Monday, May 25, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 5-25-2015


Wow!! What a week it has been here in Ft. laud! Holy cow so much has happened! But first, what the junk is Elder Brimley doing with my family!? haha that is so cool that he came to see you guys! I love that man! Such a good companion! Also, Reid and Ryan get home this week!! Ahhh!! That is not chill! And Kylie is graduating this week!! Wow, I feel like I have been gone forever now!! So weird!! It's all good though! I look forward to next week and hearing about how everything goes! :)

So, back to our week here in Ft. Lauderdale. This week it actually hit me that I'm an assistant. . . We started off the week with zone conferences. Which basically are just a big meeting where 2 or 3 zone's come together and President Richardson and Us, and some other people give some trainings, and then we eat some food. So we had those on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So we were all over the mission and we met with all of the missionaries. It just felt so weird giving a training to the whole mission. But it went really good and the spirit was strong so that's all that matters! Then on Friday we had our big meeting with President and Sister Richardson where we start working on Transfers! Ohhh man, was that intense! How it works is there's a big board, and on the board is a picture of every single missionary, and by their picture there's a bunch of information like when they go home, what areas they have served in, and who their past companions are. Then you start making the changes! Well first obviously you start with a prayer! :) sorry, but then you take off all the missionaries who are going home, and you decide which missionaries need to become leaders, who needs to leave their area, what companionships are doing good, what areas need to close and open, or re-open. It's crazy! But it's so inspired! It's basically just like a giant puzzle and you're trying to fill all of the holes where you need to put people. It was a lot of fun though, and it's a blast working with the Richardson's. 

This week we had another great week in our area as well!! Ft. lauderdale West is the promised land!! I don't know if I mentioned this last week, but we have actually been teaching Mary's sister in law. She speaks literally no english. Only marshallese. But she has come to church several times and Mary just translates everything for her. So we started teaching her last week, and she is actually really cool!! Like unbelievably legit! She asked us when she could be baptized! So when all goes well, she will be getting baptized this weekend! Also this past week we had been working with a really cool Haitian lady named Marline. She is best friends with another recent convert in the ward. Marlne is one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met. When we first met her you could tell she was stressed out of her mind. She has 4 kids under the age of 8. Her husband doesn't really do much other than go to work, and come home and sleep. So she was just stressed out all of the time. But. . . this past weekend she got baptized and confirmed!! So awesome! Sorry i don't have more time to write all about it, but let's just say it was an amazing experience!! After her confirmation she just wouldn't stop thanking us! You could tell that she felt at peace. 

I'm out of time again, but I love you all!! I know this is the Lord's work! I'm so grateful for all of the miracles that I've seen over the course of my mission! I know my Savior lives, and that He is the "Prince of Peace"! 
Elder Nielsen

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 5-18-2015

A Marriage and a Baptism

So good to hear from everyone as always!! I can't believe Kylie is graduating in a few days! So weird! I loved those pictures of her with all the wardies. Such a good group of kids! Also, I can't believe that Dad is 45! haha such an old man! ;) 

I will go ahead and jump right into everything that happened this past week since I don't have a whole lot of time, and so much has happened. But this week can be described in one word, "LEGENDARY!" We started off the week with a big day on Tuesday, because Mary and Ghandi got married and baptized on Tuesday night!! Woohoo! So cool! Haha it was such a fun night! Our bishop married them, and then we had the baptism! It was funny because Mary and Ghandi have both only been here for about a year so they don't really know "American traditions". So our relief society President had a cake, and had them cut the first piece together, and then feed it to each other, and the whole time they just had these super confused and puzzled looks on their faces! They invited a lot of their family to the big night as well. And none of them speak any english, so they were just speaking marshallese to each other the whole time. Such a crazy language. I can't believe Winston is speaking that! But all in all it was an amazing night!

Then the following night on Wednesday we met with our other solid Investigator named Toni! She had come to church a couple times now, and last Sunday @ church we committed her for baptism on the following friday. Then on Tuesday she sent us this big long text about how she wasn't sure she should do it anymore because her friend had told her a bunch of "anti" stuff. So on Wednesday we had already planned a baptismal interview. So basically we just told her that we would come over answer all of her questions and then she could still decide what she wanted to do. The 2nd counselor in our Mission presidency came to do the interview. He was interviewing her for an hour and a half! And usually when it goes that long it's never a good sign, but Toni comes out of the interview with the biggest smile I've ever seen! She basically just told us, that she knew God had sent us to her, and that she had truly felt the Spirit at church, and that it didn't matter what her friend said to her this was where she needed to be. And then on Friday her and her 10 year old son B got baptized!! 

A lot of other random stuff has happened this week, but truly it has been a miracle week! This week my testimony has really been strengthened that God is the one who prepares people and that if we will follow the spirit he will put those who are prepared in our path! With Toni the way we found her was one of the biggest miracles of my mission. We were just leaving an apartment complex after a lesson, and we saw her walking in with her 4 kids. 2 of them were screaming and crying, the other one she was holding, and she looked like she was in a rush. Not really a typical person that you would just stop and talk too. But as we walked past her, both Elder Burgoyne and I had a prompting to just turn and offer her a card. So that's what we did, and she accepted and then we talked more with her, and now she is the newest member of the Church of Jesus Christ! God works in mysterious ways. I know that God answers prayers. The answers never seem to come in the way that we would expect, but I know that if we just have enough faith that they will come. I love you all so much, and I hope you have an amazing week! 

Elder Nielsen

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 5-11-2015

Mother's Day Skype Call

It was so good to talk to you all yesterday!! Man, I love you guys so much!! It's crazy to think that was my last time skypeing! I feel so old! From yesterday it sounds like everyone is doing really good and that life is moving along! 

I'm not really sure what to write today since I basically told you everything yesterday!! But I guess I can give you a few updates on people. So last week I mentioned that we're teaching a couple from the Marshall islands. Last week they were ready to go for baptism the only thing was that they need to get married first. The husband only has 1 day off of work a week and it was friday. So on friday we went with them and a member to the court house and they finally got their marriage license! We were trying to plan a time for their baptism the following day, but nothing ever worked out, so they will actually be getting married and baptized tomorrow night!! Should be fun! :) 

This week we also gave a training in MLC. We talked mostly about the importance of Sacrifice. True to the faith defines sacrifice as, "to give up or suffer the loss of worldly things for the Lord and his kingdom." Sacrifice is something that I have learned over my mission. I have seen everytime over my mission when I make the necessary sacrifices to see success that God compensates for efforts. Sometimes it's tough, sometimes it's hard, but I know that if we will be willing to make whatever sacrifices the Lord asks of us that He will always compensates our efforts. Sorry today was really short, but have a good week and I love you all! 

Elder Nielsen

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West Area. New Companion Elder Burgoyne. Called as Assistant to the President 5-4-2015


First off I will say that my little sisters sound like legends!! I'm calling it right now, Maddie and Kenzie are going to be on the Cougarettes together! No doubt! It sounds like everyone is getting excited and ready for summer. I remember May was always just the biggest joke ever! We never did anything the last month! I'm glad that no one recorded transfer meeting and posted it online this time because this one came as a surprise!!

To answer just a couple of your questions about transfers, 1st about how much stuff do I leave. This past transfer I didn't mean to leave anything in my last apartment, but I ended up accidentally leaving a bunch of things because I procrastinated and packed everything @ 10 o'clock the night before. Haha also about our Mission President. He's not "super" strict, but usually things like the Miami Seaquarium don't get approved to do, but since our zone was doing so well, he gave us permission to go. Alright and now to answer everyone's questions about where I am. At transfer meeting as were sitting there before usually I can get some kind of feeling about where I'm going to go, but this time nothing came. But I ended up going the furthest north I have ever been to an area called Fort Lauderdale West. My companion is E. Burgoyne. He is a creole missionary. And we are the Assistants to the President!! Biggest surprise of my life right now!! I honestly have no idea what to think about it, I definitely wasn't expecting to serve as an AP because at the time there were 3, and none of them were dying (a.k.a. going home) so usually they just wait to call someone new until they go home. But 2 of them ended up going to a zone that split into 2 zones and they were opening up new areas as zone leaders. Pretty crazy!

So yeah, basically as an Assistant we're here to help President Richardson in whatever he needs us to do. We have to help him prepare training's for the whole mission. We help him plan transfers and who goes where to what area. We also have to help out the senior missionaries that serve in the office with whatever random jobs that they need. Also we have to go on exchanges with all the zone leaders in the mission and train them how to help their zones. And occasionally we do exchanges with Trainers and trainees just to make sure that everything is good with them. And then on top of all of that were expected to run the best area in the mission and set a perfect example of how to do missionary work. WOW it's a lot!! Basically these past few days have just been a complete blur! Our first full day together we had to wake up @ like 4:30 in the morning to take the missionaries that were going home to the airport and drop them off. Just so much random stuff! haha it's a lot of fun though. So far I think my favorite part has been just getting to work with closely with President Richardson. I always knew he was a funny guy, but I didn't realize how hilarious he actually is!! We had a meeting with him this week and I just could not stop laughing because he kept making so many goofy jokes!!

Another great part is our area. The area of Fort Lauderdale West is the "Promised Land"! Holy cow there are so many prepared people here in our area! We actually had a baptism this past week! I will send you a picture. It's an amazing woman named Pascaline. She was born in Haiti but raised in the Bahamas. She has 2 little kids that are the crazies little rugrats I've ever seen! You'll see in the picture! ;) Our area is amazing because there are a lot of families!! We actually had 2 other families at church on sunday so hopefully they will be getting baptized this month as well. One of them is this couple from the Marshall islands that will be getting married this week. So please pray for them! Their names are Mary & Ghandi. I told them about winston in the Marshall Islands and they got really excited. I don't know how Winston is speaking their language, but it sounds so weird! 

That's about all I have time to say! I'm sure you will have plenty of questions for me on Sunday. But I would just love to say that I know that he whom the Lord calls He qualifies. I don't think I've ever felt so overwhelmed in my life. But at the same time I don't think I've ever had such strong faith and confidence in the Lord that He will help me. I'm grateful for the chances that He gives us to stretch ourselves and sacrifice on His behalf. I know that God gives us challenges and difficulties to help us grow and become the people He wants us to become. God knows each and everyone of us by name and He knows exactly what we need. Have an amazing week and I will probably skype on sunday around 1 o'clock utah time. 

Elder Nielsen