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