Monday, February 23, 2015

Hollywood Area 2-23-2015


I'm glad to hear that Kenzie's face recovered from taking a volleyball straight to the face!! :) haha funny story actually last P-day we had a zone activity and played dodgeball and I got nailed in the face twice! So I feel ya Kenz! haha. Also I can't believe Kylie went on a date with Mason!! Haha that still seems so weird to me that she hangs out with my friends brothers. But it's chill kyle! :)

This week was an interesting week here in Hollywood. Haha or should I say Hollyweird. Honestly just so much weird stuff happened. First weird thing that happened is I guess Pierre actually didn't receive the Priesthood on Sunday. So there was just a whole bunch of drama in Ward council on Tuesday night about that. So what ended up happening is PJ wasn't baptized on Saturday because Pierre had to be sustained in Sacrament first before he could receive the Aaronic priesthood. So the plan was for him to receive the priesthood yesterday, but then he couldn't make it to church because he had to work. So I don't really know exactly what's going to happen now but hopefully we can work it out!!

I've been able to learn a lot this week though! On sunday there was a missionary who returned from his mission in Los Angeles. He gave a really good homecoming talk basically just all about faith. I felt like a lot of the things that he said were what Heavenly Father wanted me to hear at that time. Over the course of my mission I have been able to gain a strong testimony of receiving revelation through church attendance. Before my mission it was just kind of like the routine. Go to church on Sunday maybe sleep through half of it and then the whole time just be thinking of how hungry I was! Ohh, how I wish I would have known about the answers I could have been receiving! Because there have been so many times on my mission where I have come to church with a specific question and I have truly found specific answers just from a few simple things that people may have said! That is one of my favorite parts about the church and as well about Heavenly Father. Nothing is hidden from you. We all are encouraged to ask questions, and if it is according to the will of Heavenly Father He will answer them! When Christ teaches us, "Ask and ye shall receive." That is literally what He means! I know at least for me, that sometimes that is too easy to forget. I am so grateful for a loving God who hears and answers prayers. I am so grateful for all of the answers that I have received from Him, and for the testimony that He has given me. I'm so grateful for all of you for all that you do for me and for all of your prayers and support. Have an amazing week and don't let a Sunday go by without having received answers and guidance from above!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hollywood Area 2-17-2015

Elder Nielsen and Elder Dunford (friend from high school)

Wow, it sounds like you guys had an amazing weekend in Cali!! I loved looking at all the pictures, it looks like a beautiful place in Palm Springs. haha it looks exactly like where we live here in Hollywood! :) No joke, we live right on a golf cours and the sun comes up every morning right behind it! I loved seeing the picture of you all with Rod as well. Shout out to that man, he is my hero!! I hope when I'm 88, if I even get to be that old, that I can still do as much as he does. Thank you as well for the Valentine's Day package!! It's always good to get just a little something from home so I really appreciate it.

This week was another amazing week here in Hollywood!! We had a zone training on Wednesday and it was super boss. It was focused on being able to work better with members and find referalls through them of people that we could teach. It definitely was inspired because to be honest, that's something that I've sucked at like my whole mission. My whole mentality before was, "Why do I need to go try and get referrals from members when I can just go out and knock doors and find people on my own?" haha so prideful. Nonetheless, I am repenting, and we actually were able to receive 8 referrals this week from members! haha I think that's more than I've received the whole rest of my mission. ;) just kidding.

So basically everyone asked about "the big guy". His name is actually David, and he is the man!! We went by on tuesday to the apartment complex he works at and we had an amazing lesson with him about the Gospel! He just soaked it all up, and was so pumped up to be baptized! Then towards the end of the lesson we decided we needed to figure out where he actually lives, so we asked him. . . And he told us he lives in Miami Lakes. . . . I heard that and I just about screamed out, "You gotta be kidding me!!??" haha yeah it kinda sucked. Because if you have forgotten Miami Lakes is one of my old areas. So we got his exact address and it turns out he lives literally 2 blocks away from the chapel down there. So then we explained to him about how he needs to go to church down there and how there are other missionaries that will go and teach him at his house. And now he is officially passed to the Elders down there. I wish I would have found him  when I was there!! But no worries God has a plan in everything.

On Sunday, our recent convert Pierre was able to get the Aaronic priesthood! Yeah buddy! Pierre is my boy! Such a stud. So now, he is fully prepared and ready to baptize his 9 year old son PJ on saturday! So that's something that looking forward too for this week.

Umm, other than that there's not much else that happened other than me and Elder Hayward just working hard. God is so good and has blessed me so much with great companions. I'm certain that if I would have known him before the mission we would have been good friends. He is an amazing missionary, so we're being blessed with lots of cool people to teach.

I love you all so much! I know this is the Lord's work! I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I know that living the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings us true and lasting happiness! I am so happy on my mission. Not just because I am a missionary, but because I am living the Gospel more faithfully than I ever have before! I love it! Have an amazing week!
Con Amor,
Elder Nielsen

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hollywood Area 2-9-2015 New Companion Elder Hayward


As always so good to hear from everyone! Sounds like everyone is just enjoying the warm weather! It's crazy to think that there's not even any snow and it's still like the second week in February. So no skiing! :( As well I wanted to say Happy Valentine's day on Saturday! Sounds like you all will be traveling and on vacation so I figured I should share some love now! Cause my heart is locked! ;)

Alright Mom, I will do my best to answer all of your questions, because like you said A LOT has happened these past few days. On wednesday transfer meeting was great. President invited all the Tampa missionaries to come so it was cool I got to meet a bunch of them. There are actually several that transferred into our zone now. My new companions name is Elder Hayward. He is from Parker Colorado. He is just 1 transfer younger than me so we're basically the same age in the mission. Yes, we are the zone leaders of the Fort Laud zone. So that's a lot of fun. So with the new 6 companionships white washing in it's been fun. Several of them called us on their way back from transfers and were lost so we had to give them some directions. What was cool about the white washes is that President sent several missionaries back to their old area. So some of the areas have a missionary that had already served in that area, so they still remember where to go and what's going on, so that's been a big help. So the reason why Ft. Myers is now in our mission is because they are actually in the Ft. lauderdale Temple district, so it just made sense to have our mission be everything that's in the temple district. Phew, alright I think that was all the questions. But thank you for asking all of those, I love answering questions cause it actually gives me things to write about! :)

I'm really excited about this transfer! My companion is a boss. He's definitely not afraid of working hard which is great! I think that's one of my favorite things about being a zone leader is that you're almost guaranteed a boss companion so we're getting along great. My companion actually reminds me a lot of Braxton so that's funny too.

We saw an amazing miracle this week on Friday. We decided to go to this big complex to knock some doors, and we start talking to the first lady we see, and as we're talking to her this giant security guard comes and is standing right behind her giving us the meanest loook I've ever seen. And when I say this guy is big, I mean this guy is HUGE! He's like 6 foot 6 and has hands probably bigger than shaquille o'neal. haha as well when he folds his arms across his forearms is tattooed the phrase, "A man never forgets". So basically, I'm about to pee my pants right there. haha so we finish talking to the lady and then we approach him. At first he was just super closed off and just wanted to know why we were in his complex. We explained who we were and asked if we could pray with him. He accepted. He seemed a little bit softened after the prayer, but not a whole lot. Nonetheless we still got a return appointment with him for the next day. We go back the next day, we teach him the Restoration and he committed to come to church the next day. After the lesson he seemed a lot more softened and was actually talking openly to us. Sunday morning rolls around and we call him for church, and he said he was already on his way. He beat us to church! During sacrament meeting I could just see some tears pooling in his eyes, and all in all he loved church! We talked with him about baptism after church and he accepted a date for the 21st! Haha so solid! As we were saying goodbye he gave us both huge bro hugs, and we both were just like, "Who is this guy!? Haha so were excited to keep working with him!

That's basically it for this week, I know this church is true and I know this is the Lord's work. I know that the spirit can soften anyones heart if they will just let it in. I know Christ lives! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!
Elder Nielsen

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hollywood Area 2-3-2015

The "Dying" missionaries

Man, you all said there wasn't much that happened this past week, but it still sounded like there was a ton going on!! Dance recitals, young womens night, BYU basketball, Super Bowl, school and everything else! Our week here was super crazy too. But before I get to that I want to praise my little sisters for a second and say that it sounds like we have some future cougarettes in the family! :) No joke it sounds like you all are doing amazing so keep up the good work! Dad, I'm also glad to hear that your shoulder is recovering, because you better be 100% by the time I get back so that I can whoop you in 1 on 1. ;)

So, as always this week is transfers and so we had a pros- monday yesterday, and then transfer meeting tomorrow. So the transfer call came last night where the assistants tell us whether we're staying or transferring. Obviously I'm staying because my companion is dying, but lets just say there were some BIG changes that went down in our zone. 6 areas in our zone are getting white-washed. Which just means that both missionaries in the area are leaving and 2 new ones come in. It doesn't happen that often just because it can be kind of crazy having 2 missionaries in an area that know no one and have no idea what's going on. But I felt like this was what was going to happen, and I know President is inspired so it's gonna be sweet!

This week went by so fast again!! I felt like I would just blink and our days were gone. We had district trainings again in the beginning of the week which always take up a good chunk of time. Basically our only progressing people right now is this crazy haitian family!! haha they have 6 kids all under the age 7! So whenever we go over to their house we literally get attacked by haitian kids. I laugh so hard everytime we go over there, because we actually have a rule as missionaries that we're not allowed to pick up or hold kids. So we sit down on the couch and they come up and just start climbing on us, and we do our best to like try and keep them off of us but it just doesn't work. And then the parents just look at us like, "What's your problem? Just pick up the kid or do something!" haha it's great though, I love it.  Then on Friday we had like the greatest day ever because we got to go to the temple!! Whooop whoop!! We got special permission to go with a recent convert in our ward. His name is Bro. Kevin Tinny. He is one of the greatest men I've ever met. He got baptized 1 year ago to the day he went through the temple. He is a 71 year old guy, but it would be impossible for you to tell that if he wasn't losing his hair. He comes out with us every single week on Wednesdays for like 6 hours. So I'm sure in the future you will be hearing about plenty of experiences we have with him. We were so blessed to go through the temple with him, and I felt like it was as much for him, as it was for us! I felt the spirit so strong, and I was so edified and i received a lot of answers from Heavenly Father to a lot of questions I had. So it was amazing!!!

I'm so grateful for the Gospel, and for the happiness that it has brought me in my life! I know that God lives, and that He loves each and every one of us, and wants to help us have a fulness of joy in this life and in the life to come! Keep working hard back home, and share the good news with everyone! 
Elder Nielsen