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, September 1, 2014

Humbled to the dust

Dear Family and Friends:
So, sometimes in missionary work, you have so much motivation, so much desire to baptize, and to teach everyone and just make a difference in lives and the work but you just can't get there. That's how I felt for a long time. But I never stopped trying, never stopped working towards it.  Well, Heavenly Father recognized that... And performed a miracle. Elder Hawkes is the perfect companion. All we think about, talk about, breathe, eat, dream about, is MISSIONARY WORK! We can't stop doing it! It's all we want! And we feed off each other's excitement and motivation! And we are such good friends already it couldn't be better. Well, we are working so hard, but I realized something. Most of the time when we are working hard, it's just to earn the Lords trust, so he knows we will appreciate his miracles, because when amazing things happen, it's not us, ITS HIM! We are having so much success and I am so happy. I know I am nothing as to my strength I am weak, but this is just incredible!

Tuesday - so, I don't know if I've talked about Jia much, she came to church with her friend Jackie. Jackie was in palm harbor with me and I found out she was coming to the YSA ward I will be working in. So, she invited her friend the first week and we've met with them like almost every day this week! Tuesday Jia and Jackie and another investigator Tara ( who is a dry Mormon, ready to be baptized, totally awesome ) went and had breakfast at this place and we talked about church and stuff. Jia loved it but she is working on finding out if Christ is her Savior. She is looking for something to believe in for herself. Her family is Buddhist but she is interested in Christianity. That night we went to the belisles and Christian who I've gotten pretty close with, brought his gf, who we've been teaching a little bit, she is a great girl and he's being a great missionary! 

Wednesday - we met with a couple that we found, they've been looking for a church, and they accepted the invitation to be baptized but we learned some things that were keeping them from being able to work. It's a hard thing as a missionary, because everyone deserves the gospel! We want to help everyone, but sometimes we don't have the resources. Their desire is all there though. 

That night we had institute and get this, Jia, wanted to come, but had a thing for school, that could have really helped her in her major, well, she cancelled it and organized rides and reorganized her schedule, because she felt it was that important!!! We were so excited! 

We also have another investigator, J. He was a referral that the assistants have been teaching for about a week. He's 24, played semi- pro football, but we had a lesson with him, set a baptismal date for this coming Sunday, and his testimony is so solid. He read all the way through ch.8 of first Nephi, he asked about the vision and the tree. It was amazing, then he goes on to tell us that he believes it, he wants it in his life and he can't go back now!! He was about to cry and his prayer was so sincere!! He couldn't wait to be baptized and confessed to us that he knew it was true. We asked him if he believed the Book of Mormon was true and he said  "yes,therefore this church is true" and he wanted to be a part of it. I could not believe it!! I was in awe.

Thursday all of our lessons cancelled, but the craziest thing? We were still happy, we knew it would work out, I feel like we are unstoppable even when everything goes wrong, we KNOW Heavenly Father is doing it all so we weren't worried! Elder Hawkes is so good at talking with everyone. It's crazy, we just invite everyone and teach everyone and bring their friends. We had 6/8 lessons cancel today, but Heavenly Father gave us two Chinese guys from USF and they loved the church tour. They just walked into the building randomly!  They were Christians and felt so much peace at the church. We invited them to be baptized and they accepted. It was amazing to see because they didn't really understand everything but they know what they felt. I am so grateful. 

Saturday was fantastic!! We met Jia and Jackie for lunch and Jia showed us her Chinese culture haha! we got these weird drinks at kungfu tea?? ( don't worry we didn't have tea) and then she took us to authentic Chinese food!  And then she got us an extra ticket ( we already had 3) to the USF football game.  We brought Jordan, our investigator and all of us went to the game. It was sooo cool. Tara, our other investigator twirls for USF, and is sooo good, ( she was the one who got us the original three tickets, she was out there on the feild in Raymond James stadium. That's where the Bucs play.

Saturday at dinner we started a fast with Jia, and she agreed, the first time she ever fasted. We watched the Mormon message, The hope of Gods light, ( if you haven't seen that video, please go watch it right now!! It'll change your life) but in the video he fasts to find out if God is there and he doesn't find out just then, but the answer to the fast leads him to continue his search strengthens his faith and he soon finds out. 

Well we all fasted with Jia, and she did it! 24 hours. Sunday there was a BBQ and she came and we got together and Jia said the prayer to break the fast and she said in the prayer that she did not get an answer but that she knows she can be like the man in the video, and be patient, and get an answer soon. She has faith she will receive an answer. She said she is reading the Book of Mormon, and she said once she gets an answer she will be baptized. ITS CRAZY! I've never looked at the Saviors sacrifice so intently. I've never appreciated my knowledge of him being the son of god so intently. I know it is true. Having the chance to teach it, is the greatest gift. Ever!

Sunday we lost 4 investigators... They called us and dropped ( they all 4 had baptism dates, that couple we were teaching, and the two Asian men, that we did a tour with) but again. We were fine, and what happened?  Heavenly Father brought 9 investigators to church! Jackie brought another friend! Kealana to church. She said she has never felt so comfortable at church. She felt so good, and she felt the spirit. Another recent convert brought his friend. Two other random Asian men, showed up, one of them said he will join the church! His name is Billy, we are meeting him tomorrow! He came to the BBQ afterwards too! 

DO YOU SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?? I sometimes get on my knees at night, speechless. I don't know what to say. I don't have to say anything. But I do know that Gods light is real!  He is doing all of it. I want success. I want to be the tool, I want to teach, and baptize and I know I will. Because I want to do what Christ did. I feel his words are my words.  In john 17 ," Glorify thy son, that thy son may glorify thee." 

I know that the glory of the Father is real and we can all receive it. I know that his sacrifice had to be so terrible, so that the glory of the resurrection could be known, and appreciated. I love Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for what he has done. And his call to the apostles to go teach all nations, baptizing them, is for all of us! I know it's for me! And it's all I want to do. I want to be with my Savior, as I'm sure the original apostles wanted to be. And when we do missionary work, we can never be closer, because we are doing exactly what he does, and did! 
This is Elder Nelson's favorite picture of the Savior 
(sent to me this week in his email)

So, all of us, who pray to be closer to Him!? Who want his love, or his redeeming power or compassion? Share what you know and invite. You'll be with him once again! 

I KNOW HE LIVES! and I won't stop until I've told everyone who wants to hear. I hope you join me in this journey. 

Be not afraid; Only believe

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