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, April 21, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been great! It truly has been awesome every week I feel
myself becoming more and more attached to this place and I see how I
have less and less time here. Being with Elder Peters, who got his
flight itinerary(to go back home) Wednesday, doesn't help either! Haha but I love my
time in Florida.

We had a great lesson Monday night with Cathy Wilson, our new most
promising investigator.  She loved the restoration but more
importantly than that, we brought a recent convert with us! Cynthia
Neumyer. She is a BEAST! Just this cute old lady late 60s who was
baptized about a year ago, and she testifies like a Mormon veteran.
They loved her! They were talking and talking and talking. And our
lesson went great. Cathy's sister is in town and she reminds me so
much of Sandy Mariano! Calls everyone dude and is so cool haha. But
she helped a ton in the lesson too! We are excited for her.

Wednesday we had an awesome district meeting! We now have 3 districts
we go see each Wednesday. And fun fact elder Callister is the district
leader for one of them! And he is training a new missionary! He is way
cool! I'm so happy for him! We are focussing on Easter and the church
has put a video out! It. Is. Amazing. It changed my whole perspective
of the resurrection. Every person in the world needs to see this
videos here is the link.

We also brought one of the trainees up with us, Elder Belding. He is
from New Mexico and is one of those missionaries you knew will need a
lot of help learning the work. He has an incredible trainer but wow I
was not expecting the growth that has happen. I was so humbled... The
last couple days I have been so humbled. These fresh missionaries
carry the spirit around so strongly. They are so excited and they give
me a boost. They really do. I love being able to meet so many of them.
In my studies I read a few scriptures about humility too that really
helped. I did a lot of praying and studying and I feel so much closer
to him. It's amazing how EVERY DAY! We need to change, every day we
need a boost, or a fill, more daily bread. If we do not feast in the
spiritual things of the world we will become comfortable, And then
there is no growth. I know it's true!

Alma 42:30  Oh my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more.
Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your
sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of
God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your
heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility?

This helped me so much. We went out with one of the high priests this
week.... Oh my.,, we were really trying not to because... Well I'll
explain it with his own quote " I wish they would invent something
about this size that you could carry it everywhere and you could push
a button and it could do anything for you!..." Elder peters whispers
behind me... "You mean an iPhone??" Then his gps at full blast screams
to turn left and he turns right... Which takes us around in a
circle... Rerouting us... And he's like... "Where in the heck are we
going??? "

But what I learned was. He wanted to help he wanted to feel the
spirit, he wants and has a desire to serve. And he said a prayer
before we began that just changed my perspective again. I get into
such a routine. To where it is my job! Instead of a divine calling, I
am so glad I could recognize that.

We are still working on doing a prayer in every members home and that
is going well. And Brandon is working on getting the priesthood! And
wow. They are all in. Going to the temple in a year and I could not be
more excited! :)

Oh! Something else came to mind too!! I think Thursday night? Maybe
Friday... We went and left a prayer in a great families home... Well
there are a ton of little ponds and creeks and these everywhere in
Florida but especially in this area. And it was fairly warm outside.
As we were turning the corner I spotted something that looked like a
rock or wood floating in the water... I told Peters to stop ( i was
hoping!!) and he did... We walked over there and it was a gator!! I
almost freaked... I was trying to pull out my iPad to take a pic or
something and we got too close and Boom!! Big ol' splash and it took
off into the water... Luckily not at us but it was really scary. Major
adrenaline rush. It was probably 3 or 4 feet long... The head itself
was probably a foot long... Ha!! Crazy huh!!

And Friday night, I had the great opportunity to interview a man for
baptism. It was the most humbling experience. He expressed his desire
to God... Wanting to know what his next step in life is... And God told
him just keep doing what you are doing. So he did, his name is Gregg
btw. He prayed and read the bible every day... Trying to raise his two
daughters, and one day he drove by the church and felt his prayer
answered. God told him, this is the church you need to go to. So he
walked in... Loved it. Went home read the Book of Mormon and called
the missionaries. He was in Ether when they found him. Can you believe
it? I was just... Beside myself talking to this man?! And I was
interviewing him?? Ya it was amazing. It's an understatement to say he
passed the interview. And his baptism on Saturday was beautiful.
During the actual ordinance... He walked right in the font waited for
the elder he knew exactly where to stand, put out his hands... And you
could have heard a pin drop... I was overcome with the spirit. He went
down and up... The biggest smile on his face. Hugged Elder Gentry and
walked away... You could have heard angels singing. What a tender
mercy it was to see that.

All week I have been earnestly praying to feel the spirit. Wanting to
receive the witness that he is there and guiding me especially in this
work. Often I find myself just viewing this as a job instead of a
sacred calling. Once again he answered me. Through the baptism and

Sunday we had some musical numbers and talks on the atonement and
resurrection especially. I could not help but feel the spirit... Tears
couldn't be held back as I listened to "He is risen"  and "I believe in
Christ"... And heard the sacrament prayer... And the women sang some
sort of song about how we have second chances... And can change and

move on because of the atonement,.. It hit me very hard. As I took the
bread and water Sunday especially... I was. Full. I knew it was real.
And I felt the Savior. I testify that he lives.

I love these experiences. I love teaching the gospel. I love these
missionaries. Everyone I meet, and talk to, and learn their story?
Then I see how hard they work. I send a prayer of forgiveness for my
ungrateful heart. I have been blessed with an endless supply of
unconditional love and support. Thank you! And most of all, to my
Savior. Holy cow I know him so differently now. He is there. And he
loved us so much. He gave us a gift. The gift to live again. I surely
will do all I can to honor that gift. And I hope to carry the spirit
to others and inspire them to honor that same gift. I testify of the
resurrection and love of Jesus. He is the Christ. I know it.

We have things to do! I received an email this past week about how
someone realized what was most important in her life, she had
something bad... And changed it to good... And then something good...
And changed it to something great. That is what we all need to do. The
savior gave us these lives. We are going to fill them with things no
matter what. There will be a load.  I invite all of us to sift through
our load. And dump all the things that are anything but the best. We
are eternal beings. Why should we trifle with temporary things? You
were meant for first place. Don't be satisfied with second! :)

Be not afraid;only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

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