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

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