Monday, December 29, 2014

Hollywood Area 12-29-2014


I just wanted to say thanks again for being the best family anyone could ask for! Skypeing on christmas was legendary and I really loved seeing all your beautiful faces! Like we talked about I wanted to give a shout out to Grandma Kathi, and Dom for the gift card! I got it this week, so thank you so much for that! I'm thinking today I will send my SD Card of all my pictures from the mission so that should get to this house this week.

Haha I honestly have no idea what to say since it feels like we talked just yesterday! LIfe here in Hollywood is great. The biggest thing that we're worried about right now is just helping out our zone. Like I said, our zone is the biggest zone in the mission, and I don't know if this is how it is for other zones but it seems like we have a lot of stuggling missionaries. Haha the Lord knows I need to have patience, and he's really testing me. Because honestly all I want to do is just go hard in the paint in our own area, and only have to worry about our investigators and our ward and our members, but sadly that is not the case. Our main focus is still our area, and our investigators but just added on top of that is the other problems we have to deal with our missionaries. It's fun though. ;)

I wanted to share one thing that I have been thinking about a lot lately in my personal study time. And what has been coming to my mind a lot is the gift of repentance. And I use the word gift, because that is truly what repentance is! Before the mission I thought of repentance as just this long and painful process that you never wanted to do, because it meant you were making mistakes. But now the mission has truly changed that. I am so grateful for repentance. Because it means I can change! The word repentance literally means change. And I have learned that if I am not changing, then I am not repenting. And if I'm not repenting, then I'm not qualifying myself for the fulness of the Lord's blessings or the Celestial Kingdom. It's pretty simple if you think about it. I'm so grateful for my Savior, who suffered all for me, and for each one of us, so that we can repent, and truly change. It brings me great hope and peace to know that through my Savior all of my faults and weaknesses can be overcome, and that they can become my strengths. The reason I wanted to share this is because in this upcoming year, we always make New Year's Resolutions. And really a resolultion is a symbol, of one's desire to change, or repent. I pray that each and everyone of us, as we reflect on this past year will be able to make acheavable goals and plans so that we may truly change and become more like our Savior. And just like we read in Matthew, that there is joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents, I know that there will be joy in heaven as we change and repent and become more like our Savior this upcoming year!

I love you all and thank you for everything!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hollywood, FL area. New companion Elder Brimley 12-22-2015


Merry Christmas in 3 days everybody! I can't wait to see all your beautiful faces! We should be skyping sometime around 1 oclock our time here. I was happy to see it finally snowed in Utah! Now you guys can go and carve some mountains! Haha the weather here in Florida. Exactly the same as always! haha it's the greatest place ever.

So I'm sure you all are wondering what my new area is and companion. Let me just say it was a huge surprise at transfer meeting! Haha I went to an english ward! So my new is area is actually in Hollywood, right next to Ft. Lauderdale. It's the furthest north I have been in my mission. It's like a totally different world! My new companion's name is Elder Brimley. He is such a boss. I have been so blessed in my mission to have served with just amazing companions. This is his last transfer, so in mission lingo I will be "killing" him. He is super focused though, and he just wants to work so hard his last transfer so we're going hard that's for sure! As well what was a big surprise is that we are the Zone Leaders of the Ft. Lauderdale Zone. So what that means, is that we're just responsible for the performance of the missionaries in our zone and as well we have to train and help out all the district leaders. There are 26 missionaries in our zone, one of the biggest in the mission. So it's kinda been crazy this past week going to all of the district trainings and meeting all of the missionaries, but I've loved it!

I really loved my last area. Coral Reef was a boss area and I was sad to leave. But our area here in Hollywood is a straight gold mine. haha what I mean by that is that our ward here has had more convert baptisms the past 2 years than any other ward in the mission. (Or, at least that's what our ward mission leader told us.) So yeah, the people here are awesome. I thought the ward in Coral Reef was culturally diverse, and then I came here. Haha the ward is giant, and there are people from everywhere! One of the counselors in the bishopric is from Nigeria. There's a bunch of huge haitian families, as well as latins, and americans. There's also some people from Russia, and Europe. Crazy fun! The ward supports us super well, and just loves missionary work! So I feel super blessed to be here.

I'm sorry I don't have much time left to share a miracle story, but I will briefly. This week a former investigator texted us out of the blue, and his text said this, "Yo homies, when am I gettin baptized?" Haha we both we're freaking out so we went over made sure he was still living the commandments and he got interviewed, and will be getting baptized on tuesday. So that was super sick! Well I love you all! I'm so excited to talk to you on Christmas! I'm so grateful to be a missionary! And I'm so grateful for my savior Jesus Christ, and for this time to celebrate His birth!
Elder Nielsen 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last day in Coral Reef North Area 12-16-2014


First off I want to say THANK YOU for the Christmas packages! You guys went so hard on that 24 days of Christmas thing! Haha I wanted so bad to just open them all up right there, but I guess I have learned a little bit of patience on my mission because I have been opening only 1 a day! :) As well, I'm sorry little sisters, but I have like no time to email lately and I have a lot to write about today! But I promise next week that I will reply to all of your emails! :)

So as you can tell today is Tuesday. . . Which means this week is transfers! They cut this transfer 1 week short so that all the dying missionaries get home right before Christmas. So transfer calls came last night, and my nino will be staying here in Coral Reef North, and sadly, I will be transferring! You know how it is they don't tell us until tomorrow so I will find out tomorrow where my new area will be! I honestly have no good guess as to where I go, but I hope it's to pequena Havana!

This week we also had the Mission Christmas Conference. So fun! Whenever the whole mission gets together it's just rowdy. We started off with Christmas messages from President, and his wife, and then everyone brought white elephant gifts so we did that. Then to finish off each zone, prepared some kind of Christmas skit. Hilarious! haha some zones went so hard! For our zone's skit we did twelve days of Christmas but we mixed it up and it was 8 days of Homestead Christmas and then for each day it was something different and there was a little skit for each day. All in all, Christmas conference was great.

All well this week we had 2 baptisms! whoop whoop! Ulda and Griselda got baptized! As I look back on this past week there's a scripture that comes to my mind in Alma 37:6 which says, "but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass" This past transfer it felt like we had just been doing everything that we could and we just weren't seeing the miracles. Then this past week the Lord blessed us with 2 incredible baptisms. The reason why that scripture came to my mind is because both our baptisms started out as a small and simple thing. We found Griselda while we were biking and we stopped and talked her. And Ulda we found just by knocking her door. It all started by just doing the small and simple things and truly miracles have been brought to pass in their lives. It was a great baptismal service, and I will be sending some pics. We went and saw both of them yesterday and it was just awesome to hear from them about their experiences. They both are very similar because they are kind of shy, and timid, but yesterday they both just would not stop talking to us and they said they just felt "happy". It truly strengthened my testimony that this gospel brings happiness. It's sad that I'm leaving tomorrow but I will definitely keep in touch with them!

I know this is the Lord's work. I'm so grateful to be here on my mission. I honestly love it more than anything else I've ever done. I'm so grateful for this Christmas season. Truly, our Savior is the Gift that God has given us. And all we must do is strive to follow His example everyday and we will be happy! Have a great week and I will let you know next week all about my new area.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 12-8-2014

A member bought us all super hero shirts!
Thank you as always for all your wonderful emails and pictures! Those christmas pics were super awesome! It feels a lot like christmas here too, even though it still is 75 and sunny all the time! haha I know this is gonna sound like the most wimpy thing ever but it actually got a little bit cold this week! haha for real! It gets dark at like 6 now and as soon as the sun goes down, it cools down quite a bit. So then were biking and were still in short sleeves so it can get pretty chilly! I'm excited to get the christmas package! I should get it this week because we have a christmas mission conference on Wednesday.

This week there were a lot of good things that happened. We got to teach Ulda everything this week and she was super solid. She passed her interview on saturday night and she was solid for baptism the next day, but then on Sunday morning when we went to go round her up for church she wasn't there and her mom said that her friend was in the hospital and that she was there with her. Sadly, she has no cell phone so we had no way of contacting her. And we haven't seen her since. Hopefully she is still chill though, and we can set up a solid day for her baptism.

This week as well we did a FHE with a huge honduranian family. There was literally like 30 people in this tiny little house. Haha it was super rowdy but super fun. There are several people living there who aren't members so were trying to work with them. We had all of their kids act out the nativity as we read it out of the scriptures. (Just like we do back home on christmas eve :)) Then we taught about the role of Jesus Christ. It was a super good lesson and were going to be working with the non members of the family this week for sure.

We also found a super awesome cuban lady that came to church yesterday. Her name is Griselda. We taught her the word of wisdom this week and she had been drinking coffee for all of her life and she gave it up in one day. So sick. She should  be getting baptized this weekend as well.

Sorry I'm out of time now, but i love you all, and keep sharing the gift! Remember our savior Jesus Christ because truly He is the reason for the season! Have a great week!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, December 1, 2014

Coral Reef North area 12-1-2014

Thanks for sending all the pics! I loved hearing all about your thanksgiving! It sounded like you guys had a real rowdy time with all the fam together! Once again, I just want to say how grateful I am for all of you! Truly, I have the greatest family on earth!

Our thanksgiving here was incredible. We got fed by some members and at their house there was like 30 people jammed into this little house. It was super fun, and we ate a TON of food! This week has been a super solid week for us here. We were able to get a lot of work done! I can't remember if I told you but one of our former investigators this lady named Gloria called us not to long ago, and told us she wanted to feed us. It was super random, but we went over and talked to her and started teaching her again. She told us she would only come to church if we would go to church with her so we could see where she was coming from. So we got permission from our mission president, and last night we went to a catholic mass with Gloria! I don't really know what to say about it, other than that it was an interesting experience. . . haha we definitely got some good looks from some people there, but it was fun! I'm not gonna lie they had some really good music though! ;) Afterwards we had a long talk with Gloria, and we basically dropped her. She has just done too much of her research on the internet. It was sad, because honestly she would be an incredible member of the church and she needs to be! She just let other supposed "facts" about the church determine her decision rather than what she felt as she read and prayed about the Book of Mormon.

Enough of that though, let's talk about some of the people that we have who are progressing! Our most progressing investigator right now is this awesome Nicaraguan lady named Ulda. I'm pretty sure I wrote about her last week, but she came to church again yesterday! Sadly, we weren't able to teach her at all during the week because she works like crazy, but this week she only works 2 days so were gonna teach her and baptize her! She's super funny, because she literally has 14 little Chihuahua's living in her backyard! haha it's insane! If you ask her how many she has though she will only say 9. Because I guess that's the law that you can only have 9 dogs! She's super solid though, and she is way fun to teach.

That's about all I have time for this week, but once again I love you all and thank you for all that you have done for me! I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer and that His Church is here on the earth! I want to invite you all to go and post the He is The Gift video on both your instagrams and facebooks. And if you could get on mine too Mom, and post it that would be great! I love you all and have a great week!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 24, 2014

Coral Reef North area 11-24-2014

Elder Marsden and I with the ward mission leader
Happy thanksgiving everybody! Whoop whoop! I loved all of your emails this week as always! I'm glad to hear as well that everybody will be getting together for some turkey dinner! Say hi to everybody for me please! Tell them I'm sorry that I never have time to reply to all their emails, but that I love reading them!

Life here in the Mission seriously is too good. I'm not gonna say that's it's just sunshine and rainbows all the time and that life is just easy. Because it's most definitely not, but I still just love it here. I love getting home after a long day of work and just feeling fulfilled. Missionarry work honestly is the most fulfilling work I've ever done and that I will ever do!

This week was an awesome week in Coral Reef. My nino and I went out and did some serious work! We saw a lot of miracles and we were able to find a lot of cool people. Probably one of my favorite people right now is this guy named John. He was a former investigator from like 2 years ago, and we found him in the area book, and picked him back up. He is an 85 year old veteran and is just a boss. He came to church on sunday for all 3 hours and loved it. He just needs a little help right now to give up smoking but he will get there!

Another miracle we saw this past week came on Thursday. We were out harvesting and we had already knocked several doors in this area, and hadn't said one blessing. We were thinking of leaving to go try another area but we decided to knock one more door. We knocked this door, and this older lady from Nicaragua comes out. We asked her what she wanted us to pray for, and she asked us to pray that she would have faith. We said the prayer, and it was obvious that she felt it. She knew that we had been sent by God, she accepted everything and came to church this past sunday. She loved it and is now preparing to be baptized! 

This week as well we had a specialized training with the whole mission. President Richardson talked a lot about this new christmas initiative called He is the Gift, which will start the day after the thanksgiving. So definitely keep an eye out for that cause the Church is going so hard on it! At the end of the training President just asked us, "Were you all a little bit upset when I said you couldn't watch Meet the Mormons??" Everybody in the mission replys, "Yes!" Then he just said well let's watch it right now! So we finally got to see it which was sweet.

Don't worry about us on Thanksgiving we will be well taken care of. We have 2 meal appointments so we're chill! I'm so grateful for this gospel. I'm so thankful for this Church. I know that it is the Church of Jesus Christ. I can't believe how blessed I am to have the restored gospel in my life. I'm so grateful to be here sharing it with others. I'm so grateful for all of you!! I have the greatest family ever! I'm so grateful for my savior Jesus Christ. Truly, without him one of those blessings would be available. I know that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and that through him we can accomplish all things! Love you all!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 17, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 11-17-2014

I can't believe it snowed in Utah!! haha we got a cold front here in Florida, it was like 65! The weather here is literally perfect right now. So random question, what are all these class things that Dad is going to every weekend?? Is he just learning how to be an orthodontist too now or what?? To answer your question Mom, no, we don't go to transfer meeting if were not being transferred.

I wish I had like some super hilarious awesome story to tell you right now, but honestly my brain is just fried. Haha I am so tired right now I have no idea why, and I'm retarted and saved myself like no time to write. But as always I will just share one miracle from the week.  Our appointment fell through at the end of the night on Friday, so we just decided to harvest in that neighborhood. The first door we knock this lady and her family opens up and the mother knew right away who we were. She said she had some friends who were Mormons and that she knew where the nearest chapel was. After the prayer she really felt the spirit and we invited her to be baptized, and she said, "But I've already been baptized in your church!" Turned out she was baptized when she was 19 and has been less active for several years. She has 2 children ages 11 and 12 who are not members and really want to be baptized now! The mother knew that we had been sent by God and is really excited to come back to church.

This week we worked really hard. We were very blessed to find that family, and know we just pray that we can continue to help them progress. I don't know why lately but we have just had the hardest time keeping investigators. We find some super sick people, and their awesome when were there, but then it's like we leave and Satan just comes in and anti's them or some crazy crap happens. I don't why it seems to be that way, but I do know that this is the Lord's work. I'm more tired than I've ever been before in my life all the time, but I'm happy so that's all that matters. I'm so grateful to be here in this mission here in Miami. I'm so grateful to have been blessed with such an incredible and I love you guys a lot! Have an incredible week!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 10, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 11-10-2014

All I can say is you all are da best! I'll just get straight to it and answer all of your millions of questions mom! ;) haha

Being out a year sucks. On thursday I literally just woke up mad. It feels like yesterday that I entered the field. It's whatever though I'm just going to work harder this upcoming year!

Our apartment is actually a house. It's not too ghetto, but I wouldn't describe it as luxiourious thats for sure. There's 4 of us. haha I guess I never told you this but this past transfer it was me, my son, Elder White and Elder page in our house. And if you remember elders white and page were my past companions so I've been living with the same people for forever! Elder Page goes home tomorow though so someone new will be coming in. Oh and fyi as well transfer calls came last night, and Elder Marsden and I will be staying.

Yes we cook Mom. For breakfast I always have either oatmeal or cereal. Then for lunch if we have member food i just eat that or I will make some pasta, grilled chicken sandwiches or burritos. For dinner we either have a meal appointment with members or we eat out or just don't eat dinner until we get home. usually the latter. haha i know it's not the healthiest but ain't nobody got time for that!

My companion is a boss. We get along really well. We have a fun time but at the same time we work hard. He was big into music, and singing before the mish. So I've had him sing a lot in lessons. The people love it! His spanish is improving a lot as well.

Exercise. . . Oh man. haha it's so hard! usually what we do is we just go play wiffle ball out in our street in the morning or we just do some push ups and sit ups. That's basically it. haha yeah I'm getting fat!

I have yet to see the ocean. Our area borders it, but we never go over there cause it's rich as all get out.

We try and serve as much as possible. This week we helped some members move stuff outside for a garage sale. Not too big, but once in Miami lakes we helped like 4 people move in 1 week.

I have no idea what I'm going to need for christmas. Probably just some ties. All my stuff is still good. Maybe if you wanted to send another pair of those target pants I wouldn't complain. ;) I can tell you what I do need now though! I don't know why but every week at the end of the week we run out of food! So if you could send a package with some snacks, that would be great! :) as well as some wiffle balls, and pens.   

No I did not celebrate my year mark all I did was cry myself to sleep. And the journal writing has been a little iffy, but I bought a voice recorder and I record something almost every night about our day, so that's basically my journal.

Sorry I have no more time to write and that took forever! But I love you all! Pedro didn't get baptized. Super lame excuses. This week was frustrating but good at the same time. I learned a lot. Keep going hard back home!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 3, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 11-3-14

Happy halloween!!! (a few days late. . .) It looked like you guys had an incredible week! I loved all the pics! haha you all looked amazing in your costumes! Halloween was pretty uneventful here in the mish. We had to be home by 7 and we weren't allowed to knock doors after 5. So basically we just chilled all night in our apartment and carved some pumpkins! It was super fun though. On the mish you don't really ever have time to just "chill" so it was nice to just have a night of not really anything.

I'm sorry I don't have a whole lot of time to email this week so this is gonna be pretty quick. We had an alright week this week. A lot of things did not go as we planned and sadly, no one was baptized this past weekend. It's chill though because they all have dates for this upcoming weekend! We were working hard as usual and we were able to see a lot of miracles, but it still felt like there was just someone constantly pulling against us! I definitely learned this week that Satan is a real being, and he is constantly trying to pull us and those around us down. At times we may not feel it, but he is there.

One of our biggest miracles this week came with Pedro. We have been working with for a long time to try and help him be baptized. The only thing that has been holding him back was his father. His father was just a little unsure about what it would mean for him when he got baptized. We had been trying for the past few weeks to set up an appointment to meet with him and we finally were able to see him on Saturday. We were able to explain to Pedro's dad exactly how it was going to bless his son's life and he was finally on board for him to be baptized! Pedro, sadly was not! We were a little bit unsure as to what happened, but he would not commit to be baptized the following day on sunday. He still came to church though. Then at church, we were just talking to him and his mom after sunday school, and then out of the blue he just blurts out, "I think I need to be baptized on Friday." We all just look at him and say, "What!?" he replies, "Yeah, during class I just really felt like I need to be baptized on friday so I want to be baptized on friday. Can I do that??" I'm pretty sure the yell of "YES!" that come from our mouth's was heard through the whole chapel! So we are super excited for him! It's about time though! ;)

One of the scriptures this week that really helped me out this week was Helaman 5:12. As I said before it just felt like Satan was attacking us, and that scripture gave me so much comfort. It talks about how if we build our foundation upon Jesus Christ is doesn't matter what things he may try and throw at us we will not fall. So how important it is, that we constantly be building our foundation on Him! He is the only who knows exactly what is going on in our lives, and the only one who can bring us true and lasting happiness. I know that as I continue to strive to follow him that I will be able to build and rely on Him. I know it is the same as well for each and everyone of us in our own lives. I love you all keep working hard, and building upon our Savior!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 27, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 10-27-14

Alright, I'm sorry about this one. You said you wanted a pic of me and my comp, but this is the only one I got. At the picnic, they did the donut on a string game, so obviously we had to get in on that.
Whats up everybody!!?? As always thank you for all of your great emails. I'm sorry I never have time to respond to all of them! I was super pumped to hear about the new bishopric though! I can't believe how many legendary members there are in our ward. We've got some awesome members here in Coral Reef as well! The members here do so much. I don't think I've ever had such good member relationships as I have here in Coral Reef. It's awesome I love it.

Alright, I'm gonna be straight up honest and say that this email is probably gonna be junk. Haha i'm sorry I'll apologize upfront but for some reason I just have no desire to write today. . . Our week was pretty good though. A lot of things didn't go according to plan, which was a little bit frustrating, but there wasn't much we could do about it. One of which was with our boy Pedro. He is 16 and he is a boss. I wrote a little about him last week, and he was supposed to be baptized yesterday, but sadly that didn't go down. We were supposed to meet his Dad, on Saturday and explain to him everything, but he totally bailed. But no worries all the pieces are already falling into place for his baptism this upcoming sunday. Charly as well is still super solid. His divorce papers should be coming back within the next 2 weeks, and then as soon as they get here, they can go ahead and get married! The family that I wrote about as well last week is still super solid. They just have been out of town all weekend so their progress was hindered a little bit there.

Those are basically all the people were working with now. They're all super awesome, and super close to becoming members, we just gotta finish strong!! One miracle this week came last night. Last night we were determined to just go out and find some sick people. We had harvested a lot during the week, and we didn't see as many miracles as we would have liked. We began harvesting and we knocked into one of the most elect couples I've ever met. They are an older couple from Cuba, and they are incredible! They let us right into their home, and began thanking us for being there, before we had even done anything! After the prayer, the Spirit was definitely present, and they accepted everything!

That's basically it for our week. Oh, haha I remembered as well that it rained all day for 3 of the days this week, so we got some good biking in the rain action! That was fun! :) I know this is the Lord's work. There is literally nothing else that I would rather be doing. I'm gonna be honest and say that I am in pure denial of my year mark coming up! I hate thinking about that! I miss you all, but I do not want to go home. Miami is my home!! I hope you all have the best weeks of your lives, because me and my nino are gonna go out and have the greatest week of our lives!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 20, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 10-20-14

As always it's a great day when I get to read all of your emails. It sounded like you had a pretty chill fall break. Those leaves look incredible! I ain't gonna lie, I miss 'dem mountains! Life here in Florida can't be beat though. Breaking News!! This week in Miami we experienced a cold front!! It got down to like to 80!! haha no joke you could tell that there was a difference though. We walked outside, and for once it wasn't an instant shower of sweat hitting you! haha it felt incredible! It was ridiculous though, because literally I saw several people wearing sweaters!

But for reals our week this week here in Coral Reef was so boss! We made so many awesome memories this week! My nino and I were going so hard in the paint! I have no idea where to start. I guess I will start with Charly, (a.k.a. the guy who got t boned) He is still "super" elect! Sadly, he was not baptized this weekend, because of work, and he is actually living with his fiance right now. So were working with him to help him get divorced from his ex-wife right now, so they can get married. Our ward, also had a ward picnic on Saturday. We went and it was super fun. Our ward here is so boss. It's literally just a giant melting pot. We have a couple families that literally look like they were sent straight from Utah. Then you have some families that are just pure Latin, and speak no english. Then you have a couple huge black families of like 8 kids. And somehow they can all still meet together for a barbeque and have a great time. Ask me how it works, and I will tell you I have no idea, all I know is God is good and the church is true!

We are also working with this super elect kid named Pedro. I think I talked about him before, but he is so sick! He was so close to getting baptized this past sunday! The only thing was holding him back was his Dad. His parents are divorced so we have actually never met with his Dad, but he wants to meet with us this week to talk about it. Apparently he thinks that if his son is baptized he will be forced to get sent somewhere and start riding a bike everywhere. So once we clear that up, he should be good to go! :)

I wanted to share a real quick miracle as well from the week.  We had called a new investigator from last week that we had lost contact with, and set up an appointment for thursday. When we went over the whole family was there, and they were super excited to see us. We came in their home and literally the first thing they say when we sit down is, "Were coming to church on Sunday!" The family is a Mom, her 2 daughters, and also her daughters friend. Then on Sunday they all showed up!! It was a huge miracle, but then to top it all off, after sacrament meeting finished, literally 5 young women from our ward, came up to the daughter and her friend because they actually knew each other from school. They are all way good friends. It was seriously just like this huge mob of high school girls just walking through the church. They said they loved it though, and they already have solid member friends so that's sweet!

Well I'm sorry I don't have time to write more, but seriously this week was so boss. I will send some pics as soon as I send this, but just know that I love you all so much! The mission has literally been the greatest thing of my life. It's definitely not been easy, or stress free, but I love it so much! The people here are incredible! Thank you so much for everything as always and keep working hard!
Elder Nielsen

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 10-14-2014


Wow, I have the best family on earth. Straight up no arguments end of story. I have no idea why God blessed me so much, but He has. You all are seriously the best! I really do miss you guys! Don't think that I'm getting "trunky" or anything, trust me my mind is still focused on the work, but for some reason reading todays emails just made me even more grateful for all of you! I loved hearing all of your stories about your fall activities! Happy Birthday too Maddie!! Whoop whoop! You're getting so old I can't believe it! In those pictures all the little sisters look different and it's blowing my mind! Anyway to let you know Dad, yes, I am so down to go mountain biking after the mish! haha I feel like I've gotten pretty good at biking here, since I've been on one for the past 11 months. ;) Also Mom, take it easy! No more wrecks!

Alright, so a little bit about our week. Our week was super good. My nino is such a boss. He doesn't even act like a normal greenie at all. Pretty sure he came pre-trained. haha the only time he sounds new is when he speaks spanish. . . Kinda hard to work on that here since there's not a whole lot of spanish, but we find a few people! :) This week we were working really hard to find new investigators! We knocked a lot of doors, and met a lot of interesting people, and a lot of cool people as well! I'll share a miracle from the week as well like always:

A miracle from this week came on Sunday at church. The miracle actually starts on Saturday though. We had planned to go see a less active recent convert during the day, and we called her to confirm that we were still good to stop by. She began crying through the phone as we were talking to her, and told us this crazy experience of how her fiance had dropped her and her kids off the night before. Then as he was pulling away from their house, another car came out of nowhere driving at like 80 mph and t boned his car. She said that it had rolled 4 times, and her fiance was taken to the hospital and that at that moment she was at the hospital with him. Pretty unexpected. But we continued on with our day praying for their family. Then on Sunday morning our round up was rough. All of the people who we had committed the day before bailed. We were pretty disappointed when we saw none of them show up for sacrament. But that family that I just talked about did! And her fiance came as well! The guy who had been t boned and rolled 4 times in his truck came to church 2 days afterwards! Miraculously he survived the accident only with a few scrapes and a mild concussion. I literally have no idea how he made it. She showed us pics from the wreck, and his truck was destroyed! It's probably because he's this 6'4 black man who is built like a tank! He normally works on sundays, but because of the accident he couldn't go, so he came to church! It was his first time at church as well, and he really enjoyed it, and was able to receive a blessing from the bishop. We went yesterday and followed up with how they were doing, and invited him to be baptized. He accepted solidly and is now preparing to be baptized this upcoming sunday! Huge miracle!

Haha another kinda random story from this week came yesterday. I'm sure you already figured but were emailing today since yesterday was columbus day, so we had a pros monday yesterday. But we were just biking down the street and this guy driving his car towards us starts honking at us and pulls over. So we go over and start talking to him, and this is literally the first thing he says to us, "Hey! Are you guys those Jesus Church people who talk about God?" We're both just like, "Umm, yeah I guess!" haha he then proceeds to tell us of how lately he's felt like he needs to make a donation to God, and tried to give us like 10 bucks to give to the church. Sadly, we told him that we couldn't take it, but that if he came to church on sunday that he could give it there. He commited to come and we got all his info, so we should be seeing him sometime this week.

Like I said at the beginning, I love you all so much! I love the mission! I love Miami and I love the people here! I know this is the Lord's work. Keep doing work back in Utah, and go see meet the mormons this week!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 6, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 10-6-14- Training Elder Marsden

Wow to start off I just want to say congrats to the old man for qualifying for Boston! Looking at those pictures I thought, "Good night! When did Dad get jacked out of his mind!?" haha holy cow good work dad! It sounded like you guys had an awesome week and weekend down in St. George enjoying the sun! Don't worry, there's still plenty of sun here in Florida! ;)

So just to answer all of your questions. My new "son" is Elder Marsden. He is from Bountiful, Utah, and he is a boss missionary! We have had an incredible first week together, and I know that God has put us together for a reason! Transfer meeting was super exciting this week as well. I did actually see Elder Dunford there, and him and Elder Marsden were actually in the same district in the MTC in Mexico. Elder Marsden and I were so excited to go out and work this week, and it was so fun to see some "greenie fire" come alive in him as we went out and worked! We worked as hard as we could this week and it was amazing because we saw some super sick miracles! One miracle we saw was on Sunday at Conference. We had been trying to contact a recent convert who's son is not a member, and who had come to church before. We had several appointments that had somehow all fallen through so it came down to the end of the week on Sunday. We called them before conference to make sure they were going to come, but for some reason they never answered. She finally called us back halfway through the session and said that they were coming right then. We finally got to meet her son after the conference, and had a lesson with him right there, and he accepted to be baptized on the 19th! We will be following up with them tonight but we are so excited to start working with him!

Conference this weekend was definitely a huge highlight from the week as well. We just went and watched it at the church in English, and it was incredible! There were so many inspired messages, and I felt the spirit so strong testifying that those men truly are called of God! Just like I said last week about coming to conference with questions and getting them answered, it happened for me! I had a lot of questions about things I can improve on, and what I need to change, and literally all of my questions were answered! I hope you all as well were able to receive your own revelation and guidance through the Lord's servants. Really quickly I just wanted to highlight one of the talks that stood out to me. It was on Saturday Morning by, Elder Lynn G. Robins. He talked about fearing God more than man. I wish I had my notes to expound on everything that he talked about, but that talk was probably what hit me the hardest! And since you all were busy in St. George and weren't able to watch it, I would invite you all to read it, or watch it cause it was incredible!

I love you all so much! I feel so blessed everyday to have been born into a family with the knowledge of the restored Gospel. My testimony has grown so much here in the mission, and it has made me realize how important this work is. We must share the "good news" with everyone because This IS The Church of Jesus Christ! You hit it right on the head mom, when you said that one thing that seemed to get repeated was strengthening our own testimonies. This world is not going to get any easier to live in. So our testimonies must be that much stronger in order to survive! I encourage you all to go out and strengthen your testimonies by sharing the gospel and through personal scripture study and prayer. This gospel has changed my life and I know it can change anyone if they will let it. Really quickly, one of our investigators right now is actually recently returned from Iraq. He suffers from PSTD (post traumatic stress disorder) and we've only taught him a couple times, but really his biggest desire right now is to be happy. He knows that the things he is doing right now are not bringing him happiness. Teaching him is definitely a wild experience, but I know that the Atonement will work miracles in his life. And that it can work miracles in our lives as well! Thanks for everything! Have a great week!
Elder Nielsen

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 9-30-14

Wow, what a wonderful week it has been!! It sounded like you all were able to have a very productive week as well! I did get the package this week! Thank you so much! It's always great to get something, but please don't feel like you need too! I really am doing great and am loving every minute of life here in Florida! To answer some of your questions: no mom, I have never gotten sick here in Florida. Ain't nobody got time for that!! haha for real the Lord has blessed me so much on my mission. Quick shout out as well to my little sissys! I love you all, and hope Kyle wrecks some domes this week in the Region tennis tournament! Haha it was funny as well to hear that it actually rained in Utah! ;) please if it doesn't rain a day here in FL it's like the world is ending! Just kidding that's a lie, but basically it does rain for a little bit everyday.

I'm sorry I forgot to tell you all last week that it was the end of the transfer so that meant I would be emailing on Tuesday today, but no worries! It's crazy to think that another transfer has already flown by. Time is going way too fast, and it's starting to scare me! I'm starting to feel "old" in the mission and I hate it! Anyway transfer calls came last night, and it turns out my companion Elder Stafford, will be transferring and I will be staying here and training! I'm having a son! whoop whoop! When you train a new missionary it's like a father son relationship so that's where that comes from! I'm super excited to train, it will be a way fun experience to have a new missionary straight off the plane. I will find out tomorow who my son will be in transfer meeting. I'm a little nervous as well, but I know it will all work out!

Just a little bit about our area here in Coral Reef North. Gloria is still super awesome. Sadly, she did not get baptized this weekend, but I know she will! She came to church again, and loved it, and as well she will be coming tonight to a baptism. She's so funny, she calls us our mom for some reason. Whenever we go teach her she always gives us some kind of food as well. Last night she was raging that Elder Stafford is leaving, and said she was going to call President. She's gonna go down for sure though!

Sorry I don't have time to write anymore about stuff that happened this week. Just know that I love you all and I hope you have an incredible week. Prepare this week to hear the words of the prophets! I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. What an incredible priviledge it is to hear the revelations they have received from God. One thing that I have learned is that God will answer our questions. Everyone should come to conference this weekend with some question, and I know that during the talks something that you will hear, or feel will answer your question. Have an awesome week!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 22, 2014

Coral Reef North Area- 9-22-14


Wow sounded like another incredible week back in O-town!! First off let me say that Kylie looked gorgeous in her homecoming dress!! Good night!! I hope every guy knows that when I get back they have to have a personal interview with me before they can go on any dates with her!! ;) No joke though. I'm sorry little sisters that I didn't get the time again to respond to your emails! Every week it's just like a mad dash to read from everyone and respond a little something, but just know I love y'all!

This week was another great week here in Coral Reef North! The work is great here, and I am loving every minute of it! Biking is great as well! This week we had a few setbacks in some peoples progression but there were still a lot of other indirect blessings that we saw from the Lord this week. Sadly, Ruben was not baptized this week. This week as we were teaching him more, and things started getting more serious we started to realize that his comprehension levels were not the highest. J his roommate was telling us as well that he is pretty sure he's not all there, so we will see what happens, right now were kind of just giving him a break. We saw an awesome miracle with an incredible lady named Gloria. Her progress has been very slow, but she is progressing. This week we decided that we needed her to commit solidly for baptism and for church or else we were going to drop her and move on. Well on Wednesday we had an incredible lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The member we brought bore an awesome testimony of her baptism and G was able to relate perfectly to her. She finally committed to a date on the 28th, and she finally came to church this past sunday! She still has some doubts about the Book of Mormon and everything but I believe miracles will happen with her!

Funny story, this week I got chased on my bike by a dog as we were riding home one night. I was sketching out cause it was pretty big dog, but I stuck out my foot, and hit it in the nose, and it decided I wasn't worth it and ran off. Haha that was a pretty good adrenaline rush! I'm trying to think of some other funny stories or things that happened during the week and not much is coming to mind! So sorry next week I'll come more prepared! I'll just end as always by saying thank you for all that you have done for me! I have learned so many important life lessons on my mission one of which is the importance of families. In the ward here, there are several recent convert families with no father figure. We're working a lot with these families youth, because without a father they need so much help! I feel so blessed to have been sent to this earth in an incredible family! Thank you so much for all that you have done for me in my life! I know that this is the Lord's work, and that our Savior Jesus Christ lives!

Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 9-15-14

Wow you guys are so awesome! It sounded like you had a great weekend chilling in St. George! It sounded like you had an amazing Regional conference as well! We had stake conference here as well, and it was awesome our mission president came down and talked a ton about member missonary work so that was super boss! Alright so to just answer some of your questions, the bed bugs are basically exterminated. I haven't found any the past 3 days and neither has my companion. Finally! I'm sick of steaming my bed every flipping day! Our ward is so boss. We have members that are always down to just show up to a lesson at the drop of a hat. The english and spanish translation isn't that big of a deal they just have translation at everything. Our ward is basically 50 50 meaning half speak english half spanish. A lot speak both languages though. Umm, about being a district leader. . . It's great I love it! Not much has changed. Basically I just have to help the sisters in our district if they struggle with anything. The best part is just getting to do baptismal interviews! Hopefully that answered all your questions!

This week we had an incredible week here in the promised land! For real Coral reef is the promised land! There is so much great work to be done here, and there are so many people prepared! We saw literally one of the biggest miracles of my mission this past week!  On Thursday, Elder Stafford and I really wanted to find a family. In planning the night before we felt inspired to go to a part of our area, that we both have never been to before. As we started harvesting we left a couple blessings but no one very elect. Then we knock on one door, and a man opens up and the first thing he says to us, "Hey guys, want to come in?" We both were very puzzled but we walked on in, and started talking with him. It turns out, that "all" of his family in Guatemala are members of the church. He told us everytime he visits there he goes to church with them. He also told us how about a year ago him, his wife, and his son, lived in Vermont and the missionaries used to stop by every week, and they had attended church in Vermont several times as well! He then went on to tell us how, that very same morning he had been praying to the Lord, for direction and then that same day we came and knocked his door. He accepted everything and he is now preparing for baptism on the 28th! We still need to meet his wife, we have not met her yet, because of her work schedule but we're excited nonetheless!

We also continued to see miracles this week with our best buds Juan and his roommate Rueben! We saw them literally everyday this week. One day we were running late, and they called us and were like, where are you? Are you coming? haha they are so legit. Everytime we meet with them Juan just soaks all we say up, and remembers a lot of things from when the missionaries taught him before. Rueben is progressing as well. He is working to give up coffee and we will be fasting with him this week as well to help him give it up before Sunday so he can be baptized!

I love this work so much!! There is no greater thing than being able to bring the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the lives of the children of God! I hope you all continue to strengthen your testimonies each and every day through personal prayer and scripture study. Because this is The Church of Jesus Christ! I hope you all have an incredible week and I love you!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 8, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 9-8-2014

Man, you guys are so awesome!! For real! Sissys I'm sorry I don't have time to reply to your emails, but just keep up the good work! To answer some of your questions, the bed bugs are still causing problems. We steam every morning and we've done everything the mission home has told us to do. I guess it just takes time, and they actually think they might be crawling into our house through some corners or something. So we might have to re- caulk the floors as well. Haha yeah I think it would be fair to say that our house is pretty "ghetto". Oh well, as long as they don't bite me I guess I'm chill! ;)

This week was an incredible week! My companion and I felt like we worked as hard as possible this week! That's always the best feeling at the end of the week when you know you've given it your all! I'm not gonna lie the first few days of the week were not easy, we have to bike a lot in this area and it was just brutally hot, but we were able to persevere and see the Lord's promised blessings be fulfilled. One of the biggest miracles we saw was on wednesday, we had just finished a lesson and we were biking down the road and noticed a woman walking her dog. We go up and introduce ourselves and ask to share a prayer right there. She gladly accepted and right after the prayer she just kept saying how she felt "something" during the prayer. We helped her identify that what she felt was the Spirit, and then invited her to be baptized and come to church. She gladly accepted and then yesterday her and her friend both came to church! They loved it and now are preparing for baptism!

We also saw miracles with the less active guy that I talked about last week named Juan. We were visiting him and his roomates almost everyday this week! He always gets super excited about us stopping by and his roomates are super interested as well! One of his roomates is from Mexico and him and Juan actually biked to church yesterday!! It was so legit! Our chapel is a couple miles away from their house as well but they still came and loved it!

This week I also had the privilege of interviewing someone for baptism. Just a fun fact, the girl who I interviewed her Dad, is actually the branch president in Cuba! She got here like 10 months ago and her family got baptized just a few weeks after she left, and then the sisters found her like a month ago and then she was baptized yesterday! I love Cuba. 

I think that is basically it for this week, but just know that I love you all and I truly do appreciate everything that you have done and are now doing for me! I know this is the Lord's work. I'm so grateful to be here in full-time service for the Lord. There is nothing I would rather be doing! I hope you all have an incredible week and that you all make it to the temple sometime this week!
Elder Nielsen

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Coral Reef North Area 9-2-2014

We went and hit up the driving range last p day, so GOLF SWAG!
Wow thank you all for the emails and pictures as always! I love pics! haha for real though it sounds like everybody had an incredible week! I wanted to say though Dad, don't worry about not emailing for one week. I'm just appreciative that I do get to  hear from you on a regular basis! It sounded like your trip down the grand canyon was incredible as well! Mom, I appreciate as well your comments on obedience! I loved that quote as well that "obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles!" I have seen that quote come true so many times in my mission! So don't worry I will continue to be as exactly obedient as possible!

This week went really for us. Elder Stafford is an awesome missionary. He is still pretty green like I said, but he has the desire to serve which is all that matters! We've been working a lot this week with his spanish. It's hard here though, because I have come to realize that the majority of our area speaks English! haha it's definitely a transition going from pure Spanish my whole mission now to just "hood" black people everywhere, but it's way fun! Haha something different happens everyday that's for sure! We've been doing a lot of finding this week, because sadly our family of 6 is not progressing anymore. The Dad just wasn't interested anymore and he just pushed the rest of the family away as well. No worries though because we saw an awesome miracle last night!

We knocked into this super less active guy named Juan who was baptized in 2000. (I know it sounds latin, but he speaks English) He was way cool! He talked about how he knows he needs to come back and how he wants to bring his friends that he lives with! We will be seeing him tonight so hopefully we found some good potential there! I'm so excited to be here in this area, because it has A LOT of potential! Our ward is awesome, and our bishop is exactly like Blaine and Jen's family. He has 7 kids all under the age of 15!

I love you all and I truly appreciate everything you do for me! I love being a missionary. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life right now. The happiness that I have felt on my mission cannot be compared with anything else I've experienced in my life! I know that this is the Lord's work, and that this is His church!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Area and Companion- Coral Reef North with Elder Stafford 8-25-2014

Wow what an awesome week again to hear from you guys! To answer your question yes mom, I loved how you emailed in pictures! Pics are always fun! Let me just say though, that they did make me feel old! All my little sisters look like they're ten years older than when I left! What the heck is happening!? Haha just kidding, but seriously my mind was blown. I want to shout out to Grandpa Ray, Feather and Molly! I'm sorry I'm not there to hang out with all of you, but I hope you still have an awesome trip! Oh, and you need to send me a pic now of what grandpa looks like after the haircut!

Alright, so now to our week. Wow it has been craziness! Yeah Mom, I'm sorry about how transfers work here that you don't get to know where I'm going, but I like it that way. It builds up the suspense, and makes things more exciting! So, transfers on wednesday were pretty intense because there was recently a new stake made here so there were A LOT of changes with areas, and new areas, and things like that. Anyway my new area is awesome! I'm here in Coral Reef North! It's still in Miami, but way down south, pretty close to Homestead. Also in our area, is a little suburb of Miami called Richmond Heights. My new companion is Elder Stafford. He is from Holiday, UT. He is an awesome missionary! He just finished getting trained, so he is still pretty green, but he is a hard worker which is always good! Our area is still pure bike! haha I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be on bike my whole mission, but no worries I love it! I already love it here in this area! Our ward is actually a bilingual ward. So at church there were talks given in Spanish and English, so the whole translation thing makes it even more fun! Our area is very, um how do I put this. . . humble. Well I should say half of our area. There is a canal right in the middle, and on one side you have Richmond Heights which is like very humble people, then you cross the canal and on the other side you have the biggest houses I've ever seen where everybody drives BMW's and Mercedes! It's the strangest thing, but that actually is how it is in a lot of areas here in Florida!

Alright sorry for all the random details. Tuesday night Isaac was baptized in Miami Lakes and then Wednesday we left! He is so solid. I'm sad I won't see him for a while, BUT he promised us we would meet at the temple in a year so that's something to look forward too! Here we have some super sweet people were working with. We have a family of 6 that wants to get baptized real bad, they just weren't able to make it to church on sunday which was lame! There is a lot of English here which is weird cause I haven't spoke english my whole mission but I'm getting used to it!

Sorry I don't have time to write more, but I love you all, and I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ! I love being a missionary and I am learning so much!!
Elder Nielsen
Oh and p.s. 2 more random facts our house has bed bugs which sucks, and I was also called as District Leader.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Miami Lakes South Area- 8-19-2014

Summer is officially over for you guys! Don't worry though it still feels like summer here in Florida! I really do love reading all of your emails because you all write just like you talk! If you were to put all your letters in front me and they didn't say whose was whose I can guarantee I would always be able to tell who's it was! To answer some of your random questions as always, Yes mom the bag works perfect. I'm good don't worry about sending me anything. I don't really know what the deal was with the mad dog pictures but we just decided to do it. Alright anyway back to our week here this week.

This week was pretty crazy. First off we ended up helping 3 different people move this week. It was crazy, we lifted so much crap. I'm pretty sure my forearms doubled in size this week from all the lifting so I should be ready to rock some domes when I get back. haha just kidding but I was seriously so sore after. We also were exchanges again literally EVERYDAY this week. That was not healthy. The Zone Leaders couldn't really help us out this week with exchanges so we were flying solo. So to explain that a little bit what happens is usually either me or Elder White will go into Miami Gardens with Elder Senatus (the elder with the hurt knee) and the other will stay here in Miami Lakes with Elder Rodriguez. To be honest I have no idea why President has kept it like this the whole transfer, but no worries it's over now. So yes, this week I spent more time with other missionaries than with my actual companion. It's all good though because it really has been fun! It's been crazy trying to juggle all these different things but we have made it work and have still been able to see miracles!

I want to share what went down this week with our main man Isaac who I wrote about last week! He's so legit! He has now come to church 2 weeks in a row and we have taught him everything and he was interviewed on Saturday night. But for some reason on Saturday night he still felt like he needed more time before his baptism to give up coffee. Even though he had already gone 2 days straight without it. Then on Sunday as well he was still not willing to be baptized that day. We were getting kind of frustrated because he just kept saying that he needed to learn more when in reality he already knows so much and he passed his interview with flying colors!  The yesterday we had a lesson with him and he still said he didn't feel ready. We were not having that because we knew that he was prepared! We explained to him everything that he had done had prepared him to meet the LORD's standard of baptism. And that him setting an expectation higher than that, was not fair to him or to the Lord. We had him kneel down right then and there with us and pray and ask God about his baptism on Tuesday. He offered the simplest, most humble prayer I have ever heard. It was literally one sentence! After the prayer, the Spirit was undeniable. We invited him, and he finally said YES! We will be having his baptismal service tonight at 7 and we are so pumped! The other crazy part about it as well is that today will be my last day here in Miami Lakes! Transfer calls came last night and both me and Elder White will be transferring! That does not usually happen that both elders leave, but I'm pretty sure that means Elder White will be going zone leader and then Elder Rodriguez will be coming here because he's basically served here this last transfer! I'm not sure where I will be going but I will find out tomorrow at transfer meeting.

I love missionary work! It certainly hasn't been easy here in Miami Lakes, but I have learned so many lessons and I feel like I have grown so much in my time here! I love this Gospel, and I know this is the Lord's work. I love you all so much and I just invite you to continue to increase your faith in our savior Jesus Christ. Have an awesome week.
con amor,
Elder Nielsen

Monday, August 11, 2014

Miami Lakes South Area 8-11-2014

Not sure what to title this one..."Serious Faces"?
First off, Happy Birthday MOM!! Whoop whoop! I wrote a letter for you this morning with all my birthday praises for you so I will mail that today! As always it sounds like you had another great week of summer back home! It's hard to believe this is the last week of summer, it went by quicker here in the mission then it did back home that's for sure! Alright Mom I'm sorry that I forgot to update you on the packages last week. Yes I did get them! Everything was perfect! :) so thank you for that. I also got another pair of pants sent to me from Joseph A. Bank. . . I don't remember hearing anything about those, but their super nice so thank you for that, but don't worry about sending me anything else I am good for the moment! :) Haha Mom I loved what you said about the picture of us and H because I thought the same thing too. They both are just pretty short, and the picture was kinda taken at an angle and I was closest to the camera so it made me look even bigger! So that was the main reason why but yes I have gotten a little bigger. . . Too much latin food! This week we had a meal appointment literally everyday! I guess I just need to start going harder in the mornings.

Anyway about our week here in Miami Lakes this week. It was a super fun week as always. We went on a ton exchanges again this week with the Miami Gardens elders because of their car situation. We were on exchanges with them on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after church. Yeah, if you can imagine that's a LOT of exchanges. We were just switching everyday who would go into Miami Gardens, and one of us would just stay here with Elder Rodriguez. It definitely wasn't easy but we tried to make it fun and the Lord definitely blessed us regardless of the difficult circumstances. We went on exchanges with the AP's as well for about an hour on Saturday and went knocking and saw a super sick miracle. Right away we got one blessing. Our next blessing though was incredible! At first a woman from Cuba opened up, and she was willing to pray with us. As we were talking we noticed another lady walking through the hall behind her. So we yelled inside and invited her to join us. She came up and explained to us that she had friends in Peru that were "mormon" and that she was looking to see if there was a church close by. After the prayer she accepted baptism, and as well committed to come to church the next day! We went by the next morning with her ride, and she was ready to come! She came to all 3 hours of church and loved it and is now preparing for baptism! We also had another investigator named Isaac come to sacrament meeting. He was the guy who I talked a little bit about last week who somehow got an ensign and met with missionaries before. He is SUPER solid, and hopefully will be getting baptized this upcoming week as well!

I just thought of another random story from this week as well. We pushed another guys car this week. At first we thought we would just push him around the corner, but he asked if we could push him to the gas station cause he was out of gas. Yeah it was literally half a mile down the road, but for some reason it didn't seem that far when we first started. When we finally got to the gas station I literally almost threw up right there. This was at like 2 in the afternoon as well so it was just boiling hot! haha nonetheless it was a rad experience and we got a potential investigator for the sisters.

Next week is transfer calls so I will be emailing on Tuesday. I'm not 100% sure on what is going to happen, my first guess would be me leaving because I have been here a while, but Elder White might go zone leader which would probably mean I would stay. Nobody really knows though so we will see! Thank you so much for all that you guys do for me! I seriously have the greatest family ever! Thank you so much for always putting up with all my crap and being patient with me. I love you all so much and I know that what I am doing here truly is the Lord's work. I love this church and I love this gospel and that's why I am here serving! Have a great week everybody!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, August 4, 2014

Miami Lakes South Area 8-4-2014

First off, I just want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KYLIE! Kyle you are such a great sister and don't party too hard today! Holy cow you're old! Thank you as always everyone for writing me! Those pictures from the zipline were awesome! Man, I miss those mountains! I love hearing all the updates from the ward as well, so thank you for those!

This week was pretty crazy here in Miami Lakes. As always I don't even know where to start! We were able to find a lot of cool people again this week which was super exciting. We're working with this family from Colombia who used to study with JW's, and they love us. Sadly, they didn't come to church but they should be coming this upcoming sunday. We also found this guy who used to meet with missionaries. Somehow he ordered an Ensign back in like 2007 and still has it and reads it so he's solid as well! This week though the biggest miracle was definitely with our main man Halberth! The guy that I wrote about last week, because he got baptized yesterday! Whoop Whoop! It was so crazy! During this past week though, we were not able to see him once. He was so busy with work, that we were never able to see him. He also doesn't have a phone so we weren't able to talk to him at all. But we still went to his house on Sunday morning, and he was ready to come to church! We started talking to him about what's been going on, and he just said he had been super busy with work and everything, but that he was ready to be baptized! Me and Elder White both just are like ok we will see about that, but let's go to church! So then after sacrament meeting we talked with him, and asked if he was willing to do whatever it takes to be baptized, and he said yes! So we taught him everything right there! The biggest issue we knew about was the word of wisdom but he said he knew he needed to be done smoking and drinking and he promised to never smoke or drink again! He got interviewed, and we filled the font and had an amazing baptismal service! It was pretty crazy getting a baptismal program and him interviewed and prepared in 2 hours but we got it done! Afterwards he was just so happy, and so were we! It was a HUGE miracle!

After a miracle like that me and Elder White are just on cloud 9! We are so excited for this upcoming week to continue working with Halberth and getting him confirmed and helping all of our other people come to church! I love the mission! Seriously it has been the greatest thing for my life. I have learned so many life lessons and my testimony has grown so much. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Without him, there would be no hope to this life. But because of him, there is so much to hope for! I know that His Gospel brings happiness in this life and never-ending happiness in the life to come!! I love you all so much, and am so grateful for all that you have done for me. Keep up the good work!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, July 28, 2014

Miami Lakes South Area 7-28-14

Wow you guys had a lot going on this week!! I was happy as always to hear about all your super fun experiences, and as well that you finally got a car!! I don't know if I like glamorous gaby or Classy Clariss more but they are both super clever names! Sorry little sistahs that I didn't have time today to reply individually but I'll write a little something real quick to each of you! Kenzo! Happy birthday last week little girl! Did you get my letter?? I mailed a birthday letter to you so hopefully it got there! Did you get scared at all as you walked through the shark tunnel at the aquarium?? Maddie! It sounded like you loved the family reunion! ;) keep learning how to talk to new people! I get to do it everyday and it's the best! I love it! You still have 3 weeks of summer before you start Jr. High so live it up!! Because soon your life is just going to be pure homework!;) haha just kidding Jr. High is awesome! Kyle! I loved hearing your gnarly experience of the natural waterslide! That place is da best! Keep going hard in the paint in tennis I can't wait to hear about when you win state in a couple months! whoop whoop! Don't get cocky though cause I will still kick your trash when I get home! Alright I think that's about it but I love you sistahs!

This week was an interesting week! First off dad I'll answer your question and say I didn't write about that Cuban couple because they were on a cruise all last week. Then they are moving to Miami beach tomorrow so we have all their info and the missionaries over there will have to help them get married. This week we didn't teach a whole lot of lessons, but the lessons that we did teach were super awesome! We're really trying to focus on the elect people  in our area and we definitely found some this week! It was blazing hot this week. Good night! But luckily for us we had a car for most of the week!! Yeah, it was crazy nice. One of the elders in district had knee surgery this week, and so they couldn't work at all so we had their car! A/C is da best! As always I'll share a quick miracle from this week.

On Tuesday, we had planned to harvest in a gated community. We have been looking for new places to knock and felt like we should just try and walk into this gated complex. So we did, and we started knocking. We knocked a whole building and found no one, so we went to the next one. Then the first door we knock on this man from Honduras opens up. We introduce ourselves and right away he lets us in. We start talking to him, and he tells us how he has a daughter in Honduras who is "Mormon", and that he had met with missionaries before in Honduras. He then tells us that he wanted to get baptized but he had to move a week before his baptism! As you can imagine my companion and I were both just grinning from ear to ear as he was telling us that! :)  Anyway long story short, we taught him this week and he came to church on sunday as well! Right before he left church, we showed him the baptismal font, and invited him for next weekend. He accepted! Now we will be working with him all this week to give up smoking and drinking so that he can be baptized! And I forgot to mention as well that literally not more than 5 minutes after we had finished teaching him, we got kicked out of that complex. So truly the Lord did guide us to him.

This week went by very quickly but it was a great week to be a missionary! We had interviews with President Richardson this week and he is a lot different than President Anderson but he is still so awesome! He is a super cool guy and it was great talking with him. I love missionary work, and I know that I was called here to serve in South Florida by God! I love this Church and I know that it is true! Keep up the good work back home, and everybody learn something new this week from the scriptures! Les quiero muchisimo!
Elder Nielsen