is katie hogge doing?? and what is Amber Rokovitz friends name who got called to Tampa?? Today we are going to a beach in St. Pete called Fort De soto for christmas conference:) super excited about that!

Monday we had p day! just stayed around south tampa, and we get free food from this place called the jerk hut:) its so flippin good. Mario is a member in our ward who recently was reactivated and he hooks us up! its jamaican food:) then that evening we taught a man named kenny with the Freestone family. They are one of our favorite families!! I love them so much! they have a great big house and they have 5 kids! hillarious! kenny is bro freestones friend and partway through the lesson Elder Peters (the AP) came and helped us teach! IT was awesome! Kenny expressed his feelings of being lost... and wants to know what god wants him to do. He said he would come to church (didnt) but its okay cuz we will meet with him soon! Tuesday we had the bulk of the exchange, elder peters came down with both of us, and we got a bunch of work done! he brought his mini van haha, so after being on FULL BIKE it was soooooooooo so so nice :) we went to tampa general hospital which is downtown and gave a woman a blessing and the chaplin who called us stayed and watched it with us and said she felt something. We are going to give her a book of mormon sometime :) then we met with a less active man and taught a lesson, and we tried to contact a referral. But the whole time we could just feel the spirit cuz of how awesome an example Elder Peters set for us. He told us his story about how he came on a mission and it was the coolest thing. Then after we went home so he could review the exchange with us and get ready to go. When he started talking he started off by saying... well.... and I was worried about what he would say... and then he began to tear up and say with emotion... I dont want to leave.... i love you guys... and you are doing such incredible things down here. I only have like two things to say, work on, and the rest are good things. I WAS BLOWN AWAY! I WAS LIKE ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!? he told us how much he cared about us, and complimented us on so many great things we are doing, i was just like... out of all the missionaries he knows and talks to, he can care this much about us? taught me a great lesson. we both told him how much we appreciate him and support him and man. We both want to be just like him. And I know that experience happened at the beginning of the week because the rest of the week had some ups and downs. Our lessons fell through a lot, and Alecia is leaving for a week... but the spirit keeps telling me, there are miracles on the other side! they are coming!

A family moved out of the ward on friday. The Johnsons. Elder Langi and I got really close to Bro. Johnson and he helped us SOOOO much. He is a resident at TGH (Tampa General Hospital) and still found time to come out on splitz and get us food and take us anywhere. Well, when we found out they were leaving we just had to help them. And see them, they did way too much for us, not to give back a little. Well we went over there and waited for Bro. Johnson to get home from work, helped pack up the trailor and ( bro Johnson came straight from work, in his scrubs, he's always in his scrubs) and then he tooks us out to get dinner. and afterward he tooks us to the church and before we left we got out gave him a hug and both gave him ties. I wrote a little note to them and we explained how much we appreciate and look up to him and EVERYTHING and he looked down and tried to talk and couldnt... he walked over to his truck and looked back and was like I can't talk... then he goes... (and its crazy cuz he ALWAYS says this) "if you guys ever need anything, food, a ride, ANYTHING... just call me... ill drive down from Cincinnati and pick u up. u just call me... and at their house in oklahoma they have a bunch of like boats and 4 wheelers and stuff and they said... "in all seriousness, when you are done w your mission come over, come visit and we'll go have some fun! so we are so going there!! :) 
Wednesday... we had a district meeting... and! well... im actually the distrcit leader now. So I was in charge of district meeting and WOW! i was sooo nervous! so nervous, but one of my BEST friends out here Elder Hawkes who is serving in the tampa 5th spanish ward, said its so cool cuz the spirit totally takes over. AND IT DID! the spirit totally took over and it was awesome! the spirit was so strong! Our district is all the missionaries in our ward which is Elder SHupe and I? AND ALLL SISTERS!! ha. its crazy! but that was a cool experience!

Saturday was the ward christmas party! :) soooooooo fun! we tried to organize a talent for the talent show but it just didnt work out, so we were in a couple other ones with some of the youth in the ward. IT was funny :) I cant wait til our familiy reuinions when we are all married? I bet our familiy can come up with some HILARIOUS ones! especially with megan in the fam now haha :)  The sweaters we got? Sis. Ball MADE THEM FOR US! mine had stockings all over it and there were pockets in the them and she put CANDY CANES IN them! so the kids would come up to me and ask for a candy cane ALL night! it was hilarious!

Sunday... well sunday was great. There were some great investigator s there and Alecia came:) she is leaving til next monday.  but I just KNOW! she is going to find the truth when she is ready. But yes, I sang a forgotten carol :) I was not his father... he was mine in sacrament meeting:) the Lewis' recorded it haha so im sure you'll see it eventually:) and yes I know I messed up in the end so just ignore that!! ha. I cant wait for you guys to meet the lewis' seriously you are going to LOVE them! :) ah okay I got to end now :) but I HOPE! Thats enough info for what happened.... OH!
one last experience that was a miracle...
We were riding our bikes tuesday night after our exchange with Elder Peters, and we saw a lady with a dog. so we stopped and talked to her... well she started explaing how she felt with religion... she was saying like " well i just feel like there are so many churches, wouldnt god just want us to be in one? God isnt found in so many places? he is not changing he is the same? and saying like I just want to know what the truth is, so thats why I havent gone to church in a long time" ELDER SHUPE AND I JUST ABOUT LOST OUR MINDS!!! SHE IS SO PREPARED so we will keep you updated on EStrella :) ( thats her name)
We saw the hess's at the christmas party and we are going to lunch with them on thursday :) 
We dont get to go to members houses that much, they are all working on getting investigators there still but it'll pick up soon! 

Favorite food so far? Bro. Johnson took us to get sushi a few months ago at this place called chef thai? SOOOO GOOD :) so ya... the food is the same haha:) bbq is bomb down here too :) Corn fritters? BOMB.com :) ! 

love you guys! see you in a few days:)!

Be not afraid;only Believe 

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I love this work!

December 10, 2013

One particular night... we were riding back.. and Elder Shupe’s bike broke...again... and that did it... we just sat there on the curb...and I said prayer after prayer in my heart... what. are. we. to. do?

well we kept going... we didnt handle every day the best... but we kept going... and this is what I give my testimony of, the fact that the Lord will speak to us. He does not leave us alone. And 99% of the time, it will come when we are humbled enough, and when we want it the most. And that is what happened. 

(the will of God- mormon message)
how are we to meet heavenly fathers high expectations?
willingness to accept and even seek correction

It came when I listened to a talk by Elder Christopherson about the currant bush that a farmer cut down, and bush seemed to have said, I was making so much progress, how could you do this to me? every plant in the garden ( all the other missionaries) will look down on me, i was making so much growth, how could you do this, I thought you were the gardener... over and over this week i said this to myself... and just like in the talk by Elder Christopherson and the mormon message, I knelt down in prayer, opened my scriptures and a notebook... and was ready to receive revelation... well as if he spoke the words to me... I was led to d and c 6:16, 35 and 36...telling me that i do not know his ways, he is the only one who knows my true intentions and desires... just like in the story... when he says, look little currant bush i am the gardner I know what i want you to be, and one day little bush (elder Nelson) you will say thank you mr gardner for loving me enough to cut me down.  well i was so grateful for this answer and as the days continued and the trials lingered, i go to my knees over and over... even today. and as I sat here writing to all of you. Wondering what to bear testimony of... The spirit came to me saying... Elder Nelson, I will make you into what you need to be, only those whom I love, I rebuke and chasten... So my testimony is we must all know that God will shape us into his tool, and I know that miracles are on the way... for me and elder shupe, for the Florida tampa mission, for whoever is reading this... and in the near future when we look back...  the bitterness will leave, the pain of the trial will go... and we will kneel down and say thank you Mr. Gardner for loving me enough to hurt me. 

If we want to become what we are to become, if we want to get stronger, if we want to get better, and reach the divine potential we are all aiming to, we must be torn down. We must be corrected, we must be chastened... or else we would just meander in our mediocrity... so we accept and obtain that correction. 

I know that the savior lives, I know that he speaks to us. I know he spoke to me. I know I am his song, and he has plans for me. I know that there are miracles on the way. I know it and will do all I can to help those come forth! 
The work is hastening all around the world. A marvelous work is about to come forth, and if we would like to be a part of it, and feel the endless joy of being one of his tools, we must be our BEST, these trials are how he transforms us into what we need to be. i love this work. The most important work we can be doing. We must find joy in the journey! 

Elder Stephen Nelson

Be not afraid; Only Believe

December 17, 2013

sooo... unfortunately... I havent got the packages yet? sorry! idk why! but im excited to get them when they get here! they probably took a long time cuz its christmas time!! :) its okay! Ah that sounds like a fantastic christmas :) I will be calling probably around 11. We will be with the Belisle's :)! it will be fantastic! and yes I will skype!! :)! i cannot wait to see and talk to all of you! man... i love you guys so much! im sad that amy and jeremey are leaving :(

That sounds like an incredible experience! That is the Holy Ghost telling you that is what you should be doing! In your calling! and the greatest part, is that is what christ would be doing if he were here. Man just reading that, and the words you wrote gave me chills... keep going and you are going to see miracles mom! and Dad. Keep it up! ah that is amazing!

tell everyone how much I love em. Really... i love you all so much! take a ton of pics at the temple lights:) 

Me and Elder Shupe are seriously best friends. We get along so well. We are best friends. he is hilarious you guys are going to love him! ha :) just a little bit of his humor... I was leaving on an exchange and I grabbed my blanket and walked past and looks at me and goes... " oh yea, you're leaving us... just like my mom left us..." and turns around and goes into the other room.... HAHAHAHAHAHa it was hilarious. another one... we were listening to a conference talk during personal study and the next thing we both knew we were waking up an hour later... and we both kinda got up and got ready again... and it was really quiet and we didnt say anyhting for a couple minutes.. then all the sudden Elder Shupe goes... " that was a really good talk..." hahaha man... we have way too much fun :) we will be starting online proselyting this week once we get our pages approved! exciting times are ahead!! I love you all so much!!

We are so happy! :) the pacakge will get here dont stress! 

I KNOW that the savior lives, I am so grateful to be apart of missionary work at a time like this. and I promise you... this is all I want to do. I am so in love with this work, and so grateful to be here... I know it’s such a short time. But this is all I want to do. I love it. And I will work hard. I need to give my Savior as much as I can. After all he gave me EVERYTHING! 

I know he is leading this work! i know the book of mormon is true... and lately, and right now especially... I know of a surety that we have a current prophet today and that joseph smith was a prophet. 

 I love you!
 Elder Nelson

Monday, December 2, 2013

I love him

Dear Family,

This last week we had little success, and it was discouraging... i would just pray and plead that i could figure out how to overcome myself, and break through and find out how to be my best! I prayed and prayed... well saturday elder shupe got sick and all our appts fell through... i was... almost ready to just stop trying... so i went to the Book of Mormon for peace, nothing in the book really answered my sorrows but i knew it would help... and i knelt down and offered up my heart to him, asked him what i needed to do and learn... well Sister giboney called us and from then on it all just changed. We had dinner with them, fellowshipped w bro giboney, let him feel the spirit we tried to bring.

anyway, we got a call from the traveling zone leaders, kinda like another set of AP's who go to every companionship and have an exchange with them and and see how they are doing... well i was super worried cuz i heard some bad stories about them coming. I was wrong, looking back I see that Heavenly Father was preparing and humbling me to recieve guidance on how to be better! and it helped so much. We were doing good things and working hard, but Elder Watkins (who came on the exchange, who also trained elder langi btw...) but he helped us sharpen our skills, set goals on things we can do better and I was just fired up! so excited! I am so focused and I see the blessings of it! I love you guys so much! we taught a lesson to a Girl, a friend of a sister in the ward. well we have been working with her and she has been doing great... well last night we had dinner with her and her fellowshippers. it went amazing... and she agreed to be baptized. she recognizes the spirit and she is so ready! AH, I was just in tears half the time, and church was amazing! you are so right mom, i am sooo so so blessed to serve here. These ppl i am serving with are family. These people here, elder Shupe elder Langi they are my family. I love this work i love this mission I love my savior. And im not the best at it, but i want to be... until I am. I just want to serve the Lord! This is His work and His glory. I know that He lives. I know that he loves me, and loves all of his children. I cannot wait to see what miracles are in store. I love Him. I love Him.

Elder Nelson

Be not afraid;Only Believe