Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Getting Transferred- 4-28-2015


Wow, I can't believe that you got another cat!! It sounds like Kenzie guilt tripped you into it just like I did when I was little kid! "We have a special connection." hahaha I was such a strange kid! It sounded like you guys had a good time with some birthday parties this week as well!! Happy Birthday Grandpa you're the man! 

Well, I'm sure that you all know what's happening since I'm emailing on Tuesday. This week is transfers. Last night the transfer call came. And it went something like this, "Elder Nogueira Stays. Elder Nielsen. . . Transfers." WHAT!?! I thought for sure I was going to stay! In mission lingo we call that, "one and done". One and doneing an area is the worst!! haha it's like by the end of one transfer you finally start to feel a little bit comfortable, and then BOOM, you're gone! I honestly have no idea where I'm going so we will find out tomorrow at transfers! 

Part of the reason why I'm disappointed that I'm leaving is because this week was legendary! We had the best week of the transfer this past week. We got to teach Indira. every single day this week, and she is so cool!! She has kept every reading assignment that we have left her and she never misses an appointment. She came to church again and loved it. She has  a baptismal date set for the 9th and she's already marked it on her calendar! Also we got this less active guy named Jonathon to come back to church this Sunday. He is such a cool kid! Some sister missionaries knocked into him one day, and one of the first things he asked them was, "What do I need to do to serve a mission?" It was so funny, because we went by on Sunday morning before church to knock his door and to make sure he was still coming and he tried making some excuses about how he didn't have a shirt or a tie. We live not far from him, so we just drove back to our house and grabbed him one of our shirts and a tie! Haha he wasn't expecting that to happen! :)

I'm really sorry I did a horrible job of managing time today so I literally have no time because I want to try and send some pics. But just know that I love you all, and I'm so grateful for all that you have done for me! I know this is the Lord's work, and because I know that I know that wherever I go next to serve that it will all work out! 

Elder Nielsen

Downtown Miami

Check out what we did last P day! Miami Seaquarium! It's basically like Sea world in Miami. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Miami Lakes YSA 4-20-2015

Graffiti District


Wow!! Those were some amazing letters!! I guess first I'll just start off by giving some shoutouts! Kyle, you are inspiration to me!! A half tuition scholarship too BYU!? Legendary. And Maddie, that picture of you in your ballet outfit. I think I would probably shatter all of the bones in my feet if I tried doing pointe. I'm convinced that I have the best family on the planet! :) Haha Mom, you were right about my last email about just throwing that in at the end! ;) That's something I've realized on my mission that if you just a lot of good things at first and then at the end you throw in a little catch it's usually not that big of a deal! :) But really thank you so much for being understanding and patient with me! And I will see you in November! :)

This week was another legendary week living the #YSAlife. You were right about that as well Mom, I have had some pretty interesting experiences since I've got here. . . But I love it!! :) This week started off really strong! Like I had mentioned last week we had that miracle YSA girl show up to sacrament meeting in Miami Beach. Well we got to meet her this week and her name is Maya. And she is so legit!! She had lived with a member over in St. Petersburg for 6 months before she came here. She went to church almost every week over there and has been taught basically everything by missionaries in the past. The only reason she wasn't baptized was because at the time she had been living with her boyfriend as well. . . But now she moved over here so she is good to go!! 

We also saw another miracle on Sunday morning. Saturday night we received a referral from the Elders on Miami Beach for someone that they had just contacted. They said that she was interested in coming to church the following day. So we called her that night and she said she didn't have a ride, but that if we found her a ride she would come. So we got her address and we started looking through the ward list of people who could give her a ride. We found a member who literally lives 3 houses down from her on the same street, called her up and she said she would love to give her a ride!! So the first time we meet her, (her name is Indira.) was on Sunday morning when we knocked her door to make sure she was awake for church. She was, and she ended up staying for 4 hours of church!! (We had a linger longer, so that added an extra hour) She loved it! She's actually from Nicaragua and she had been to church a couple of times in Nicaragua. 

It has been a huge blessing serving here in YSA. I don't think I have ever had an area where there have been so many obstacles or challenges to missionary work. I think it is safe to say that there are so many "excuses" that we could use. But there is a quote from Elder Ballard, he said, "Excuses and Failures go together. So we must learn to get away from excuses." My companion Elder Nogueira has truly taught me the truthfulness of this principle. Ever since I got to the area he told me, "We will never say the words, "it's because we're in YSA." I'm so grateful for all of the valuable lessons I have learned on my mission. I know that if we will just get rid of all excuses that we will see more success in our lives. I know that as we increase our Faith and testimonies of the Savior it will help us leave behind any excuses that are keeping us from our full potential. I hope you have an amazing week and I love you all!
Elder Nielsen

Monday, April 13, 2015

Miami Lakes YSA 4-13-2015

Graffiti District


Dang it sounds like you guys had a legendary Spring Break!! I'm not gonna lie I'm pretty jealous of all those sweet hikes and adventures that you had! So I need you to make me a promise. The first spring break after I get home can we go and do a similar trip to Moab?? I'm sorry I know you've done it 2 years in a row now, but that seriously looked like the best vacation spot!! Also, I promise you could never overload me with too many pictures. So keep them coming! :) 

This week was another memorable week! I love living the Miami YSA life! haha there's not a day that goes by where something bizarre or out of the ordinary happens. I love it, it keeps you on your toes!! As I mentioned last week, we basically started this week off with nothing. We had no investigators or potentials. So the hunt for YSA's began!! We just started trying every idea that we could think of to find YSA's! We went back to FIU campus to try and knock some more dorms. We ended up getting kicked off the campus. They told us we weren't allowed on campus unless we were part of a club or something. So that's our next goal. We're going to try and make a club and get like Bible or Book of Mormon studies going. But that's a work in progress. . . Also we decided to try a different college campus called Miami-Dade College and just walk around and talk to people. So we did that, and what we ended up doing was just walking up to people and inviting them to watch to watch #BecauseHeLives right there on their smart phones. We probably watched the video with about 20 people right there on campus. It was really cool. We met a lot of cool people and we found what we thought were some really solid potentials. 

Then Sunday rolled around. We had several people who had committed to be there and we had faith that they were going to show. Then surprise surprise nobody showed! haha the worst!! So E. Nogueira and I were pretty ticked to say the least. Then that night as were driving home, we get a call from some Sisters in our zone. They then told us this story about how they had this random person show up to church. She is a 24 year old girl from Bolivia who had met with missionaries over there, but she had moved here and lost contact. She was still interested so she looked up on Mormon.org where the nearest chapel was. She doesn't have a car so on Sunday morning she ended up biking and hour and a half to get to church and there she met the sisters! So the sisters were calling us to pass her to us, because she is YSA age! I basically just wanted to weep tears of joy! 

Serving in YSA has taught me a lot of things. One thing in particular is the power of prayer. We had been praying hard all week for at least one person to come to church. We had thought for a few hours that it didn't end up happening, but it did! I have learned the importance of saying specific prayers. I know that God hears and answers all of our prayers, in His timing. I know that as we pray for specific answers, that God will give us specific answers. 

Sorry, just one last thing that I forgot to share, but that is really important. This week we had personal Interviews with President Richardson. Man, I love that guy!! But we were talking and originally my return date from my mission was supposed to be October 15th. I was talking to President about how I felt a little bit jipped because that's basically only 23 months that I get to serve, since I started on November 6. So we talked about it, and after some discussion I received an extension!! President, decided to give me an extra transfer so that I can serve a full 24 months!! Whooooooo!!!! I promise Mom, I'm not kidding! ;) So now my return date will be 6 weeks after Oct. 15th. I believe it's about November 25th or something around there. So please know that I do love you all!! It's not that I don't want to see you, I just love my mission and I want to make the most out of it as I possibly can!! :) Have an amazing week! 

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Miami Lakes YSA 4-6-2015

Our set up to watch conference

Man, I just love hearing about all of your stories from the week! The pictures as well are always nice. :) I also wanted to say thank you for the Easter package! We definitely enjoyed eating all the candy during conference! You all are exactly right Conference really is the best!! For Conference we went over to Miami Beach saturday morning to watch it, because the missionaries there said they would have it broadcasted. We show up and there is no one there so we tried setting up on a projector and we couldn't figure it out. So what ended up happening is we just connected a tv to the computer in the clerk's office and then set up chairs out in the hallway to watch. haha super ghetto! (pictures to be included) Then during Elder Holland's talk the internet just randomly stopped working. So we missed basically half of his talk! haha super disappointing! But even with all of the technical difficulties we were able to watch all the sessions of conference. 

This time for conference I decided that I was going to take notes differently. So rather than just write down random things that everyone said I decided that I was going to come prepared with several different questions that I was looking for answers too and then write down the answers to the questions as they came. And let's just say that I received many more answers than I was expecting! :) I truly have learned on my mission the importance of receiving personal revelation. I know that Heavenly Father wants to guide us and help us all we have to do is be humble enough and seek and ask. Rather than just say, "I can figure it out myself." That's been a tough lesson for me to learn because as you all know I don't really like asking for help, and if I can do something on my own I usually just do it. But over time Heavenly Father has found a way to teach me that lesson, and it's blessed my life so much! :) 

This week we also had a meeting called Mission Leadership Council. I'm pretty sure I've talked about it before. This MLC was different though because Brother Micahel Hemingway (Executive director for World- Wide proselyting) was there! Haha I'm not going to lie it definitely was a little bit intimidating because literally he is over all the proselyting in the whole world. But it was an amazing meeting and he taught us so many cool tips and pointers on how we can find, and teach better.

Another big thing that happened this past week was on Tuesday we had a mission wide conference call. For the past few months our mission has had a baptismal goal of 100 baptisms. So on Tuesday (the last day of the month) we had a conference call to announce the final total for march. And as a mission we got 101!!! Such a cool experience! Everyone was so excited and President Richardson has just been the happiest man I've ever seen! haha it has been a huge testimony builder to me that when we include the Lord in our goals, whether they be small or large He will help us achieve them! 

That's about everything for this week. We're basically just on the hunt for YSA's right now. We don't really have any investigators, but things are going to change this week for sure!! To answer your question though Dad, I have become VERY familiar with Miami! :) Haha I think I could get about anywhere in Miami now. But I hope you all have an amazing week! Enjoy your spring break and send me some pictures next week! :) 

One last thing that I wanted to share about Conference that I noticed. Everyone always ended by sharing their testimonies of the Savior. I don't believe there was one talk where someone didn't bear testimony of Christ. So I want to end by saying, that I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that He suffered for everyone of us. I know that through Him is the only way to finding happiness and peace in this life, and eternal life in the world to come. 

Elder Nielsen