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!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Palmetto Paradise

This week was a giant Roller coaster!

So we found out that the girl who was baptized last week decided she can't come back. She never showed up on Sunday to be confirmed. So we went and visited her at work. She told us her Mom would not let her come. We scheduled another meeting with her for the next day. We met with her and she told us she didn't believe it and does not want to be a part of the church anymore. So that is the first time that has ever happened to me. Kind of a half baptism, but it broke my heart. And it broke the Ward's heart. But the crazy part was in Ward council when we told everyone they were so sad but said, let her know that we don't judge her because of that and she is still welcome here anytime. We don't and won't treat her any different. It was crazy. But pray for Elizabeth that she will return and we can help her.

I'm going to be plain and honest with this week. During the day we struggle. We do not have many effective things to do. The people who are prepared are by far the majority, members friends and family. We are trying very hard to work with the members because from my experience, and from the council of the Apostles and Prophets that is the best way to do it. This ward has so much potential but, they are not used to being pushed this much to do missionary work! So, of course like I am sure so many missionaries have said, we are on the brink of much success. But we are. During the Day we try hard to be productive, set up future appointments, and talk to people but there are limited resources that require great planning so we can use miles and such effectively. I will share an experience with you so you can feel the Urgency that all missionaries feel. After meeting with a couple families on Tuesday evening we saw some awesome families willing to act and invite! There are some great people in the works. But there are also some who do not really want to help, or commit, or do much. I have been praying and hoping so much for a lot of them to change, or for more people to be prepared and members to have the courage to invite. Wednesday and Thursday when we were struggling to find things to do I prayed and prayed and talked with Elder Spach. He shared a few words with me, compliments ( he is the greatest companion ever. Seriously) that just touched my heart. About all the desire and motivation I have to make a difference here, and his compliments just tipped my emotions and I just began to cry. I just sat there and cried. I have never felt so much weight on my shoulders to help someone. JUST TEACH someone.

We are called to teach that has been ENGRAVEN into every missionaries mind. We are called to teach the gospel, and yet so many of us don't get enough opportunities to do so. So it hit me hard how badly I wanted to help and make a difference and the Weight of the desires, and the people who these members had talked to who are so close, and us just sitting there… was hard. Well, I said a few more prayers and asked God where to go and he gave us an idea and went and visited a man with no luck. But It felt good to try. I realized something very important. I am called to teach, and invite people to learn about what I teach. That is success. We are told that so many times but you forget when its the middle of the day, and things fall through. I just wanted to share that so you can understand maybe what a mission is sometimes. But this struggle I know was exactly for me. It was something I needed to go through. Instead of just sitting there pitying me I needed to look at the positives. The reason I was there. The people I have touched, and the person, or few people I could or currently am helping. I realized, these members might be giving EVERYTHING they have. They have families, and jobs, and callings and some are giving all they have. So i encourage everyone to be missionary minded it is the most important thing we can do in this life. But my view changed that day. 

So, I learned something that day, and its still hard but I gained some understanding. Well as I went through that the Lord showed his miracles. We have some members who are going for it! A young couple last night took a Book of Mormon to a couple they have been working with and invited them to read it and learn about it and they were open! and! KATELYN (the girl friend of one of the members) has caught fire.

This is why those moments of pain and confusion are SO worth it. We taught her on Tuesday and committed her to talk with us every day ( on fb ) and twice a week. Well, she has shared so much with us about her journey here, but she is all in! Since we met with her, she has spoken with her parents twice about baptism ( they are against it ) but they agreed to allow her if she read the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the D & C. So what does she do? Goes online and BUYS a triple combination! She has been reading for about 2 weeks now ( she started before she met with us) but she is in JACOB! She reads every day, and prays before and AFTER, she reads for understanding! She came to church yesterday and said she felt like a member and received a witness that this church is true. She asks such good questions and just opened her heart to it completely and said her search for truth is over. She found it! AHHH can you please pray her parents will soften their hearts? We have another girl who is completely converted who needs prayers as well! Don't pray for me, pray for her! she needs the covenant of baptism! Kyra is her name.

We also gave talks in Sacrament meeting ( Elder Spach is such a good speaker ) but it was a great feeling to proclaim my feelings about the Savior. So, i do that again now. I know God lives. I Know Jesus is the Christ. I love him dearly. I pray I can bind myself to him, and each day I pray i can be close to Him. Forever. I pray that we all can do this and ACT because of our love for him! 

I love this service as a Full Time missionary. I love this work!

Be not Afraid;Only Believe

Elder Stephen Nelson

Elder Nelson in Palmetto

Elder Spach at their apartments in Palmetto

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