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, February 24, 2014

It's true isn't it?

So!!! I think this May be my final week in the Tampa First Ward. I can't even put into words how much I love these people... And I can't wait to tell you all the stories and personalities of all these amazing friends and family I have made! But I still have one more week to serve them! 

Tuesday was awesome!!! Sister Belisle had us over and we got hair cuts! And had a bomb digity lunch! And then Christian taught lesson one, the restoration to us! It was cool! Sis Belisle said that was her payoff... For having us over all the time. That she gets to see her son, teaching the gospel truths that she holds so dear. It was really cool. She honestly does sooooo much for us! And! As we were leaving we saw a lady that she was trying to share the gospel with pull up! And she was super friendly! Afterward she texted sis Belisle and said " the next time you have those boys over I wanna be there and help too!!" So she is slowly getting introduced to it! Sis Belisle is a spiritual nuclear bomb and has been praying so hard for missionary opportunities! So that's cool. Then we taught sis brown at her house that evening! We watched the Mormon message "Good things to come" by Elder Holland and she was soooo touched! It was perfect for her! And she cried and said how she knew that there were good things to come! And there were like 7 little black kids at the lesson under the age of nine? Ya... All of them? Perfectly sitting and listening. Sis brown don't take no crap.... "You've heard of the dog whisperer? well I'm the kid whisperer!!! " that's basically her hahahahaha she talks like Madea too ha. For real. So we hadn't heard from Marco in like... Two days, didn't come to church and I was super worried, well he called us and said he just got off work and couldn't get back to where he was sleeping... And he hadn't eaten in two days... My heart. Was. Shattered. So we called bro Lewis and he took us and drove around for about an hour trying to find him... Couldn't but I knew he would be alright. Interesting experience... We said a prayer and asked if He would help us find him... And we didn't... So, I think ( as well as other times lately) Heavenly Father is trying to teach me... Just because you want something... And are praying for it? Doesn't mean He wants it. And the spirit can tell us what to pray... For! Part of humility too! Anyway... Interesting evening. Good day though! 

Wednesday!!! we had district meeting! We were fasting too. We started a fast for our district to hasten the work! And obtain the standard of excellence! And I've kinda received a lot of revelation. In order to have the work hastened... Of course the leaders know it... But somehow it needs to get from them... Down to each missionary, and embedded in their hearts. So I really tried to focus with that during district meeting and as the district leader. That's how you make a mission of Zion. Start with yourself... Then companionship...then district!  So I've been trying so hard to make our district as In line as I possibly can and definitely realized it all starts with yourself. But we had a lesson with the Sanchez family again on Wednesday and it went great! But.... They just weren't on track to meet their date of 1 march... But I think I just really wanted to see them get baptized... So it's ok. We will move their date back and they will be more prepared. 

Thursday! We went out and did visits with the ward and that was cool. Nothing really amazing happened... But it started out as a harder day... And the members were just so enthusiastic and willing to give their love to the people in the ward and especially one of the ones who came was Dana! A recent convert! It was just impressive. 

Friday and Saturday... Were kinda a blur... We spent a lot of those days finding... President has told us to just get out. On the street... And walk! Walk and talk with people! And we have been trying. We just have got to talk to everyone! And gah... It's still hard. But once we get in the habit... And we keep it up. We rock it! It's like lifting weights. If you keep it going and have a good routine you can keep it up... But you stop for a while... You have to get back in... And that first time. Is so hard! And all you get is sore. But it's worth it.

 Elder Callister and I are hitting the point in our mission where all the excitement of beginning has wore off... And we are in the very middle of it. And we must completely immerse ourselves in the work. Or we will be distracted. And I'm grateful we got to do it together, because when I was weak... many times, he was right there to say hey! Let's go! We got work to do! And at times when he needs some help, I'm usually doing good enough to say or do what we need! And I just know The Lord is mindful. Every single thing is either consented or done... By The Lord, I know it. 

Marco didn't come to church this Sunday... Which means he won't be able to get baptized this week... And the Sanchez family have some more learning to do... And I won't be able to witness them getting baptized... And I will probably be transferred next week... And I've hit some emotional bumps... And had miracles and disappointments and ups and downs a lot... But I'm not down. I'm not. I'm not disappointed or dissatisfied... Or sad... I'm honestly happy. Because in every single thing I am learning and receiving an answer to my prayers and the people I'm suppose to meet are progressing and I just have received powerful witnesses that this is where I'm suppose to be. 

The Lord is hastening his work. Bro Lewis is trying so hard and working so hard to do all that The Lord has asked him! We've been trying to get all our meetings organized with the ward missionaries and auxiliaries and it's just starting to fall into place! I know it's real. We have met some incredible people that are being prepared. Marco... Even though he won't be baptized this week. Was prepared... And said he thinks he will do it and serve a mission. And knows every good thing that has happened... Came from Jesus Christ! And when I see him and help him through his life... I realize.... I found out at a very young age what life was about, I figured it out. Where I was going... And why I was here... And how to do it. I'm not perfect but I know how it works... And now. I have my whole life... The rest of my life to endure to end... To serve. And help as many people as I can figure out the same! I can't explain the joy I feel! This is the most important work. The tools we have? The inspiration we've been given! The power behind all if it? It's real. From now til October we will have doubled all our work and go from 2 baptisms per missionary per year to 4 and eventually... 8. That's straight from Elder Perry. And I am so excited that I can play a small part in it. 

My seminary teacher Bro. Mead has a quote... Besides making us say " look unto me in every thought" " doubt not. Fear not." 

But he made us say " it's true isn't it? Then what else matters." 

 Be not afraid;only believe

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Ipads!

This week the Tampa FL mission received Ipads.  Everything is recorded on them. All of their work, contacts, area book, even their journals! So, Elder Nelson is trying something new this week.  He is sending on his journal entries for each day.  It's a bit long but very thourough.  Enjoy!  

 So found out we had district meeting today at 8 o'clock the zone leaders texted me and said "hey remember you guys have district meeting today"... I was like nooooooo! But it's not their fault they didn't know til this morning either til the assistants texted them. But I used my study time to prepare a lesson for dm and wow, the spirit totally helps! We biked to the church and started. The whole meeting was about how to use the iPads w finding and teaching and some logistics and technicalities of everything but I felt we got a lot covered and accomplished! 

We role played some about how to contact with them and it's super cool. We just make the initial contact and then show them a picture on the iPad from one of the lessons. Ask them some probing questions or just what they see, teach a point, relate it to them and try to get them on the websites themselves. It's so. Cool! 

Then we stayed a little longer at the church  and updated our area book and teaching records a little bit more. 
Bro chapman called and said hey! What can I do to help the missionary effort today??
Bro. Chapman
Like he does all the time and he picked us up, bought us Cuban sandwiches ( which are delicious btw) then we changed and went to our old apartment to continue cleaning up. During the move we didn't keep anything. Just moved and the sisters left all their furniture and stuff. So at the other apartment we left a ton of clothes and furniture and all our dishes and man... It's crazy. But we got a lot done. Then back to our apartment and it started thunder/lightning storming! It was nuts... And I was not feeling very good so I took a shower and changed from our dirty cleaning clothes and elder Callister sat watching the rain and continues updating things on the area book. 

Bro Casey from the ward is down here at MacDill Air Force base for the year while his family is in Delaware and he told us while he is down here he wants to do some missionary work. So we took him up, plus we really just love him. He is so cool. Really chill guy but stud and strong testimony. He picked us up and took us to the family we were teaching. They are the Sanchez family. So we helped them move in about 2 weeks ago, the mother is the sister of one of the ladies in the ward. The sisters posted on our ward Facebook page that they needed help so we went. Well, he was so touched by the experience and how good he felt that he came to church and brought his whole family. He was shaking everyone's hands and introducing himself and offered to join us and clean the church and he was just so happy! His daughter loved primary and wife loved relief society! It was so cool. Well, we got a follow up apt with them for tonight and we taught the restoration with the iPads and it worked like a charm. They were so interested in the pictures and loved it. Well we got to the restoration and the first vision and that is my ABSOLUTE favorite thing to do. My fav part about being a missionary is that right there. We'll as I said that the mom just stared at me the whole time. Just entranced. And afterward she was like, wow... Did you feel that? Talking to her husband, and she was like it was like my heart was jumping and too big for my chest. And said she has felt it before!! And just couldn't stop staring at me as I spoke because of what I was saying. She said she believes it happened. THE SPIRIT SPOKE TO HER AND SHE LISTENED!  It was such a cool experience. Well, we talked to the dad and daughter about it and they explained their feelings and we taught and led it into baptism and they accepted, they said yes, it's time. Time for us to be baptized and even set a date!!!!! We went from 0 dates set to 4 in one week.... Holy cow... We were dying! And!!! They fed us bomb food!! Such an amazing day! The Lord is hastening the work of salvation!!! d and c 88:73 if we want to be a part of it, we have got to make it as much of a priority to us, as we are to Him. I know it's true! 

Well today was exhausting and a couple times I just wanted to lay down and fall asleep... And I probably would have, but because of my incredibly focused and determined companion Elder Callister, miracles were able to happen. 


So we had a great morning of studies... All of it is done on gospel library and all my notes and cross references are saved so teaching and cross referencing is super easy! But practically my whole mission is on this iPad and everything is being saved on my LDS account... So mom? All I need when I come home is an iPad! :) 

We went to the library at about 11 to meet with Marco for a lesson. Poor kid, he got caught in a rain storm last night and has been sleeping in a shelter every night but does not lose faith. He has a job lined up for Monday and some welfare coming in. But this is just to get him sustained until he can get a job. He wants to do some service. In the military hopefully air force and expressed a willingness to preach the gospel because of " how much It helped me out..."  I sure have a testimony that God will put people in your path of those who are ready to learn and also those who are ready to commit. Now, more than ever. Marco is on track for his baptism on the 22nd of February! 

We then went to the church and planned! Weekly planning! Usually it is hard and takes a ton of motivation but with the new technology it is sooooo fun! We can plan specifically, quickly and clearly! We share between iPads, send emails around and keep it all together! Each person and their progression is right in front of us. And all we have to do is talk and Siri will type it for us! Man.... It is the most exciting time for missionary work! And after each lesson we get in the car and update their teaching record of what just happened. So cool! 

After that we went to an appt at 5 with a man named Michael who we have been teaching. He is usually very open and willing to learn? Well, this time he started off by saying "I've been studying and reading but... I just wanted to tell y'all in person that I just don't agree with a bunch of things...
And I was shocked... It was crazy he never is like that... He was really just not wanting to learn, he said as he read the Book of Mormon It just sounded wrong. And not the word of God... Well my timid self was ready to ask him...well are sure? Is there anything We can do?? But nope brother Chapman goes right in... Defending the truth with is iron testimony and testifies and he returns the argument and it goes on and on and he became more and more emotional about how he just wants to know what is right but feels this is wrong... And I was sensing the adversary working so hard on him, and he was very polite with us and kind and open still... Well I told him that satan always tries to keep us from truth! And I said... "Michael. Without that book... I would be so far gone and trapped in a dark place that I couldn't get out of. I wouldn't be able to have a family or on a mission, I would be in the gulf of dispair... And he kept asking like how what happened! And I bore testimony of the divine power of the Book of Mormon. And I think I finally realized that... There is divine power within the pages of that book. The atonement of Jesus Christ is painted and kept safe on its pages and with every page we get closer and closer. And after I bore that testimony..., it was very very quiet... And he said in tears.... Ok... I'll read the book... Give me a couple weeks... I'll be in touch. I'll read the book, we said a prayer... He gave us some handshakes... Told him we loved him and he smiled at us and gave me a hand on the shoulder and we walked out the front door and he went back into his room... And as we walked out bro chapman said wow.... The adversary sure wants him... And it's true, he is so close to the truth! And he wants it so bad! It was a one of a kind experience! 

We'll after that we met a young man, 18 yrs old, name is Austin and he is just open and excited and asks a ton of questions. Awesome lesson! Then we met at the church for splits! For the second week in a row we had a member of each auxiliary and quorum presidency and then some! And Elder Callister was able to teach another lesson with a family who has a bap date and I was able to contact some referrals. And then!!!! We went with the Manwarings to Alicia's home and blessed it and gave her a priesthood blessing and the spirit was craZy strong!!! She is doing so well and soon going to receive an answer! 

It was one of the best days so far on my mission! And I learned so many things!!

The work is hastening... I am so lucky and grateful to be a missionary at this time.

Listen to the spirit when it's time to listen. Listen. When it's time to speak. You must speak!!! 

It's about others... The more we are with them, talk to them, plan for them or try to do any of these things you will feel satisfied...

Mom you wrote me once and said you were worried because I didn't sound satisfied? Well it was because I was not working hard enough. But I am now, and the miracles are coming.
Elder Nelson with the valentines heart that I sent him.
Saying he misses his Momma with a sad face:(

I know this work is the most important. And I love it.

I love being a missionary! 

Friday! So by how flipping cold it was in the morning I could tell today would be one to endure. But we tried so hard to make the most of it! We went to meet Marco for an appt... And he didn't show and won't answer the phone and hasn't found us on Facebook yet so we are kinda worried... But I have faith in The Lord. He won't let this moment slip away! Bro chapman showed up for the lesson and since Marco didn't show up we all just went to the church. 

Oh! I forgot to mention. Bro Lewis called us and asked what we were doing... Then shows up with donuts and then gives us a ride to the library for our appt. it was sweet hahah. Anyway after that we went to the church and used wifi to do some planning and online work. Then we got a call from sis serphy in the ward! She wanted to feed us dinner! Which,,, in the south is actually lunch... And supper is dinner :) fun fact.

Well, that was an experience and a half.... It was rice and gravy and then this mix of... Things. I will send a picture. It was a bunch if veggies and ox tail and shrimp and pork and oh ya. 3 whole crabs,,, #Haitianfood

Pretty funny experience. She made It for us... We sat down... And then she just left . And we sat there and ate. Ha. She is the sweetest lady! 

Then checked on a media referral we received with an address that didn't exist and was actually suppose to be in st. Petersburg not south Tampa. Ha I have some pictures of where that led us too hahah. Literally the middle of an intersection.

Then we went home made dinner and decided we needed milk and chips :) ha. Elder Callister is a great cook.
Elder Callister with the valentines candy I sent them.

But as we were leaving we saw a man moving in to the apartment across the street. By himself! In a uhaul. And starts pulling stuff out and we were hey! Are u doing this yourself? And he's like yup! And I said no your not! We're going to circle K real quick and we will come back and help you and he was like you know " no no no it's okay!" And I was like " Be right back ! " well we did. and he was soooooo grateful! Thanked us like 5 times and said how much he appreciated it and it took him 3 hours to load it all up! Poor guy! He lives alone and works on the military base. But he wants to take us fishing and we are certain that we will be able to talk to him about the gospel! The Lord puts ppl in our path! And miracles happen! Faith brings miracles, even the small ones can make your day. 

Sooooo ward correlation was this morning! Bro. Lewis picked us up and drove us in the jeep! And we got donuts :) ha he honestly has the biggest impact on me. It had been... A hard morning.... And hard evening... Just wasn't feeling my best and he brightened it... But the day went on. And what we planned for just,... Didn't come out. And Marco didn't show again and was MIA again for his appts. It really just hit hard... I can either give up... or have faith that he will make it! His baptismal interview is tomorrow. Well long story short he called us... Said the busses were messed up and he made it. And we met him there! And he committed to everything. He knows it's true and he knows that god lives! He even expressed desires to go on a mission... He knows how much it's helped him... And wants to give that to other people. The Hess family took us to dinner and they brought their non member friend who we took to the church and had a tour and a little talk it was so cool! Missionary work at its finest! Now I'm leaving out details but... As I look at the whole day it was successful! How great is my joy,... For Marco, an incredible faithful young man! I know it's true. The Preisthood. The blessings of salvation, ordinances, the prophet. It's true. And I don't care what happens to me from the world for believing it. I have God. This is much bigger than us.
Sunday was good... Marco didn't show so he can't get baptized this week... But we had a ton of people show up. The Sanchez family came and the work is still going! We all went downtown. The whole ward,.. And did a chalk activity and the members split with the members to and did contacting! It was so sweet!!!! I was so nervous like I always am but when u have a scared member it makes it super fun hahaha.  
Hahaha so as I can imagine,,, this was a lot of info... But mom if u like I can keep doing it and u can edit what you want to do on my. Blog but this makes it easier for me to reply to you guys and answer your questions and do pictures and stuff!

Elder Nelson
Be not afraid, only believe

Sent from my iPad

Monday, February 10, 2014

Help him keep his promise

So, I read the letter and man... WHAT A WEEK! throughout the week I would have a second and look at the clock and try to figure out what elsie and sophia were doing at that time. Elder Callister and I were in the mtc at the same time idk if i told you that so its been fun reminiscing a little :) 

So, my new address for the next couple weeks is 4003 s westshore blvd. apt. 2104 Tampa, Fl 33611 but I will 90% for sure be transferred this next one. March 4th... so ya. Im freaking out, one because Elder Callister and I get along super well, He cracks me up, tell his mom I say hello :) she seems like a great lady! ha! and tell her that I WANT to become a seminary teacher! His dad is in the CES! and ya. Just way cool! 

So, we moved because our apartment was TRASH! it was one bedroom and one bathroom and had been a missionary apartment for at least 6 ish years... could be way more. The furniture in the apt had signitaures from elders dating back to 1998.... ya.... and it was NASTY! I had no idea because i was born there and didnt see anything else! Also President cusick is changing everything. All the apts have to be at least 2 bed 2 bath and ya super nice. so ya... we are still working on our old apt getting it ready to give back... its bad... found a rat... roaches... hair things growing... ya "it's a real fun party" (bryce will know where that quote comes from hahaha ) 

OKAY! so this week!!! we taught 14 lessons! got 6 new investigators and have a baptism date for february 22nd!! IT. was...the BEST WEEK SO FAR! we are working so hard and getting good at it!:) I will tell you about some of the miracles as I try to go through the days :/ ill do my best. Monday we were at the Belisles with the browns! She was so sweet to invite them over!!! I will send you a picture of that night... and it kinda sums up Elder Callisters humor! haha but we talked about and watched the First Vision. So cool to see their progression. Sister Brown gets me talking so funny:) I think im starting to pick up some southern-ness haha. Its pretty dang fun.

Tuesday we helped dana and madison move... ALL DAY!!! IT WAS CRAZY! Bro. Chapman, Elder Callister and I just rode back and forth ALL DAY it was so fun! hahah we were just messing around and moving 5 billion pounds of stuff. But Dana and Madison desperately needed the help. 

Wednesday we had a missionary Leadership Council and Two members of the Missionary Department came and visited. I can't remember both their names but one was the mission president for the San Diego Mission from the District two! Tell Michael and Megan they will know. He started off by saying he is the President who taught Elder Christianson and Elder Murano to teach the Law of Chastity hahahahah they can explain that. Its so funny. Anyway he was SO animated and so interactive and just so great! he gave us some great insight and it just SOLIDIFIED my teaching. Mom... I. LOVE. TEACHING. I love it, and have experienced so many different scenarios of it. I just love it, and want to be a teacher. anyway after that we went and a lady we found from Africa, Jabi. She needs a job and a lot of things, but she is very "green" to Jesus Christ and the gospel. She is really desperate for anything right now, but hopefully we can help her increase her faith. we walked home from that apt and met like 3 new people on the street and taught them a lesson and they accepted return appts and ya.. just a good miracle filled night! 

Thursday was simillar but we just had a bunch of appts. But at the end we had splitz at the church. Bro Lewis coordinates with the ward council to get everyone there for thursday night visits it has been less than par the last many times we've tried it, but bro lewis is a major in the Marine Corps. He does not accept failure. Well, this time? we had a least 15 ppl show up, rather than our usual 3 or 4. It, was... indescribable. It reminded me of High school when I would stand back at the dances that we would throw, decorations, advertising invitations and I would stand back and watch the success and thank the Lord for this miracle... or the "Carry on Assembly", when you put literally your whole heart and soul into something... You have a vision and you know it can happen and you stand back at the end and you can't help but feel the spirit... well, it happened and it wasn't the only time that happened this week. Sunday was like that too. 

Saturday was packed full of miracles. So, Marco the kid who was 18 and from ecuador and lived with his bro and sis? well he was missing for like 3 weeks... we'd text him, call him ,every day and nothing. It broke my heart because the Lord put him in my path and I had the courage to invite and he accepted and HAD A BAP DATE! well finally friday night he texted back and said his phone was off for a long time and his bro and sis kicked him out and he was homeless.. my heart sunk. The Lord allowed me to really love, and I felt it. If it was anyone else, I wouldn't have worked so hard... but this boy, was 18, lost his parents, his two only siblings and family kicked him out... and he had no one... except me and had previously accepted the gospel before getting kicked out. It was not by chance. I just kept putting myself in his shoes, he is my same age... it could be me, but im the one on the mission... im here to do exactly this... help others come to christ and become part of his family. So we worked so hard. We found him a place to stay and saturday morning met with him and he told us everything. My heart just ached and the spirit kept telling me, just do ALL you can. THIS IS WHY YOU ARE HERE. well we were going to get him clothes and some food. we called bro lewis to give us a ride, and when he found out he goes, "no, we're going to target..." brother lewis bought this young man, a jacket, tons of food, toiletrees, and a water bottle, a five guys burger and we had some extra clothes and put it all in an extra back pack and gave it to him. He was so grateful. He is so quiet but I could tell he was so grateful. as we rode away and he was just at the bus stop eating the burger... was like MARCO! remember man, it's only because of Jesus Christ. and I kept thining about that. And I think I finally realized. It is, he is the one. If he didnt live his life, WE WOULD NOT KNOW how to do that! We wouldn't be able to. I would be too selfish. 

Sunday. This is the pay off day. and boy did it all pay off. We had 5 investigators at church and one of them was a father and he brought his whole family! We helped him move the week before and he just was touched by how nice and happy we were and just decided to come!! Marco came! Alicia came!! Miguel a former investiagor but new to us came! the hermanas had 2 there! and it was PACKED! as the meeting was starting... I looked around and saw all the members faithful and becoming faithful. ( there was also a book of mormon cruise stopping in from utah and montana visiting the ward and it FILLED THE SEATS! one of the ladies was the mother of one of the Elders In the mission... and both she and her husband began to cry as they talked with me about him, and as she saw the 10 missionaries that were there that sunday! ) (we only have 8 but the Ap's were visiting that sunday) 

It was a powerful day! and I just could not believe it.

Just to top all of this off... tomorrow at zone conference we are getting our ipads :) hahahahahahha AHHH YEA BABY!! # HastenTheWork!

I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is at the Head of His church. None of this is our work, it's His. And yet, the whole point is to bless us. I know that is true. I know the priesthood is restored and true. I love this work more than anything in the world. 

Let us do ALL we can to help the Lord keep his promise:) 
I love being a missionary.

Be not afriad; Only Believe 

Elder Stephen Nelson

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


HOLY COW! I know i was thinking about all the people going out now.. especially Sophia and Elsie! take lots of pictures and send em after! I got a package on TUESDAY! I LOVED IT SO MUCH! THANK YOU FOR THE LETTERS AND PICTURES! i loved it. it meant so much to me for real...

So this week... was crazy.... Tuesday night... after I emailed you, I went with Elder Hawkes and Elder Lloyd and we went out and started to teach and proselyte. It was so fun, just being with them. We found some ppl and played them in basketball and schooled em hahaha then tried to teach em and mid lesson they went in and came out with a joint. (oh ya it was in the straight GHETTO!) one guy was rolling it while we were teaching. Good stuff. We met a crazy black chick who said she was going to church's chicken for two piece tuesday and we asked why she was so funny and she said cuz it was her birthday and she had a couple drinks before she drove over.....and then she drove off... so stay off the roads for a while just in case. (tampa is out of control)

but that night...  our appts fell through and we decided to go visit some guy, but elder hawkes was like wait lets go visit a family ( they spoke english tho) so we did and they had said this family never opens the door... well after two knocks... THEY OPENED! first miracle... well we get in and one of the girls gets the whole family together and and we start teaching.. well we find out there is a non-member there... Well Elder Hawkes starts asking him all the questions to see if he was interested... he was... it progressed more and more and then Elder Lloyd(who is training, he was the QB for timpview btw,) goes... " uhhhh.... Elder Hawkes should I go get some pamphlets??" Hawkes is like ummm ya!!! 

so we get up, walk to the door, and then SPRINT TO THE CAR I JUMPED LIKE 6 stairs grabbed all our stuff. WE WERE SO FLIPPING STOKED! well we taught this kid lesson one... and he just kept saying... well when is the restoration?? When does it happen??? well when we got to it. I got to tell the first vision... and the spirit came.... I could feel it and I could barely keep back the tears. I was able to tell this young man... 17 years old... that I know... of an absolute surety, that Joseph Smith, saw, Jesus Christ and God the Father. And I do know it. It was so powerful... we all bore testimony and Elder Hawkes invites him to be baptized... he accepts... sets a date for feb...22nd. He accepts. It...was... insane. on the way home we were SO FLIPPING EXCITED AND WE WERE LIKE YELLING IN THE CAR AND AHHH! it was so fun and such a miracle. we got to a red light and were just losing our minds... 

Well as we were doing this a man driving a bus next to us was staring at us and laughing and I looked at him rolled down my window and told him we were missionaries and we just had a great evening and Elder Hawkes was like... GIVE HIM A CARD! so I grabbed it wrote the number, reached out the window... he reaches for it... the light turns green...  so we start going and im like CRAP!! NOOO!!! so I just lean out the window and yelll .... "GO TO MORMON.COM!!!.... WAIT... NO! NO! MORMON.ORG, MORMON.ORG!!! . ORG!!! O-R-G!!! hahahahahhah we were dying for the rest of the night... Failure by the mormon missionary haha.

Well, Wednesday morning I met my new companion at Zone Conference and it was so fun. He is a stud. Elder Dustin Callister from Cedar City. We flew out together! we will go home together! Well, we did all the practicing that you saw (the mission president posted pictures on fb) and it was great! well at the end of the Conference President tells us about some missionaries going home and talks about obedience and he is holding back tears. You could just tell how much he loves us missionaries and this work. Well, all the sudden all the thoughts and love I have for these missionaries came and hit me so hard... like so hard.... I have been praying to be able to feel other ppls feelings, knowing how to succor them and it came... I felt it. and wow... I felt those mothers who wanted so badly for their boys to serve missions... to serve their Lord and help their boys become men... then have to drive to the airport..... and pick them up early.. It hurt so bad. Well, as president kept talking and trying to get everyone to see that we must be obedient. the thought came to me, you need to say something. If the whole mission is to be obedient, every missionary must be obedient. It cant just be the Ap's and the Zl's... Its got to be the single missionary who decides and wants to do it. Plainly for the Lord... and If i said something.. it might inspire others. So, I raised my hand and President looked at me and said yes?? and I stood up... and I Testified of what he was saying. I bore my testimony about the Second coming of the Messiah. and how I now have brothers... who I love, serve with me, and then go home. How I feel that the savior is coming... so soon. That the Lord Requires so much of us, and in return we can feel so strong! and I got to witness of my feelings of obedience and the gospel... after that president said... "well I was going to ask my Ap's to speak but, how about I call on some of you?"... well he then calls on another Elder and he stands up and in tears he testifies of Obedience, and that we must stand up for truth and then he calls on one my good friend who is going home soon, and he says.. " I have 5 weeks left on my mission... and I don't wanna go home..." and it was just so strong, he testified of obedience and the gospel... well a couple more go up and then president stands up at the pulpit... and says "Elder ....."
Well he walks up there.... and he is just looking down the whole time... for like 5 minutes... nothing... then he finally opens his mouth and starts singing the song  Love at home... Ofa I Api... the spirit was undeniable... and He says... that was the first Tongan my mom ever taught me... at first I wanted to serve for her. but now... I want to do it for him. I want to be obedient for the Lord. And when I see him, when I truly go home, I want to be able to look him in the eye and say "I love you..." I don't want to say..." love ya", or "thanks" or anything... I want to say.." I love you"... and then he says.. " Exact Obedience is hard... but it's possible... Jesus Christ did it... we can do it through him..." 

It was the most powerful spirit I have felt in such a long time... and nothing else really mattered after that because Everyone had decided... I am going to be obedient!! and Man... It was so powerful. The Savior is coming!! :) I know its true! 

There are so many miracles! 

Elder Callister and I are doing great! I already wrote way too much! but that's basically what has happened! today we met a woman from Africa, a muslim who needs help and wants to learn. I testified of the peace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she just started crying... I know miracles are coming. I know this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary!

We are moving this friday so hold the mail! after... well today! I will give my new address! but march 1st I most likely will be moving again... so we will see!! :) 

This Wednesday Elder Callister  and I got invited to attend a Mission Leadership Conference (only ZL's and STL's get to go so its pretty sick!) A couple members of the mission department are coming... and we are introducing?? I pads :)


Elder Stephen Nelson

Be not afraid; Only Believe