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, November 24, 2014

"Lucky to be a Missionary"!

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was a blur. It really felt like just one long and very fast day.
To be honest since I've been in the office it all feels like a blur. I
feel like I've just been sprinting for the last 4 months straight.
It's a great feeling but it's exhausting. Not just physically but

The highlights this week were the metro training center days. Every
Tuesday and Friday we bring 3 sets of Elders and 3 sets of Sisters to
the downtown Tampa area, to the church building and we train them!
On... Everything. I mean everything! We train them on hygiene, on
social skills, on companionship unity, on using time wisely, facebook,
and especially working with members. We have such a good time role
playing all these skills and watching these missionaries grow.
President really understands that this is a 2 year training for life.
We need to increase baptisms and hasten the work, but to be honest
those will all come when God wants them to. We just need to be
diligent and dedicated. The real hastening is when we have kids and
they have kids and they all apply these things. We need to focus on
the missionaries changing! For life! So this is very fun. I have

learned so much! Mom, you of anyone know how bad I need to learn
hygiene haha!

But on top of that, Jia is sharing the gospel with her friends. We are
meeting with a couple of them and receive referrals daily, of people
she is going to work on. It's amazing. She is fitting right into the
ward. Today she asked me when I was going to give her a calling haha.
She s fantastic. Kayla needs some more friends, but is strong. She is
going back to New York in a few weeks but she is going to bring her
boyfriend to church?! I too often overlook these miracles. I also
think that too often we are trying to be perfect, and trying to

improve so much, that's it's never enough!  I think we are afraid
that we will waste too much time or be content with our current level

that we go over the top and miss out on some blessings. I'm really
trying to focus on the "balance". Of truly always working to improve,
but enjoying the ride, and ESPECIALLY the people.

Our ward is interesting. I've never really been in a YSA ward, and I kind
of like family wards better. Ha, but it's cool to see what these young
singles do right after their mission. There are some incredible men

and women who are extremely excited about sharing the gospel. As well
as people who are dedicated to their callings! And they're just 21! It
doesn't matter what age, the work of salvation works!! I love it. I've

met some incredible people. Michael did you ever serve in a YSA ward?

I will keep you in the loop of the upcoming investigators. Dominique
 one of them. She is very prepared and set a baptismal date of Dec.
7th! (She is the mom of the little black girl I took a picture with last week
 her name is Terri and her older sister is Tori).
She is a little shaky on keeping appointments but we told her this is
all or nothing and she's been good for the last spot and coming to
church so it's looking good!

I am so blessed. I am being tried and tested, I'm being lifted up and
sustained by my Father. What a blessing trials are. I received a
package this week and one of the pictures had written on it "you are

so lucky to be a missionary"!  I've always wanted to be a missionary"
that hit me so hard, and answered my prayers. I am so grateful. It's
not easy, I am realizing my weakness, without my weaknesses I
wouldn't get to know my Savior. Who has become my best friend. I

wouldn't want to spend a day without Him.

Better than that, I get to represent Him. And so do you. Please
represent Him well. Take heart! We are on the winning team. Let's find
someone this week who needs a true friend. And lift Him up.

I know my Savior Lives.

Be not afraid;only believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Pictures of the week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jia is now numbered among the people of the Church of Christ

Dear Family and Friends:

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” 

I post this quote for two reasons, 1. to testify of Christ. And I do and always will.  Jesus is the Christ. 2. to explain my purpose.

We really didn't do anything with Jia, except love her enough to invite her to come and see. And boy did she like what she saw!

Jiaxin Zhang was baptized Sunday Nov. 16th. The day after her 18th birthday. She did not believe in God 3 months ago. Or Jesus Christ. She was atheist and her family is Buddhist. She was invited to church by a member who just didn't want to go to church alone. Jia kept every single commitment we gave her, she read the entire Book of Mormon before her baptism. Sunday morning we saw her before her baptism, and she had 3 chapters left. Saturday night she was in Alma. 

She invited all of her friends to her baptism. About 20 of them came. The room was filled with people and she was beaming! It was just perfect. I had the honor of confirming her. She was interviewed by President Cusick and he was so impressed with her that he told his family they had to find a way to go to Jias baptism. She invited him to be in the confirmation circle as well. 

Jackie her member friend was in tears the whole day. How incredible is that? Her friend now believes in God but not only that she believes and knows truth. She bore her testimony in church and told everyone that she loved God, that she will never leave and that she will keep the commandments. 

It was also Jia's birthday and we all made her cards and went out to eat. But I just am beside myself with Joy. How great shall be your joy if just one is converted?

 I pray that someone will catch the fire I feel and go find someone to bring back to the safety of these covenants. 

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I love it. 


Elder Stephen Nelson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,

I've never been so grateful in my life. This mission is the greatest
experience ever. It doesn't matter what happens, it doesn't matter if
we are treated poorly, or rejected, or have to endure great trials or
small persistent ones. The message and truth of salvation makes it all
worth it. I'm so grateful to be a member of the true Church of Jesus

I know that this is the most important work, and I see it every day.
I'm so humbled to be here. I am so lucky to have people who care. I
feel overwhelmed with all he blessings I've been given.

We had an awesome baptism yesterday! For Kayla Cancel, she is so
strong. All alone down at the University of Tampa, investigated for a
year and came here. Somehow we found her and she is still going
strong! We had her baptism and for some reason almost everything went
wrong haha. We had to make a lot of changes to the program, and had to
run home to grab stuff and it was just crazy. Along with that Kayla
had been struggling with friends and bad influences. It was just so
hard to get her baptized, but she did it. She's a huge example to me.
I know her life will be blessed because of her faith.

Elder Nelson and Kayla Cancel

We had transfer week last week. Got to train up all the new
missionaries and send em off. Each time I go and pick them up I relive
my beginning and it has flown by so fast.

There are so many missionaries working so hard here. Too often we pass
that up. We are caught up with competition and comparison, we forget
this is not about us. It's about the Savior. Let that be your drive.

So family, I am so grateful you haven't forgotten about my challenge.
Don't forget. Please, there is someone who's prayer will be answered
because of you. Someone you need to love.

Jia will be baptized next Sunday. She has been learning for almost 3
months now and she is stronger than me! We have seen her clothes
change. Her countenance change, her scripture reading is off the
charts! She is almost done with Alma! She started in September! She
kept every single comittment that we gave. I am so grateful for this
call. I am so grateful for the Savior. I need Him, and love Him and
just want to be with Him once again. But there are people out there
who don't even know Him. So, members and missionaries, lets get to work.

Be not afraid;only believe
Elder Stephen Nelson

Some additional pictures from this past week

Elder Nelson and Eder Ezeh

Elder Nelson w investigator Dominique and her daughter

Elder Nelson and Dominique's daughter

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's Cold

Dear Famiy and Friends:

So this morning going to the gym we could see our breath! It's
freezing, the low was like 49 and he high is 70! It feels like Utah!
(that's freezing?  he has already forgotten what freezing feels like haha!)

But I love this weather, and this state of Florida, I really have come
to love it. Not going to lie, in Tampa there are a lot of people, who
are.... Lost... Spiritually, and physically. they literally walk the
streets and look like they are very very lost. But these members, and
the friends they bring us to teach are incredible. Some, like Jia, are
beginning to be so strong, they are an example to me. In 6 weeks she
has finished through Mosiah. She invites people to church and to every
week! She manages her time so well, and is in like every club at
Univeristy of South Florida, and in business honors society, and works
and still comes to church and activities! She is our best friend. It 
will be so hard for Elder Hawkes and I to say goodbye, hopefully that
day doesn't come soon.
Dominique didn't come to church... And hasn't called or texted us back...
So pray for her, more news on her next week. She set a baptismal date
for Nov 16th and says she was looking for a better church and found
the TRUE church. So we don't want to lose her..,

Kayla Cancel is an all star! She is getting baptized this Sunday!

Zaida is Kaylas roommate and she was up and down this week. We had a 
very intense lesson with her and she said she didn't want to talk but
two nights ago she had a very rough night and actually got burned! 
Some pretty bad ones. She fell in a bonfire. Well. we went and visited
her with a couple great members ( Adam and Jackie who have become such
great friends ) and we gave her a blessing. It was incredible, the
spirit was extremely strong. The words were amazing, and afterwards
she said she wanted to start meeting again! Just another miracle that
makes all of this so worth it.
I love these people. I really do. I have been studying so diligently
the life of the Savior. I want to know Him so badly. Elder Hallstrom
spoke at a CES devotional and the YSA institute had it broadcast and
all the kids got to go so, we brought Jia and watched it. It was so good. He
talked about how we must build our foundation. And how whenever we
disobey a commandment that shakes our foundation. When we do not
listen to the counsel of the prophets, our foundation is weaker. He
also spoke of how when he met The prophet in person he told him he
loved him. So. then Elder Hallstrom went home and read his biography so
diligently because it was now someone he knew loved him and who he
loved, then he realized when we sin and the Savior forgives us and
helps us repent, the same should happen, that is him telling us he
loves us. So. I am trying to read the Saviors biography. I love him, I
wish I could be there with the original 12 in that upper room, when
the Savior told all of them not to forget about Him and keep it going,
But I realize instead of being there that evening I am walking the
same path he and his disciples walked. I know Him, and get to know Him
more every day because I am a Disciple.

I've learned this week that God gave us his commandments to show his
love, so now I love commandments.
I dedicate my entire life to this work. It is the only thing that TRULY
matters. So what are you doing to build His kingdom.

Family don't forget, 1 person before June. How is the Kolob 7th ward mission?

" it's a simple thing he asks, a worthy heart and willing hands"

Please join me in this work.

Be not afraid; only believe
Elder Stephen Nelson

Other pictures from this past week!
 I miss this boy!
 This is the place where they got smoothies.
 Blowing Mom a kiss
Smoothie time!