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, June 30, 2014

Don't be controlled by circumstances!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week President Cusick had the zone leaders do some role playing and training
while the other missionaries did their interviews. Well, here is the
explanation he wanted us to get across to them,

"In church and whenever you talk to members, you need ask them
straight to their face if they are ready to hasten the work? And in a
ward you only need like 5 families. But ask them and let them know
that if they are not ready to do it, Please just tell us so we stop
trying to get you to do it cuz it's wasting our time. Remind them that
you gave up a job and a girlfriend , a car and school all for two
years to teach so ask them if they will help you? And remind them that
means we need referrals and we need your home and your less active and
recent convert friends and we need to teach with you and we need you
to come to lessons, all of that. And get a yes or no. And if they
wanna talk about football? Well we'll try to find some time later but
we've got things to do..." He then said " you are gonna offend some
people, good. In a few years they are gonna realize that all you were
doing was asking them to do what the prophet has asked and they'll get
over it. So just keep moving.

So, A little intense?... Yea... Ha, he is a pretty intense man! Ha, but
you know what? He's right! He's absolutely right. And he is all about
getting to the point. You are either IN or you are OUT in these latter
days people, that includes members of the restored gospel,are going to
try to be mediocre, and Luke warm. Well, the law of entropy show us,
when we are not improving we are falling apart. So, that's what I pray
we do this week. Decide whether we are completely in or out.

My next point is how? Just start!!! Just begin somewhere! This week!
What will you do this week do prove you are in? Set a goal and make a

For example our goal is to have someone new over for dinner this
week, and the PLAN is on Sunday I'm going to walk right up to them, ask
them how they are doing, ask em how work is and INVITE! 'its that easy!
And if they aren't there I'm gonna drive to their house, and if they
aren't home I'll call them! This is the gospel of Jesus Christ! We're
not selling anything so we need to stop worrying if we will offend :)
president's attitude has rubbed off as you can see, ha,but it's true!

So, what keeps us from this? Excuses. There is always a reason... When
we talk to other missionaries about their area and how things are going
we try to suggest things and we know they will work and you can see
when certain missionaries are ready to hasten, and the others aren't,
it's because one of the two, bring up excuses. And yes, there will be
obstacles! Well?

I have a quote from Elder Holland that I want share that talks a
little about why its so "hard"

"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is
not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are the church of
Jesus Christ, this is the truth. And he is our great eternal head. How
could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never easy for
So we decide that we will do it. We make a plan and we do it :) I know
it will work.
Please share with me your experiences. And please share with me your
studies. I love hearing your insights from the scriptures and
especially preach my gospel!

This week we had district meeting in Gulfport :) a small district of
4 elders and 4 sisters, and it was very good. We talked about how
important planning is, and how we get members involved.  In that
meeting I shared with them an excerpt from an email elder peters
shared with me, how every single day he thinks of his mission... And
at times he finds himself just sitting there thinking about it, and
wishing he was back. It hit me so hard, and when I shared it I wanted
them to DO something. Make a plan and do it because of these things!

Then i went on an exchange with Elder Huber, he came up to Palm Harbor
with me! And it was so awesome. He is from Logan and was in the mtc
with me. You'll love him, he is such a good missionary but also just a
good man. So, dedicated! We had a lesson at a members home, where we
interviewed these three little kids that the other elders are teaching
for baptism and then taught their mother what was going on! It was

We had to park on the other side of this major highway and walk to
where she lived though because there was a massive accident so we got
to talk to like two people. Well one elder huber greeted and she
didn't say much back ( obviously pretty bugged by the traffic) and so
he said, "well, have a great day!", ha, she turned around and said " are
you stupid can't you see what's going on here?" Called him a name that
really stung and got in her car, we both looked at each other and
laughed!!! Haha and Elder Huber says " she is completely controlled by

This relates to something we did Friday night! We went to help this
couple move. Well, in a nutshell it didn't work out that well. They
were like 4 hours off and they were both so mad the house didn't close
and they were just ranting! Everything made them so mad? And they
mentioned how it's time someone showed them some courtesy ('as a car
had to drive around the huge u-haul parked in the street).

Anyway, so this goes back to my original point! We have to just make
the decision! And make a plan and do it :) and right along with it is
attitude! We control that! In missionary work it doesnt matter if you
teach 20-25 lessons and have baptisms every month, your attitude will
determine how much you are enjoying yourself! It shows. And it will in
all our lives as well.

Elder Huber and I celebrated our one year mark together with chick fil
a :) big lunch and milkshakes... It was so good! Ha! Then interviews.

We taught the Bertucinnis sat night! Breahs baptism is July 12th! And
she asked me to baptize her... Holy cow my heart jumped. I'm so
excited. She's been preparing for a long time and is converted. When
we ask her the questions her answers show how converted her heart is.
I am so happy for them. And her mom hooks us up with the food!! So
mark that date and look for pictures.

We taught the Brennan's, cutest family, the moms brother is a member
and they are praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. They've
begun to read it and have been praying individually and are beginning
to do it together. How important those things are. I can already see
it working! Sometimes I forget that the conversion comes from them
keeping commitments... Not from our lessons...I forgot that in a
lesson we taught this week. I could feel it... I didn't prepare well
enough and I was so focused on the result and tried to preach instead
of teach if you understand, well, I was humbled.

I was also humbled when we tried to tail gate out of their community
and the arm came down on us and broke off...Hahahaha woops...

Well, Tyler Kimball a youth in the ward, is on fire about missionary work!
Just loves the gospel and is so converted and wants
to share it. We are teaching one of his friends and the other elders
are teaching the other. So, we went over to his house after church for
cookies and ice cream and we taught a little lesson. It was awesome.
Her name is ciera. She just loves being a part of it all I think haha.

We also taught Shell another lesson. She
never ceases to amaze me. 

She has a testimony and she does not budge! She had to drive her
parents home from a party... Cuz they weren't exactly up to the
task...if you know what I mean. And she is the only one in that home
under covenant. And not the entire family even agrees with her being
apart of the church. She woke up and drove herself to church... At 9!

She accepted the invitation to start posting stuff on fb about the
church and I just am so impressed. She loves to read the scriptures,
and prays every night! And every time we see her I make her promise she
will get married in the temple, and she still has no idea the joy her
future holds!

So, for all of us who do know what her future holds if she is faithful?
 I pray we follow her example, and although we aren't perfect, we
strive to change. We don't let EXCUSES rule our decisions. Don't be
controlled by circumstance. Or we'll be miserable.

I bear my humble witness that Jesus the Christ lives. And because he
lives we all can Stop, turn around, and head back toward the gates of
heaven. Make a decision today to do SOMETHING, THIS WEEK.

There is much to do.

Be not afraid; only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's not weight, it's wings!

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that these letters can be a source of inspiration and maybe
even answer someone's prayer! I pray that the Holy Ghost can attend me
as I write these things down. I don't want to just give a recap of
what happened or write home really quick. I hope that people will read
and ponder these things. I pray that we all remember to re-Convert
ourselves each day.

I also invite you to ask questions! If you are reading this and you
are not sure how to do missionary work but you want to!? My email is
So this week was... Amazing!

I am so converted to planning. Planning will literally be the key to
how much you do. You want to be busy? PLAN! You want to be productive?
Plan! In advance... And then do it. And go in with an attitude of
We planned so much and we taught double the lessons! The goal is 20
and we hit 19. We had 8 Investigators at church. 8!!!? Can you
believe that? 5 new investigators and ahh!!! We are just so blessed!
All this work came out of no where. I'm so so grateful. I think I
finally figured out how to do it!  We love each of them so much. I
find myself telling people. You have to commit! You have to just
promise The Lord, and then do it! We are just going to be your
guides!! It's all you! And then when they do it themselves it's beyond
words. I wish everyone could do this.

"S" a recent convert, has not drank coffee for like 3 weeks! We
taught her, she gave us so much grief and agreed to do it? And didn't
touch it! Today she had an interview for the temple!? Ahhhh!

We taught a family, the father is a non-member at the Hansen's
Tuesday, she is missionary MVP! So good. She'll just come up to us and
be like hey come teach us a lesson with these people this day... Uhhh
hello?!?!? Hastener right there!! Creating opportunities to teach,
that is hastening the work! "A" is open and we have an appointment
this week but they are beginning to realize how much love the Savior
has for them!

We taught another family, a mother who was baptized and then went
inactive and she wants to come back and her husband and two boys
agreed to take the lessons, and they are excited to learn! The moms
brother, is on fire right now! He just got sealed to his wife
and baby and just loves the gospel! He can't get enough of it! This
ward is just hastening the work! We just make a list of members who
wanna help us and then tell them, hey!! Let's do missionary work
together and then we figure it out! And then investigators come... The
Lord provides!

We are teaching online lessons to a young lady who is friends with a
lot of the youth in the ward, her name is "C" the nicest, and I mean
nicest girl. Ever... She came to church and loved it and said she
wants to come back!! We will be teaching her and... The young man who
is teaching her with us just decided to bring a friend too, and we
talked to him. Ya, he said he loved it. Loved. It! And we
got a txt from the young man in the ward saying that he said he
already told his parents he's "converting"!! So we will be teach him
this week!?
Just tonight the Kemples' had Breah and Becky over, Breah is preparing
for baptism on the 12 of July, and we taught a lesson about missionary
work, the spirit was so strong! And think about all the people
affected by that lesson? Sis Kemples' whole family? Us? Becky and then
Breah! That is missionary work at its finest!

Shell, is a youth who got baptized, she just showed up at McDonald's
while we were there using wifi and it was so cool because we were
praying all week to hit our goal of 20 lessons and so many kept
canceling, then she just walks in and we teach a lesson in McDonalds!
She is so awesome, she brought her friend to church too! And she liked
it!? Can you see how amazing that is? All these amazing things happening
just because people are inviting like crazy??
Shell holding a sign that says "Mormon's Rule"

I have been praying and praying and pondering and practicing
missionary work for a long time. I've invested all my time trying to
figure out how to be successful how to be good at it and help as many
people... Well, with a ward like this. It's starting and it's
hastening... But before I get there.., I wanna explain sacrament

First off "C", a 24 yr old guy who is at a huge turning point
in his life came and sat by me, he already agreed to be baptized but
just is hard to schedule with... Beast. But it was the farewell of
Savannah Clawson the family with 7 daughters ha, she's going to San
Diego California Spanish speaking! And she gave a great talk. Their
family is just so solid!  And Erica Welch who is going on a mission
too but is leaving for college she is a boss missionary too! We teach
a bunch of online lessons with her, she threw down in her talk! And
told everyone that she knows exactly who she is and where she is going
because she is a Mormon! And Sister Clawson ( the mom) and it was
fantastic it reminded me of you mom, the love you have for your
missionaries and seeing it turn into a love for missionary work! And
then Savannah's sister sang a song that hit me so hard,,, she sang "One
Voice"... All the emotions of Michael leaving and coming back and then
me leaving... And the reality of where I was and what I was doing hit

I'm sure most of these people we are teaching will progress and I will
let you know how they are doing, but for a second I wanna talk about
what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. It is the program and plan that
saves us, it gives us happiness. You and I Cannot be truly happy without it.

I know and declare that because of Jesus Christ, I can smile, I can
laugh! I can heal from my wounds, i can grow! There is no change or
growth or joy without the Savior and Redeemer. And all he has asked us
to do is sign up! That's all. He's the reason we have a family, or a
job, or a car or a tv or eyes to see and ears to hear, so why don't
we just sign up! Be baptized and if we have done that we better renew
the contract. And do what he's asked!!

The gospel of Jesus Christ asks a lot of us, but what if we didn't
have it, and our salvation was all on us. We'd be pleading for it!! So
I've been trying to look at it differently. Look at the commandments are
the key instead of the lock! The freedom to choose instead of bondage
to be  imprisoned in...

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a checklist of things to do;
rather, it lives in our hearts. The gospel is not weight; it is
wings.It carries us."

I know that there is so much happiness that you can tap into if you
just do missionary work. Invite someone to do something! Make a
friend. Tell a family member you love them! Read a scripture and post
it on Facebook! And then look at what could happen, like it's
happening in the Palm Harbor Ward. There is so much to do. I love
being a missionary,

Answer someone's prayer today!

Be not afraid;only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Monday, June 16, 2014

Everyday Missionaries

Hello everyone from SUNNY Florida :)

 It's absolutely beautiful here...
Unfortunately it's extremely hot too haha. I'm glad I got to
experience the climate here. I love it. But I love the west in the
mountains much more! But a great experience!
I can't even begin to tell you everything I learned this week...
Seriously, I've grown exponentially and I'm so proud and happy. The
Lord and I are on the same page and I'm humbled. Hopefully you can
understand the spirit of the experiences that happened this week as I
try to hit the highlights. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday were
the big days so I will focus on them. Every day there were great
things, but those days were life changing...

Tuesday we went to zone conference and Elder Don R. Clarke was there
from the First Quorum of the Seventy. Holy cow... I prayed and pleaded
with The Lord to prepare my heart for what he said... I wish I would
have more because the things he shared changed my life. But the
underlying principle that made it all possible was to take action!! So
before you continue reading this I want you to decide right now that
you will make a GOAL to change something! Whether it's to make another
visit to invite someone to something... Or as simple as to go to church
for the first time in a log time... And above all. To kneel down and
speak with our Father in Heaven.

Well, since you've made that commitment I'll share with you the main
things I've learned.

First, to set goals!! Before zone conference we had been setting goals and
making plans but they were not very solid, they would fall through and
I would find myself saying what should we do now?? Which in preach my
gospel it specifically says if you are good at planning you won't
say that ha. Well, he really stressed that! Goals determine how you do!
Your plans to achieve those goals decide the miracles that happen!

I asked him in the middle of his training ( as he was talking about
giving your ALL to missionary service which every missionary is dying
to do...) I raised my hand and asked him! How do we do it? How do we
overcome our weakness? Our mortal bodes who get tired and hungry and
bored and mad and sad!? I've had sleepless nights and endless prayers,
tear filled moments on my knees asking him for help. And he said well
you wanna know how I do it? I got married... Haha he said I tell my
companion and she helps me! He actually called me up and taught me
right there in front of everyone, haha it was crazy having a general
authority look into my soul like that... But something was interesting
( major side note..) I know I'm getting better because...i wasn't
afraid or uneasy this time... Usually when they come or even President
Cusick I'm pretty scared or nervous. I wasn't this time!
So, he explains how we are given companions because on our own we would
fail. Two by two is the way we see success. Especially in a marriage!
So, I definitely wrote a lot of things down that I will include in my
marriage. He was so funny, he kissed his wife like 5 times while he
was with us and was making President and Sister Cusick do it too
because they don't ever do that and sister Cusick was soooo
embarrassed ha. But he said we have to be examples of good happy
positive marriages, he just adores his wife, and I am soooo doing
that, treating her like gold. That's probably the best example I've
learned fom the general authorities.
Well, he taught us a ton more but I'll keep going, He came and met with
all the zone leaders and sister training leaders the next day and we
talked a lot about the baptism goals and it's really exciting to see.
Our zone is really improving! We have 16 companionships and we are
expected to get 10 baptisms a month all together. And by the end of
the year the goal is 13 a month and I'm sure that will continue to
increase. So we are constantly going on exchanges and helping these
missionaries see that vision and finding out who they are, and who
they are teaching. It's very fun.

Well Friday... Friday was fantastic...
Friday. Today I wish to explain to everyone PROOF of a risen savior
and the hastening of the work of salvation in his vineyard. I invite
anyone who may be questioning the restoration, the atonement, or any
principle that I know to be true, to read this. I testify of the
Master and His unshakable enduring love for all of his children. Last
night Elder Booth an I planned and we prayed diligently that we could
apply the things that Elder Clarke taught us in our work. And
especially in our planning. We set inspired goals in faith to see
miracles. To the point where we literally had nothing to do for a 3
hour block, And in our prayer we asked God to give us something to do
that will help us achieve our purpose because THAT is the desire of
our hearts. We also prayed that someone would be provided for us to
visit this referral who was a single mother.
Well, pay attention as you read how I know God lives. We woke up and had a
great morning. I was absolutely exhausted. My body was dead and it
took me about 20 minutes to get out the door. But I literally prayed
for him to give me energy knowing he would. And he did. Came home had
a fantastic study! And a great morning! It even rained! I studied
chapter 8 of preach my gospel in hopes to become a better planner.
Well, at 10 o clock we went to teach a lesson with a yw in the ward, on
Facebook! One of her friends who lives in Dubai asked her about the
church and asked questions so she set up a time! And we taught her!
Well, while we did that I started to chat with another girl who I met
briefly who goes to school with the ym and yw and we talked about the
church and I invited her to come and she said she would love it!! So I
was teaching  two online lessons at the same time!! Well, just as the
lesson ended, we get a text from Logan Moleni ( one of the young men
in the ward, he and Jake Hansen are super chill with us, they are stud
football players who love the gospel both Bryce's age).  He said he was
stuck at some ladies house and he was the only guy and she was having
him do a ton of stuff and later he told us he was so worried cuz he
had no idea how to do the stuff she was asking, haha it was funny he
was so happy we showed up.
Well, we got there and did some work then we got a call to give a
blessing to the yw who we taught the lesson with that morning! Her dad
called and said he could not find anyone else to help him! Ha so Logan
drove us there and then Logan goes elders! Can I come on splits with
you guys tonight? Umm hello!? Duh! What a beast! ( Friday night? 16 yr
old who wants to go on splits ha...) So he says he's gonna come pick
us up tonight. Then we drive down to the end of our area it's about 2
o clock now and we stop by Dairy Queen. The Marcuccis ( who invited a
friend of theirs to have us come say a prayer with them, we did that I
think 2 weeks ago you can check that letter) but that lady works there
and she saw us come in and came out and gave us a hug and was so happy
to see us! Then she says she wants to see us Sunday and we set up an
appointment with the Marcuccis and then she says she wants to meet
during the week too!? And SHE GAVE US A DISCOUNT ON BLIZZARDS! by now
we are literally freaking out. To good to be true. It was delicious.
We both had cookie dough :)

The day is just way too perfect. Well we get home and check the mail.
I got a letter from Elsie so I was like okay, cherry on top can't get
better than this. Ha.But here is an important part. We got in and ate
some lunch and we were SO TIRED! We were all out of energy. We had
been to two zone conferences this week and exchanges, slept on the
floor  and waking up early... It wears on you... Well I know it's
small but we coulda both zonked out. But, we went out after we ate.
Cleaned up (which I take pride in! I've become better at cleaning up
after myself I know you don't believe it mom but it's true.) We went
and taught a lesson with sigrid later that day At about 6. We brought
bro Peterson a high priest in the ward. Incredible man who is perfect
for Sigrid. She made up chicken and salad
and German potato salad and ice cream! So delicious and taught about
repentance and she told us the spirit told her not to drink coffee. So
she is progressing. Love that lady!

Logan picks us up for splits and we go visit a referral from a recent
convert. All she said to refer her to us was, hey Gina across the
street could use a prayer? So, we went over and offered and she said no
not right now another time. So we came again! And she said again not a
good time so we asked when is a good time, she said Friday afternoon.
So, naturally we are thinking well she obviously doesn't want us to
come. Well, wrong, be persistent!!!! All missionaries and home teachers!
Whoever! Keep trying! We went in and she talked and talked and told us
everything and we knelt in prayer with her and we asked God to bless
her life and help her and it was beautiful! I was inspired to ask her
about her kids and what she has learned from them and she was in tears
as she told us all that she had learned having a daughter with special
needs! Ah, just a side note at the beginning of my mission I had prayed
to know the language of the spirit and the promptings? I've gotten
better. It comes and I do! Well, we sent her the Mormon message
mountains to climb she will love it no doubt but!!! Get this?!
Remember we prayed to have someone come with us to see Gina? We'll
Logan was there! Miracle #785

Then Logan goes let's go see my friend Gabe he is moving his gma by
himself. So we do, and Logan was gonna wait for a response well, we
just went. They had a beautiful house on a huge acre, loved it. Well
she ended up having a couch she needed to move and we helped and she
loved us and we met Gabes aunt who wants to visit "Logan's church" and
they used to have a weird idea about Mormons but apparently it's
resolved now?!? And Logan was so pumped driving home! He was like
saying how we helped him out so much and he's so glad he came and we
talked about his mission and he is just on fire!!?!? Ha, it was the
best night! Miracle after miracle! Prayers answered! People
everywhere! This was probably the best day of my mission.

Sunday we had so many people come to church, so many of our recent
converts, this part member family, and this other family with two twin
boys we are working with and they loved it! The mom is the sister of a
man in the ward and he is so excited about sharing the gospel. It's
just so exciting!! We went around to a lot of people and set up a ton
of appointments. Elder Clarke was right about goals and planning we
should teach 20 lessons this week! That's the standard of excellence
that Elder Perry set for us. This will be the first time it's happened
to me.

I have tapped into the powers of heaven. It is no longer me trying to
make miracles. I am doing all I can and then watching as The Lord
shows me what he can do. I declare to you that I know that Jesus is
the Christ. The only begotten son and because of him, All of us, Get a
second chance. So, I pray you will use your second chance to invite
someone to take part in their own. There is nothing in this life, that
I love more than being a fisher of men. I know it is true!

A big thank you to Amy Clawson for getting this book for Elder Nelson!
We have great Mom's looking out for our son in Florida! 

Be not afraid;only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Monday, June 9, 2014


Dear Family and Friends, 

This was a roller coaster of a week. Probably as up and down as it gets and suprisingly im okay :) so many great things have happened and I'm just very satisfied with how the work is going, and how much I personally am learning.
Monday. The marcucci's (awesome family) invited us to help some of their friends with moving some boxes around in their home and prepare it for moving so we did. Just a little work but we got in. Thats all we need people to do. Give us tiny things or BIG things to do, so we can meet more people. And bro. marcucci did that! we did and then we said a prayer with this cute little mom and her two daughters. it was such a powerful prayer. Going into it i said a little prayer in my heart and said heavenly father, you run this show, lets touch her heart!!! ha and i prayed hard. and asked him to bless her sooo much. and she felt it! afterward I asked her straight up! if we could teach her. and i testified that we really can help her! and she said yes. but here is the crazy part, bro marcucci asked her right after "so when is a good time we can come share the message?" ha i was blown away. its so awesome! they are really a great family and he is such a good missionary, and priesthood man!
 then we went to a family home evening in the park and holy cow it was awesome. we had like 4 people we are teaching or recently baptized or are now teaching there and they got to meet a ton of people. we scheduled a dinner with the sister of a recent convert in the ward who i really admire. Bro. Svartzcopf. he and his wife recently got sealed and they have the cutest baby in the ward! haha. they are on fire right now too. so there are new investigators.
We're really hastening the work... and im determined to get this ward going. There are way too many good families who can do easy missionary work! so we are doing that! and this week holy cow. they have stepped it up! almost every night we are teaching a lesson in another members home! which is how it should be. Yesterday we joined the ward council and as they talked something I had been thinking about came to me and I suggested it, and I felt really good because they liked the idea. And when you are a 19 year old missionary in a room full of moms and dads and accountants and businessmen and priesthood keys it can get overwhleming. But what if these home and visiting teachers, who are teaching less active and part member families brought the missionaries when they taught!? and what if (like the prophet has asked) we have them over for dinner. And get to know them! and become friends. Then members and missionaries are coming together! hello? so Family will you please do this! mom invite your visiting teaching families over for dinner and teach a lesson!? watch a mormon message? Dad always tried to do that and I am so sad I didnt support him more. im so excited for you. you have set amazing goals and have a fresh start.
which leads me to my next topic. Last week the letter was titled fresh start...

 I hit a rough patch friday... i woke up sick... i had a bloody nose... my entire body hurt and i was so tired.. and even sad? it was crazy. i think i may have been dehydrated because the day before i spent outside on an exchange in gulfport which is at the bottom of the St. Petersburg peninsula.and it was hot and we walked a lot. but anyway i went back to bed after the bleeding stopped.. but the rest of the day i just felt awful. and it was weird cuz there was no forewarning...  and i felt as if the spirit was lacking. idk what it was but i was miserable... so i got to think a lot. and I got to really look at where I was in life and the mission and that night I prayed to know what to do. Well I woke up the next morning.. and got another bloody nose but was feeling a bit better physically but mentally and emotially was a little painful. so i prayed for a long time. and I decided I was going to fast. Im not sinning, its not guilt I feel. Its not an illness, I'm going to call upon the powers of heaven and ask him to help. Well i made a big breakfast and started. the entire day... I prayed. throughout the day I read the book of mormon and would pray again. I was so depressed and my body was still a little sore and it was so hard ha. we taught a lesson and I felt like I was at the beginning of my mission again. a greenie. I couldnt feel the spirit. but I kept praying and reading. Well we had about 2 hours left in the day and we were deciding what to do, and I'm so grateful for Elder Booth. Such a faithful companion he was so patient, and was like lets just go visit some families. so we did. We knocked on like three doors... nothing. Well we went back to visit this part member family, linda and andrew and they were like HEYYY!! and teased us and invited us in. not expected. so we went in and (just btw the wording of what I fasted for was to recieve a renewal, physically, emotionally, spritually) holy cow. we sat in that home and BAM.... it came. I was me again. it was as if i got to the top of the mountain and looked down and I was ready to run. And we did. We were bold! Elder Booth told them we are not just missionaries. we have a purpose. and we told them our purpose. the father is not a member and we told him we want to give him a fresh start. the things he wanted. well we showed a video and testified of what we do. And asked if he would give us a chance. and if he wanted to know the truth. not saying we have it, but saying he could find the truth. he kept bringing up questions and EVERYTIME! we had an answer! thats never happened to me! i never bash, or argue but we were bold. and he accepted. it hit me that I KNEW fasting would work. I know that prayer will always work. I know the church is true! why should we be afraid???
well the Lord tested that and I misplaced my Ipad... its now broken... and Im pretty worried...  it sucks... Im grateful actually cuz I need to be better with important things. I need to keep track of things like that. So he is showing me. Im grateful he wants me to be better so he pushes me. Im grateful he demands more. Cuz I KNOW it will help.
Well, the week went on and we got to help plan a mini mission with the youth where they will come contacting with us in DownTown St. Pete. We got to teach a lesson to the High Priest Group. We got to teach Breah Who is excited for her baptism date! and we feel GREAT! the fire is burning!
It's true! and we can partake!
I am grateful for challenges. I am grateful for miracles. I am gratetful for missionary work. I am grateful for dedicated friends and members. I am grateful for a dedicated companion. and Invite everyone to invite someone over for dinner :) and share the gospel! :)
Be not Afraid;Only Believe
Elder Nelson

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fresh Start

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been an emotional, physically, mentally draining week!?
Exciting and sad at 100 mph! Haha, missions are seriously crazy.

Tuesday - we went to transfer meeting. And just listening to them talk
about ending missions, or what we are doing in our service as
missionaries hit me hard. It made me think of Elder Peters leaving.
Being done... And it hit hard. I cried listening to Elder Casey's
testimony. We sang "Hark all ye Nations" and it all just hit so hard.
And I sat there and bawled... And Elder Peters saw and just put his arm
on mine and I just held him. That ended and we went around and took
pictures with as many as we could. Saying goodbye to the Keyes ( they
were a senior couple who I loved...) was hard! Sister Keyes gave me a
giant hug and told me " I look around at these missionaries and I
think I'm not sure if some of these will make it but when I look at
you, I say there's one who will make it." I was so humbled to be with
them. Elder Keyes even said, " here's a good missionary right here. "
and said he would miss me. I was floored.

 Saying goodbye to Elder
Casey was awesome. It all hit me again, I had forgotten how much he
had influenced me as a missionary. He changed everything. He told me
"you don't even see it, don't even know how much potential you have."
When he came on an exchange with me in Tampa when he was my zone
leader. And ah, it was just heart- wrenching and then saying goodbye to
Elder Peters. I just cried like a baby... Seriously. It hit me so
hard. And he starting laughing at something I said and then just
cried... He gave me incredible advice. Whatever you decide to do...
Just go do it, with confidence. Even if it's wrong. He told me. I
could do it. And I believe him. I had something that I forgot to give and
I saw Elder Peters again and he was laughing/crying and was like just
go already... Wow... I really. Really. Loved him. And I felt his love,
and I didn't even realize how much fun and love we had. It will be
with me forever.

 Elder Booth and I are companions now and I'm so
excited! In the strength of The Lord I can do all things.

Wednesday- we hit the ground running! Me and Elder Booth went to
district meeting and gave a new training, we have new district leaders
and new Sister Training Leaders and it's pretty much all from the
beginning and we are wasting no time. Elder Booth is so humble. It
blows my mind kinda, he just wants to work so hard and is so good at it.
It's really awesome. Exactly the companion I needed now. I've been
beyond lucky with companions.

The rest of the week we had to bike and we literally contacted a ton.
But it was perfect. We both practiced some great skills, talking with
everyone, being bold! And got caught in a rain storm and got
completely soaked.

Thursday we found some new investigators that were contacted a while
ago and within three days they became investigators and then dropped
Ha. But the cool part is we met em at the door and I just went hard.
He opened and said something to the effect of... "I'm not that
interested..." And in my head came "well that's too bad, I didn't come
out here to not give my message cuz you're not interested" so we
persisted. I swear we testified 10 times and brought up his family and
what the church and gospel could do for him. Then finally he goes, you
guys wanna come in? Uhhh duh! Haha well we came back and knocked three
times no answer... So we walked around the neighborhood and came back
and knocked again!! Ha. He answered the door saying wow you guys are
persistent! Ha you got that right. That was the first time in one year
of serving The Lord I have felt like that. I knew this was his chance.
And he said how sorry he was and blah blah he wasn't interested, but I
told him. I'm glad you came and told us straight up so now we don't
have to worry.

Friday and Saturday were really? Humbling but I look back and I'm
proud of he work we did! We are really trying hard. I see what works
and what doesn't... And we have improved our skills so much. Talking
with everyone! Teaching boldly and with authority. Companion unity.
Obedience. It's everything.
Saturday we biked over 15 miles to the church... To find out our
appointment cancelled and then walked around a lot, but we taught a
lesson with one of the boys, a youth preparing to serve.

But I wanna tell you about who we taught. Her name is Rachelle. She is
the only member at her high school. She is going to be a junior... She
is the only member of her family. And she has no license to get around
and no father support and some mother support. And yet? She "loves
being Mormon." I love going and teaching her. She is so cool. She is
granted... Very hyper and crazy'
! But I see what she is doing and it is far more than what I did. She
reads and prays and tries to be obedient. I pray we can all be more
like her.
Sunday... Ah so good. We spent some time with the members, talking with
them and it's so amazing to see them and watch them talk about who
they could invite for dinner and who they could invite to mutual and
say "Tuesday you are coming over for dinner and we will find someone
to come!" The Hansen's did that today! She said come over and someone
will be here. And we did! She invited her family and we just talked and
hung out and ate and then before we leave she says Elders you got
something to share? And we watched the "Because of Him" video with her
non member nieces and nephews and brother... I don't care who you are,
what you've done, how active, or inactive or perfect or imperfect we
are or may perceive others to be, that is what The Lord needs. More
people like her!

I really understand the atonement now. The power that it has and how
to access it. And I feel so great.

As many of you know transfers can be extremely exciting but also very
hard. Well this one was hard. Every transfer before this was exciting
but this one was much much different. For the first time I was really
satisfied with how things were going. I was happy, comfortable and I
saw how much I grew! It was amazing... And then boom... All of it
rested on my shoulders. It's all mine now. And man I feel it. Times
like these make you reflect upon how your mission has played out so
far. From the MTC to here. It feels like a long time! And yet It feels
like I just got Elder Peters and now he is gone! It blows my mind!

Every day seems long, and when you go out and find forever and you
don't meet many people you feel like you aren't productive and then
when we had a baptism!! I felt like crap, She was our only
investigator what are we gonna do now?? We need to be doing so much
more!? Ahh!?

But I've thought a lot about this and I've realized something. It has
to feel that way! We have to always feel like there is more to do,
why? Cuz then we wouldn't do it. We have to feel the urgency otherwise
we would just chill... Or be content. There must be that pressure cuz
after your two years it's gone! You finish and your calling is
completed. And I only have one year left of it. So I pray that I never
lose that feeling.

Elder Peters taught me that we work, and we try hard! We are bold with
people. We are confident, but most of all we enjoy every day! One
morning I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and I watched the video
"Because of Him" again. And the spirit overcame me. It was as if the
savior himself wrapped his arms around me. The things I've been trying
to tell people were true! He does live! Right now! And he wants to
bless them! It is all true! I watched that video and was overcome with
emotion. Especially as I likened the relationship he had with his
apostles to my relationship with Elder Peters. I wonder how painful it
was to realize hat their best friend really was gone... Or when the
apostles went to serve missions and were attacked and killed. How must
Peter have felt when he received word that James, or Paul or Andrew or
Philip were gone... These men that he loved so dearly had given their
lives in the service of God.

One simple truth gives us peace. Which is what they soon came to know!
Death has no sting, the grave no victory! The Savior lives! I feel as
they do. That I have lost a brother but I know the truth. We will all
continue to serve! We will all serve together! Wherever we are and
even after this life we can be together. I couldn't be happier.

I hope we all can keep going. Invite someone else. Do home and
visiting teaching, have dinner with another family. Study preach my
gospel have fhe. And watch as The Lord works wonders with us. I love
this work with my whole soul.

Be not afraid;only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson