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!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Game Time

Dear Family,

I can't express to you or anyone how I feel with Elder Peters leaving.
He has become my best friend. Michael, I really hope you go to asu and
become friends with him and he stays connected to us. He has changed
my life and become more than just a friend. We not one time had to
sort out a problem or anything! We just laughed... And laughed... And
laughed... And taught and taught and had a good time! He taught me so
much about how to be a man! And how to deal with people and I'm going to
take everything he taught me and it's "game time!" This is the bulk of
my mission and I'm so ready to go. To make a difference. To work hard
and grow and make an impact. I'm so ready. I'm going to miss elder
peters. So much. And I will keep in touch with him. It's difficult when I
think... That we won't ever be this close again. We talked about
everything... Always! We loved to talk and loved to listen! I know how
I will do so many things because of him! I won't wake up to him every
morning like I have been hahaha but it's sad!!!

Elders Nelson and Peters

But I will cherish this time. It's time to work! And he is getting
right to work too! Highlights of this week were with Breah! Our 16
year old most progressing investigator. She is very promising and Elder
Peters and I have really become good teachers together. She had a
baptism date for July! And is very involved in the ward! It's just
a matter of time before she is baptized. On Tuesday we taught the law
of chastity and the word of wisdom which she is very ready to follow
but when we asked her if she had prayed and received an answer she
responded... " I think I did... It feels like when a friend has been
telling you over and over again to do something and then you finally
decide to do it and you knew it was the right thing to do and has been
right in front if you the whole time..." And I asked her if she
believed these things and she said yes. So I asked her... Well... What
are you gonna do about it!? And she said... Well??? I guess get
baptized! It was so cool!
Friends in Palm Harbor

At district meeting our training was about following up! And that's
what we trained about. Progression comes through follow up! We invite
and follow up and get them to speak! And to act! And get ourselves to
speak! And to act! That is where progression comes from! So I'm taking
that on! I'm making a commitment, to work hard. To plan hard. To find
hard. To teach hard! To obey hard! A commitment that I hope you follow
up with me. Cuz I wanna grow!
Friends from the Ward

Cathy is doing great and being fellowshipped into the ward wonderfully!
And we have a new investigator to teach. Cody! He is a friend to
Taylor Cole the baseball player in the pictures. He is such a good
example to us! Married in the temple RM, and doing missionary work. He
invited his friend to come to church and learn from us. Well, we went
to Taylor's baseball game, first of all I love baseball so that was
awesome. Ha. We talked to Cody for a while and he expressed to us his
desires. How he wants more from life, he doesn't want other people to
decide his purpose! He wants to decide!! So we invited him, we told
him this is the next step. He said to us that the next big thing for
him that is his mission is religion and if he ever was to join a church
it would be the Mormon church, because all his buddies in high school
invited him to stuff! And he loved them! So let that be an example!!!
Invite invite invite! And follow up like Taylor ( the pitcher) did!
Invited again!
Friends from the Ward

I'm so excited to take over, and use the atonement, and help the work
hasten. I've sat back and learned so much and these people are
incredible. I can't wait to help them use that for the better! I'll be
receiving my new companion so, Pray that we will be great
together! This is the biggest part of my mission and I'm going to make
it the best! I'm so excited for a fresh start and I hope you are too.
Elder peters told me, and had always told me. Start of fresh! Whenever
you can! You can wake up in he morning and be better! The past doesn't
define you! If you wanna be organized now even though you haven't ever
been organized like me? Do it! Why?? Because you can! We all can! What
was the atonement for? So I'm doing it. Cuz I can! And so should you,
I testify of the reality and power of the atonement. We have all made
the covenant. The blessings are ours. Invite someone today. I know
it's true. Wake up and do something more!

There is much to do! How lucky are we!?

Be not afraid; only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Desire of our Hearts

So probably a lotta stuff happened this week... But this is all I can remember! Enjoy! 

Baptism of Cathy Wilson

Cathy's baptism was truly amazing. Every part of it was absolutely incredible. To see how the gospel can truly change someone's life. She desires the change and she knew it would. She decided to give up her old life and change. She is so stalwart. I'm so impressed. She was there early as she always is. She hates being late to anything which a great habit. She changed into her white clothes and was just so pure! She looked so happy and ready. And as the baptism started it hit me. The presence of the Holy Ghost was undeniable. Bro. Hausman presided and Bro. Smith joined and Bro. Clawson conducted. Three powerful righteous and incredible men. The tears were not flowin but it was hard to keep them back. I could just feel it. So powerful. And so peaceful.

 Cynthia came early to the baptism and REHEARSED HER TALK! she is a recent convert of about a year. She actually just had her interview to receive her endowments. She had prepared so much and was practicing her talk and when she gave it, it was incredible. She quoted from Robert D. Hales and President Monson, read from the Book of Mormon, and testified of the restoration of the priesthood. I was in awe. Then the baptism. I went back into the bathroom and as Elder Peters and I we were walking in Cathy and Sis. Wargo ( her amazing friend from the ward!) came around the corner and Cathy was crying and Sis. Wargo just hugged her and Cathy was saying how happy she was! So I began to feel how powerful this moment was. So I went in and watched the baptism from the side of the font and it was so beautiful. It was picture perfect. There was a light coming down from outside right into he font and only shined on Cathy, seriously it was so cool. She came up out of the water and took like a gasp and clapped her hands... And what to my mind was Mosiah 18...

  10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of The Lord...

11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

I couldn't hold back the tears... And as the doors closed, I heard Elder Peters pull the plug and I was waiting for him to come up so I could give him his towel and stuff but he didn't... Then I heard him just sobbing... Standing there in the water... He didn't want to get out. And it hit me too. That was probably the last time he would baptize someone as a missionary. I felt what he was feeling the bittersweet feelings of incomprehensible joy for a daughter of God experiencing the atonement and its power and essential the love of God for the very First time in her life making a covenant that we feel so strongly she will honor and keep and the pain of realizing that his role and calling to do this work was coming to a close. So he came up the stairs and hugged me. And we just cried together. 

The baptism continued and Sis Wargo the amazing former young women's president. Gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. She expressed to Cathy how the Holy Ghost guides us and that's how Heavenly Father shows his love by sending us the spirit to guide us.  As she told her how Heavenly Father had led her to her new friends who love her so much she felt it and sis Wargo just gave her the biggest hug right there. She also got her a set of her very own scriptures with her name inscribed on them. Then the confirmation which I performed. The spirit led it beautifully promising her blessings of faith and courage to stand up for truth and being a witness of God I felt the presence of the divine whispering to me the things she should hear. Powerful. The relief society welcome and welcome to the ward were so heartfelt and more sincere than normal and I was so amazed at these people. 

I'm certain, that we are begotten sons and daughter unto God. I am certain that a child was born to Mary and became Jesus the Christ. I'm certain that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God and those keys were restored. I am certain that the work we are engaged in is the salvation of souls for eternal life. I am certain and I love every minute of it. I testify of the divinity and mission of Jesus Christ, he lives! And because he lives we must press forward, and invite. I love following my redeemer.

Be not afraid; only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Cost of Discipleship

Dear Family,
Elder Nelson with the chocolate peanut butter bears I sent him.
I am certain that they were totally melted inside!

Monday - we taught Cathy and she committed to her baptism a little
more solid. She is ready to change her life it's incredible!! we went
to the Kemples and Elder Peter's trainer was there!! It was cool to see
them reminisce about when they served here!! It was so weird to hear
them talk about their work from two whole years ago!

Tuesday - we had a great day, we taught Sigrid the German recent
convert, she won't be ready for the temple it's sad to see her 
 missing out on blessings but she is not giving up,so we'll see.
 And we are teaching a young girl
named Breah and she is interested and her mom is coming back to church
and it's so good to see them each week! They like us and she feeds us
like crazy! She sends us home with tons of cookies and meals every
time!! I was losing weight for a while! But not lately :/ hahaha

Wednesday we had district meeting in Gulf Port! It was good... I was
feeling very good about it and this transfer we are trying to help
everyone become masters of following up... And when we did we saw that
the whole district had done their commitments which were to invite all
of their progressing and other investigators to baptism! And they did!
We have 14 dates set now!! In the zone and for this month, seven!
It's so cool! But unfortunately a lot of missionaries especially young
ones... Are excited and need to learn how to make sure they are
showing their faith and being converted... But I didn't know that when
I first started so it's just cool to help and teach other missionaries...
And I mostly learned that from Elder Peters. Oh, Wednesday night

Cynthia another recent convert and Sigrid fed us dinner!! An authentic
German meal with these good noodles and pork roast and cole slaw it
was soooo good... Ask Brittani what the noodles are called there,
they're like and egg noodle with tons of butter... Shpoitzle? Or
shwazlte? I can't remember!!

Thursday! I went on an exchange with Elder Gentry! He is from North
Carolina and he's is from where the Andy Griffith show is based off of??
Isn't that cool! He is the most humble kid ever! And he just got his
visa to Brazil! He'll be going at the end of the transfer! But we taught
some good lessons there and then at 5 a young man in the ward came out
with us! We taught a couple more lessons but we had some empty time
and I told him! You're all good man you don't need to stay and he refused
to leave! He wanted to come and so we went contacting people!! It was
cool! We got flipped off and cussed at like crazy and Tyler was just
loving it haha. He stayed with us until 9! And I asked him if he
wanted to go contact this random dude at a gas station and he totally
did!! And we ended up talking to him for like 10 minutes and he was
Muslim and gave us all free gatorades!! Haha cuz he owned a 7/11. But
it was such a cool experience! :)

Friday - we taught Cathy again...holy happiness. she is so prepared...
So two days earlier she texts us this " hey guys, so I read the plan
of salvation pamphlet and it's true," so we FREEEAAKEd out and
then the next day she tells us she wants to move her baptism date
up!!!! And we were like well we are gonna kinda have to cram the
lessons in? And she was like that's okay!  and were so excited to go
over there! But we were worried how she would take the law of chastity
and word of wisdom? She was so down... Just to explain how well she
took em? In her closing prayer she said " please help me to follow
these commandments. I know that they are true..." Can you believe
that??? So yea she is getting baptized this Saturday!? So exciting!
And to think we found her through a media referral!

Saturday we taught Breah and her mom again and got a ton of food haha
that day was hard... We didn't have much and it was scorching hot but
we had a good time! Lots of finding! But we were so excited to call
Notice the date 5/8/2014 and 100 degrees already!

Sunday - was terrible! All the talks were about moms and we went over
to the Welchs ( you should friend them on Facebook too! ) and gave
them a lesson with Breah and her mom and then the Marcuccis ( also...
Should friend them haha ) and they invited their friends the lessons we
gave? Mother's Day... So yea not happy!! Then of course the Hansens
for our calls... And wow. The call helped me so much! It really calmed
me! I realized that wow the mission? Is not real life! You feel like
you have to be perfect??!! And if you're not your salvation is at
stake! That's how I've been feeling but feeling your love and hearing
Michael and Megan talk about their missions really helped so much!
There is so much pressure with hastening he work I feel like I have to
make huge things happen... But really?' It's a mission!! Just like
their missions. It was especially nice to hear Michael talk about
president Scruggs... Knowing that he was just as hard! And hastening
the work there! I realized that hastening the work isn't changing
everything... The way we do missionary work is different... But the
difference is? That everyone needs to be on board doing all that we
need to do! That's the change it's time do to what we've been asked so
that was very nice to feel!!

I am excited to be a missionary. I really am. This week one morning I
listened to the talk by Elder Holland called the Cost of Discipleship,
how we need to embrace the lords sacrifice by giving up our lives to
Him now I won't ever be able to do that completely but I'm going to
try!! And a full time mission is the best chance! Not going to get
closer than that! Bro Clawson ( they are an incredible family, truly)
shared w us a story about his mission and as he was saying it tears
were coming and he was expressing how much he loved his mission. And I
want you and everyone to know that I love my mission. This state is
gorgeous the people are hilarious, very...

but the ones we are meeting and working with
The Lord is helping me love them as he does. I Love it so much. I see the
saviors ministry and life so much different now. His work still goes
on, his ministry is alive in him and through us. I am brought to my knees
as I try to explain to The Lord how much I want to do but I'm just so
weak. So I try. I pray, I serve I obey. And he does the rest. Every
time. I am not afraid of what is to come. I'm not afraid of what has
happened. This gospel is really all that matters. I invite all who
read this, to pray a little harder for missionary experiences. To fast
a little more sincerely. To serve a little more diligently. And to
obey w a little more exactness. Because I will be w you doing that. We
have so much to give. I pray we can all see the Saviors sacrifice and
embrace the cost of discipleship. It is my testimony that we are going
to be successful in this work. He lives.

Be not afraid;only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Monday, May 5, 2014

Time to have more faith


I am excited to tell you what has happened. And I hope that as you
read this the things that have happened will inspire you to join in!
And build your faith! This week I was reminded how much faith I didn't
have, and as soon as I recognized that. I began to build it. And wow.
In the bible dictionary faith is described

- Faith is a principle of action and of power, and by it one can
command the elements, heal the sick, and influence any number of
circumstances when occasion warrants (Jacob 4:4–7). Even more
important, by faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can
stand in the presence of God. (Faith) -

Faith gives us power! And it is a literal power! Just like a
generator! If the power source is low the outcome will be low. That
power that literally generates Gods miracles and blessings is our
faith! I was frustrated with myself... Once again. Because I had
desires and goals but my actions and motivation was weak! And I saw
myself give in to the natural man... Just a bunch of little things...
And I was praying and praying and studying to know how to rekindle and
restart repent and have my actions match my desires. And it was
answered on Friday! We had a mission leadership conference in
Bradenton! On Coquina beach! It was pourin' rain so we switched to a

church building but the beach was beautiful!! It rained a ton this

But at that MLC, I received answers and the main one was faith.
President Cusick, in response to me sharing why I was discouraged at
other peoples success at times in my mission when we were struggling,
told me "Elder Nelson you need more faith!" And that hit me. The rest
of the MLC was then filtered with a eye single to the glory of God. He
told us zone leaders and sister training leaders... We have some lofty
goals!! Our expectation for baptisms is 8 in our zone and that's not
even what they really wanna see! They want 12! So he took us to the
brother of Jared in Ether and explained... How The Lord had an
expectation and said he would lead and guide but the bro of Jared had
to find the stones... So he said... Elders and sis... Time to find
some faith. Time to forge some stones. And told us to figure it out. I
was pumped... I feel very confident in The Lord and in our zone! I
want to hasten so deeply and feel that I could learn how to have that
faith. I want that faith!

Monday we had a zone development day... Basically a zone p day! The
Sister Training Leaders and Elder Peters and I trained at the
beginning which was cool... It was really chill. We did more of a
setting of expectations and goals and one set of STLS talked about
studies and the other talked about comp unity and for theirs they had
a few companionships stand behind a table, link arms sit down crawl
under the table... And stand up on the other side... Still linked.
Needless to say Pete and I were first... But then we went and ate food
at this park and the new missionaries and the ones leaving soon bore
testimonies it was good. It was nice just to hang out. President

Cusick has really changed the rules we can't leave our area for
anything so it was good. Good to see a lot of the Elders I love! Me
and Callister got to talk a lot it was good.

Tuesday I was on an exchange with Elder Ware, he is Elder Callisters
companion. He was awesome. A really good kid. He has had a hard life
and a great conversion. I love being able to meet different people! We
set a baptismal date with Cathy!!! She is getting baptized on May
24th! We saw her this morning and she is locked in!!

Wednesday and Thursday were hard... A lot of finding and nothing
coming of it... But we sat down and evaluated what we were doing and
holy cow... I see how importance of planning now! It paid off! It was
our planning and goal setting once we changed that it was so much

better! Friday was when we went MLC and President threw down... I wish
I could explain what he was really like... He is so intense... But I
know he is here to teach me! I want to be like him. So efficient and

diligent! Saturday we taught 5 lessons have a part member family a
mother and daughter the daughter wants to get baptized and is 16!! And
we have two other investigators that came outta no where! And the
recent converts in the ward are getting excited about missionary work!
The work is being hastened! And Sunday! A family in the ward invited
their friends to come over and eat and meet us! And we did! We showed
them" Because of him" video and they were crying!! This family was so
awesome! Then we went and left a prayer with a deaf family in the ward!
That was such a cool experience! I was just so hyped with how Heavenly

Father answered my prayers. The family ( the Clawsons) who invited
their friends over... Is so awesome. They feel and act upon the spirit
of missionary work! 7 daughters! And the dad is a ward missionary and
assistant ward mission leader... They have one daughter on a mission
and another has her call and I am just impressed... First of all to
live here and basically stand alone in Babylon! And to be that
engaged! I am humbled, I believe in this work. I love it. My faith is
growing. I know the savior lives. I hope we can find a way to become
more like him. By keeping his commandments. There are miracles to be

Be not afraid; only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson