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, July 21, 2014

Every Nation Kindred tongue and people!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, this was a long long week. I can't even remember teaching
lessons. We went on like three exchanges. I slept in my bed like
twice... Ha,jk, that's an exaggeration but yeah it was rough. But I
learned so much! On a mission you grow at triple the normal rate, and
this week was like double that... But it's over now and I'm happy.

We had an Elder decide that a mission was not for him. He decided he
He decided that it was too hard
for him and he wasn't ready. He is in the process. He might stay but
he's very determined in his decision. We visited him and talked and
tried to help him see the blessings. But he didn't see them. He no
longer had the faith that he could be lifted up... Now, I try not to
judge and just to lift. And his life is his and there's a plan just for
him. But let me say a few things to those of you preparing to serve
missions in the next few years.

If you believe that you can go weeks without reading your
scriptures, show up on Sunday, and go home from church and do nothing
and then go on with the week Monday morning, in this routine of
indifference about the gospel, you are very wrong. Years ago, you
could but now, The Lord needs practiced, prepared students of God. Who
go to seminary, listen, study, pray, read, serve, help people move,
lift up others, go home teaching, invite your companion to do home
teaching! The Lord needs those who are prepared. Because when you
enter the mission field, when you put the tag on, you are treated like
a man, and you will be expected to serve like one.

We have to to be willing to leave our old lives behind. The quicker we
do so, the greater the legacy we will leave behind. Now, the most
incredible part of it all, is no matter where we are, even if we have
gone back, is that we can! As soon as we decide and have enough faith
in Christ, we can leave our nets. Even Peter went back, and Elder
Holland declares that when he rededicated himself, that marked the day
he became the great apostle and DISCIPLE that he was meant to become.

So, for those of you preparing, it's time today to decide! And if you
feel like it's too big of a task? You're right, I then invite you to
study the atonement and then stand back and marvel at the glorious
atonement that will form us into glorious beings, if we are just
willing to give ourself to him!

I know it is true. It really happened! The atonement really happened.
Jesus Christ the son of God descended below all things, so that you
and I ( if we chose it) can soar higher.

I love this gospel! I learned about humility this week how it's not me
who does this work, it's The Lord. All the credit goes to him! I love

But anyway!! We had a baptism in the ward, Daren Vazquez is a beast!
His friend is a youth in the ward and now all he does every day is
hang out with the missionaries! He texts us like every other day and
says give me a lesson! Or  "hey guys who can I teach with you today?"

He asked me to confirm him and it was so beautiful. The spirit flowed
and he received some promises that later he told me he felt were
specific to things that he needed in his life. He felt it and it brought
tears to his eyes during the blessing. I've really learned the
language of the spirit on my mission, and the most important part is
the worthiness of the speaker! If we are worthy and make a daily
effort of being in the spirit of prayer all the day, when it's time to
perform ordinances, we will feel it. There were 12 missionaries at
Daren's baptism!

The last experience I'd like to share is about a family in the Palm
Harbor ward who I've become friends with. The Father especially, I
just felt a connection and love talking with him! They are the
Radfords! He teaches the Gospel Doctrine class and I love the way
he teaches it is so powerful! It's so clear and everyone pays attention!

Bro. Radford signing his sunday school lesson

His son was being baptized that day and he asked me to join in the
circle to confirm him, I was so humbled. This was one of the most
spiritual baptisms I've been to. See, the Radfords are a little
different from other members, or families. They're deaf. They
communicate through ASL, and they perform ordinances in ASL.
Jordan Radford at his baptism

As we sang the hymns I tried to learn and mimic the signs for the
words, there was a young women watching me and laughing at me, but I
didn't care. I just love it. During the ordinance, they stood in the
water, placed his arm to the square, closed his eyes, paused, brought
his arm down and signed the prayer. There is another man in the ward who
is deaf and his wife is hearing so she translated. Then he baptized
him brought a him up and returned his arm to the square. I was filled
with the spirit. Like never before, and similar was the confirmation.

Never have
I felt the unique spirit I felt then! It was incredible! During the
confirmation the same sister translated.  It was funny, Elder Booth
walked in right as the confirmation began and closed his eyes and
listened as a woman gave this blessing... HE WAS LIKE WHAT IS GOING ON
HERE! Then opened his eyes and realized what was happening!

I know that The Lord will never leave one of his children alone, there
is no one that is out of his reach. I know that is true. And I pray my
life can be a part of this great work. It is the deepest desire of my

These missionaries are giving up so much to be here. And they are
really learning to be disciples. It's amazing. I know that The Lord
knows that, so during these 2 years, I'm sure he is going to pack them
full of life changing experience. And lead us to the people we need to
be. And he is doing that for me.

I love this work. I love The Lord. And I am grateful for the year I have left!

Be Not Afraid;Only Believe!

Elder Stephen Nelson

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