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, October 27, 2014


Hello Everyone!

(Below I posted some additional pictures Elder Nelson sent home this week.)

This week, the only way to describe it is, I know that I am nothing.
As for my strength I am weak.

So much happened this week! I had to take an old companion to the
airport, he is going home to get surgery. But being with him and
talking about his mission and our service together I realize how much his and
my life has changed. I realize how good of a friend he was to me. And
how important this service is. Only on the battlefield of missionary
work can you make friends like this. It was hard to say goodbye and
watch him get on a plane but it was a time to celebrate his service as

I think it will be easiest if I just name our investigators and
explain their progress. I want you to know that I love each of these
people dearly.

Jia - absolutely solid. She brought her little brother to church this
Sunday. She talks about her baptism to everyone! She cannot wait, she
knows all of this is true, and she shares it with everyone! We meet
another one of her friends every weekend! Even tonight we are having
dinner with one of her friends. Elder Hawkes and I love her so much.
If we came here and only met and baptized her, it would all be worth
it. But how great is our joy that we get to bring many!

Kayla, Liz, and Zaida - so Kayla is the one from New York been taught
everything! Ready for baptism. She brought her friend Zaida into the
church and we are teaching her, Moshe is a little slower with
progression, but she is showing her faith. Her heart is opening up to
the spirit as she prays.  Liz, just came to church yesterday with
these two! And a guy named Adam who is a member drives like 35 mins to
pick them up and then 20 miles from their place to the church. Such a stud.
All three of them are investigating the church! It's such a miracle
after church yesterday we taught them and Liz agreed to test it. To
find out if it is true! I cannot believe the hastening of the work.

T - he is struggling a little bit, he wants it but is distracted
with other things. We will let the lord work on him a little more,
pray for him.

Dominique - she has two little girls, been teaching her for a week.
She left out of town this weekend so we hoped to stay in contact with
her. Well, we taught her the basic restoration and then gave her a
pamphlet to read, and texted her a couple days later, and she replied
and said. " I read it twice, and I really really prayed, and I believe
it's true" she then said how she believes that God and Jeaus Christ
appeared to Joseph Smith to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ so
we all can be saved! I. Was. Floored.

We are meeting with her tomorrow and hopefully rescheduling her first
saving ordinance.

I testify of the truth, I know Christ lives and guides this church,
I'm seeing it happen.

Sunday - we got another 6 or 7 referrals... The work is exploding!
Just to give a brief status of the mission. I think I mentioned this
but we received 760 referrals. More than we have received In a week in
15 months. We have instructed all missionaries to pull people out of
classes for a few minutes and to grab them in the halls and one on one
discuss how the missionaries can help the members with their missionary
work. To CHANGE is working.

So for you! Family. What are you doing to change? If we always do what
we always did, then we will always get what we always got. So, we have
to do it different. I learned a lot this week. I learned this isn't my
mission. I'm not here to get baptisms, I'm not here to find people for
me. I'm here to assist these people in their own missionary work. Not
mine. Missionaries come to support the ward and members. It's not
about collecting people for us to be busy, it's YOUR MISSIONARY WORK!
We are changing things from the old way and do everything by the book.
President has taught us that if we always do it by the book then we
will always be right, and we will always be doing it the way the
prophet wants.

My perspective has changed dramatically. My role is to teach those
that members find for us. I have been street contacting one time since I
was transferred. We encourage all missionaries to not go try to do it
themselves. How selfish. That is wrong. We are called to assist, and lift
and guide the members, so members! Mom and dad! Please do this, go to
the handbook, find your role and follow it!

I want to hasten the work. Because I love Jesus Christ, I want to see
him, and tell him, Yes master, I saw the vision, I understood it and I
did all I could to help people change. I do not want to tell him, "no 
I feared man more than God, I did not stand up and try to help the
change." So please, assist me in this change.

I promise you, there is someone right now in your Ward who if they
knew you really loved them, they would come back to church. You could
help save their soul. Go find them. Let us all work to build the ward.

I love Missionary work.

Be not afraid;Only Believe

Elder Stephen Nelson
Not sure who these missionaries are but it must be p-day

Elder Nelson said he cut his finger with a kitchen knife!  No telling what he was doing. I am just grateful he hasn't had anything worse happen!  Ouch Charlie, that hurts!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Lords approval

Hello friends and family,

This week in Florida was fantastic. We saw so many miracles, and
watched as the Lord did his work through us. We gained three new
golden investigators.

Last week we went to the mall, and in one of the stores Elder Hawkes
just gave a bold invitation to the cashier. All he said was hey, we
teach a special message about Jesus Christ can we share it with you
sometime? Well, we set it up and she actually came! She drove all the
way to the church, and brought one of her adorable daughters!

Then yesterday she came to church and loved it. She is working to wrap
her head around the new doctrine, but she likes it, and she loves how
her daughters love it. They are 5 and 2. We have two upcoming lessons
with her. Please pray for Dominique.

The other two are friends. We found out there is a girl who goes to
school at the Univeristy of Tampa, which is a beautiful campus by the
way. Her name is Kayla, she was taught all the lessons in  New York
and was never baptized. She has been living all the commandments and
just never was able to come to church. Well we met with her and are
working towards baptism, but she brought her friend to the lesson!
This friend actually has wanted to come to the lessons 3 times in a
row and all three times, last minute backed out for some reason, well
this was obviously the adversary. Just two days ago we met with them, and as
we taught about the plan of salvation she was in tears and she loved
it. Came to church and loved it.

Jia has no fear, invited a friend to church and he came! She is
so excited for her baptism and invites everyone! Because of the things
we are practicing, in the mission the mission has received more
referrals in the last two weeks than the last two years, the lord is
hastening his work.

I don't have as much time, but I just want to remind you of two things.

One, don't forget to remind yourself of your sacrifices, don't forget
to let the approval of your Father in Heaven fill your heart, that is
his love. That is the best feeling ever. Thank you for being

Two, pick one thing you want to improve on and dedicate yourself,
please find someone to invite, to truly love and help. Dedicate
yourself to loving that person and forget yourself.

I wish and pray I could have the same charity that Christ had. But I'm
trying, and I know it will come.

I know Christ lives. I know I have been called to represent Him,
please remember your baptismal covenants and live true to them.
Remember that means you promised to invite!

Be not afraid;Only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Every Missionary needs a Jia

Elder Nelson doesn't always put a title on his letter so I sometimes read his letter and come up with a tittle.  This week after one of our family friends read this letter she replied back to me and said "Everyone needs a Jia".  I thought that was perfect for the title of this email. Thanks Karen!

Dear Family and Friends:

This week was all zone conferences! and then Mission Leadership conference at the BEACH! 

Leadership Conference pictures!

The Assistants often host various missionaries in their apartment during the week and they go proselyting in downtown Tampa.  These are some of the missionaries from this past week that they hosted.

It was honestly a very fun, busy week. But, by the end of the week we realized we haven't really had time to proselyte in a long time! So it took a little mental toughness to get back on the grind and do some finding and inviting through members again, took some good planning and back to stage one. BUT! One thing that keeps us going, and really makes every day worth it is teaching Jia. If Jia was the only person I taught or baptized here for the entire 2 years it would be worth it. She is absolutely amazing. She has scheduled a baptism date, and cant wait. 
At the church with Jia Zhang
(-having fun taking pictures!)

This week she committed to read the Book of Mormon before November 15th ( her b day, and her baptism is the next day ). She started on wednesday and is already in 2nd Nephi. She keeps a notebook of all of her thoughts, and questions! she is asking about the olive tree and the tribes of Isreal, and all this crazy stuff. AND SHE DIDN'T BELIEVE IN GOD 6 WEEKS AGO! It is the most incredible conversion I have ever seen. She is on fire. Friday night she got invited to a party. She also had 5 essays to write. and she was planning to see Meet the Mormons on saturday. So as she contemplated on going to the party, the thought came to her, "If I have time to go to a party, I have time to see meet the Mormons" so she told her friends she cant go to teh party. She told us later, that she chose her Father and Savior first and decided to honor them" 

We read the texts and couldn't stop talking about her all day. well Sunday she blew us away again. 

A new investigator came to church. He doesn't want to be taught anything but likes to come church. So, right after sacrament meeting Elder Hawkes started chatting with him. And Jia chimed in and told him why it's so important he take a lesson from us. Well, he was very close minded...BUT JIA IS MORE STUBBORN THAN THOUGHT! She walked with him all the way outside the church building and for 30 mins talked with him, and would not let him leave until he scheduled a lesson. She opened the Book of Mormon with him, and threw all kinds of questions at him.... we were just watching her from inside with our jaws on the floor. 

She came in and was like " you guys busy on wednesday?" ummm no Jia, we are not busy... Ha! She is kind of really sassy and is studying business so she is pretty bold ha. You will love her when you meet her. 

So, yea it was amazing. And our investigator Thai, who dropped us last week picked us back up again. We are meeting with him right now. What a week full of miracles!

For zone conference we met with all the zones, 3 conferences and 2 zones at each one. We gave them each a training and then watched Meet the Mormons. I gave a training on how to work more effectively with members.

We are having missionaries pull members out of class for a few minutes and have private interviews with them! We are being bold! We even have the members pull out their phones and go through their contacts! Sunday is not a time to sit back and relax for us missionaries. It's game day. 

This is the only way we are going to hasten the work! So buckle up. I encourage all you members to just be more BOLD! If this is the most important work on earth, why is it not first priority for us? We have to be different and do different things if we want different results. So please, come and see.

There is no growth in the comfort zone, and growth out of the comfort zone.

If we do nothing, we are not keeping our covenants. I know you will be blessed if you light a fire, and join us!

Be not afraid;Only Believe

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I thank Thee oh God for a Prophet

Dear Family and Friends:

This week was another great learning experience. I'm being stretched
more than I ever have. Sometimes I honestly wonder what I am contributing to
this program! I don't know if any of you have ever felt that you are
being called to a position just to learn. The Lord has an interesting
way of reminding us that we don't earn positions, we don't qualify or
anything. When he wants someone somewhere. He calls them, and that is
that. It's then up to us to work hard and learn all we can. I'm
definitely here to learn as much as possible. Every day I make
mistakes, little mistakes, confuse things, or run out of energy and
there's just no time for that. My Companion Elder Hawkes is the
greatest example. He never stops, his only desire is to serve. He just
goes and goes and goes! He has incredible focus and just knocks out
every task at hand! Even eating!

President Cusick really is teaching us how to be effective and I have
a lot to learn. I have great examples around me.

Jia is progressing nicely! She is on track for baptism on November
16th the day after she turns 18. She is praying every day and reading
the Book of Mormon. She committed to reading the whole thing in

So, I used to say I wanted to be a Spanish missionary? Well, here's my
chance. We have a family from 
Mexico who we teach a couple times a
week! And wow, I'm now officially grateful I was called English. It
is so difficult! So overwhelming. I can say I understand it more, and
can say extremely basic things, I can read Spanish, ( at least
pronounce it) but I can't say anything yet. This family is so awesome
though! I will send some pictures of us. They remind me of mom! Her
facial expressions and stuff is exactly like mom! And she's hilarious.
They are progressing slower than we'd like but the fellowship is

there, and the husband is very converted to the church, and the Book
of Mormon but we are working on the rest. The wife is catholic, she said
she wants to be baptized. They are getting closer!

Keep Praying for Kristi and Ryan that they will be able to come to church!

It was transfers this week! So, we stayed in the hotel Monday Tuesday
and Wednesday night to help transport. Yet, it is very fun! But
sometimes I wonder, “am I seriously a missionary!?” Driving a car and
sleeping in a hotel carrying an iPad around? Ha! Megan is probably
thinking, "no you're not a missionary, come to Chile for a couple days"!

Felt good about all the changes and the next transfer is in 4 weeks now! Usually 6 weeks but this one is one week short because of Christmas and there's already one  week down.

Elder Nelson and Hawkes with Elders Halford and Balding who they live with.

This is an incredible experience. Although I'm being humbled and

tested, I'm grateful the Lord still cares and wants me to improve! I'm

grateful he has still granted me the blessing of being tried. If there

wasn't I would be worried.

This morning in personal and companionship study, we all received

revelation. About the importance of self mastery and control. We read
a scripture in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
It talks about temperance and the importance of being able to feel the
Holy Ghost at all times. To be calm and able to control yourself at
all times. I read Mosiah 15:7. Our will must be swallowed up in the
will of the Father. ELDER Hawkes is honestly the greatest example of
that. He does not want to do one thing out of line, and he reminds me
often. He is stretching me and helping me grow more than anyone ever

General Conference was amazing!

At the Belisles for a session of General Conference!

I am so grateful for the Prophets and Apostles! They are honestly the
best examples. If we just do as they do, we will become as the Savior

My favorite things from Conference, was the talk on revelation by
President Eyring, I have learned how necessary that is, how I can
always be talking with him and every day discuss the things of life,
telling him every thing!

Elder Bednars talk was perfect.

Hollands talk changed me! Dad! I am definitely going to come
home in Slippers. You have always been such a perfect example of this!

As I watched conference a flood of memories came to mind. THEY
STRESSED SO MUCH the importance of the home and teaching in the home.
I reflected on the lessons I've learned at home. That I now have taken
to heart and are a part of me.

1. Doing things I don't necessarily want to do, but are important, " of
all the things I love to do, I love to climb a mountain" overcoming
trials with faith and joy!

2. Talking with kindness " if you don't have anything nice to say,
don't say anything at all" and " talk nice please" that dad always
taught us!

3 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
3 Nephi 14:3 " this scripture was quoted daily to me, and now, I think
of it every single time I am called to invite other
missionaries to change, before every exchange, or whenever I feel
harsh feelings toward the actions of anything... I truly ask... " Lord
is it I?"

4 "Be a Peacemaker" at all times of contention... This rings in my
ear, Satan is the father of contention and I feel a need to calm the

All these were addressed in conference. I testify of living prophets
and apostles that lead and guide us. I testify of the power of a
family lead by the priesthood. The importance of the gospel in the
home. I would not be me without my parents who taught me. I truly have
been born of goodly parents. I do not doubt my mother and my father
knew it. I know they were and are lead by the Prophets and Apostles.
Thank you Mom and Dad.

Don't forget, 1 person before June. I have a renewed drive to serve.
To endure, to pray, to seek my Father in Heavens guidance, to give my
will to the Father.

I love Him. I cannot speak of the truthfulness of this message, and
the joy of this plan without tears. I know it is true.

Be not afraid;only believe

Elder Nelson