Monday, June 29, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 6-29-2015

Sounds like you all had a blast at the sundance zipline!! That place looked so legit! I can't believe that the Family reunion is this week as well!! I remember before my mish we would always talk about how the next one I would miss because I would be here. That feels like forever ago, and now it's actually here!! So weird, but please have the best week ever with the fam and say hello to everyone for them and that I love them and miss them!! I'm gonna have to apologize again this week for the letter it's gonna have to be brief, there's was a little extra junk I had to email Pres about which took forever! 

This week was a legit week! The main thing that made it legit was Lisa. Lisa was so ready to become a member of Jesus Christ's true church! So she did. She was baptized and confirmed this weekend!! So awesome! We visited her again every single day this week, and everyday she just learned something new that completely blew our minds. For example, Lisa told us that when she told her mother-in-law about her baptism the woman flipped and just started screaming at her and telling her all this crazy anti-stuff about how we baptize dead people and worship satan, and just a whole bunch of other crap. So afterwards Lisa just went to her gospel library app searched about baptisms for the dead, read all about it and found out for herself what it was really all about. So when we come by the next day we tell her that our message is about the temple, and she just cuts us off and taught us everything about baptisms for the dead, and told us her whole experience. Our minds were blown!! haha, oh and also she told us that after she read about it, she called her mother-in-law to correct her, and tell her the truth and re-invite her to her baptism because it didn't matter what she said she was going to be baptized!! 

I'm sorry my emails are kinda junky and I mainly just write about other people, but I just love the people here so much! And whenever my mind reflects on my week the only thing that I can think about is the people that we found, taught, and baptized! The people here in Florida really are the best. Sure, there are a lot of people that cut you off when your driving and honk at you, or just say dumb stuff to you about being a mormon. But the majority are amazing humble people that love the Lord. I believe there is a scripture in Corinthians that talks about how in order for us to love God, we also have to love our brothers, and our neighbors. And obviously we all want to love God, so the way that we can show that is by loving His children and serving and helping them. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and that through Him we can become new people, and overcome our weaknesses. Have a great week!!

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 6-22-2015


First off, I would just like to say Happy Father's Day to my old man!! I couldn't have asked for a better father to raise me!! There's a scripture in Proverbs, that President always reads to the trainers in the mission that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." So, I look back and there were so many times that I always thought that you were just being unfair to me. Like getting me to work so I could buy my own stuff, giving me a curfew, or just other random stuff. But now I realize that you were just "training" me up in the right way! And I'm so grateful for that, because there's no way I would have survived so far on my mission or in life without that! Love you Dad!! 

It sounded like everybody had a super eventful week! Kyle, I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty jealous of your hawaii trip! But Hawaii has nothing on Florida! When we come back here after the mish I will make sure that our trip is 10X as eventful as your trip to Hawaii! Also, random question, Are we planning to come back here and visit after I get back?? Because if the answer is no, I need you all to start making some plans!! Also, Kenz I can't believe that you were crazy enough to chase a cow and grab a dollar bill off of it!! Haha I wish I could have seen that, because it sounded like the funniest thing ever! 

This week was another great week in the FFLM!! #JumpsuitJune is coming to an end and everyone in the mission is so pumped to baptize so that they can make it on the mosaic!! It's awesome to see the great work we're doing as a mission! I don't know if I've told you this before, but for the whole month of June Elder Burgoyne and I, are wearing suits everyday from 8 in the morning until 9 at night. They don't come off for meals, or while knocking doors, or for any reason! The reasoning behind our madness is just to stick with the theme of "suits" for this month, and also to send a message to the mission! So things are definitely "heating up"! 

This week was pretty uneventful in our area. We found some really cool people during the week, but then when sunday morning rolled around nobody was to be found. . . And then to make things better as we were walking into church I stepped in a giant dog turd! Hahaha it was hilarious! But we still do have some really sweet investigators were working with. Mainly, this Jamaican lady named Lisa. She is rock solid! She's read a chapter from the book of mormon every single night ever since we gave it to her! She's ready to be baptized whenever, right now she's just in a living situation with her ex-boyfriend that's preventing her from being baptized, but hopefully we can work that out this week! 

I'm sorry this is such a lame, short, and eventful email! But I love you all so much, and as always I'm so grateful for all that you have done, and still do for me! I know this is the Lord's work and there's nothing better than this!! 

Elder Nielsen

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 6-15-2015

What is up everybody!?! I can't believe that all my homeboys are getting home already!! DAD, it's making me too trunky!! ;) haha I'm just kidding not at all actually. Because now that means that they have to start thinking about school, about how their going to pay for school. Where they need to work, how they are going to get a job. Who they are going to date, who God wants them to marry. What they are going to do for work for the rest of their lives. And then you have me. The only thing I have to think about is, "Invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end"! I love being a missionary!! Alright, so to answer a couple of the questions. Mom, I'm not exactly sure what the exact date is for my return. I'm pretty sure it's thanksgiving day, so whatever that day is! But yeah, feel free to call the mission office, they can hook you up. My companion goes home in 5 weeks. So this is his last transfer!

This week was pretty intense! I've never had to do so much "random crap" in my life!! I never realized just how much stuff has to happen in order for transfers to work out!! It's been insane! But great at the same time! Transfer meeting was so inspired and it was worth all the extra stuff. Just to give you an insight on exactly what happened. So monday we had to drive all the way up to the most northern part of the mission to pick up an elder who was going home early. Then on tuesday morning President took him to the airport. Then tuesday morning we spent from 8 until 2 in the office just printing stuff, and typing papers. Then we had to go pick up the new missionaries at the airport. Load all their luggage. Drive them to a hotel drop them off. Take them to Presidents stay there and eat dinner then give a little training. Then take them out to knock doors for the first time. Bring them back. Then go back into office until 11 at night to finish preparing things for transfers! I was dead! Then Wednesday basically we just announced transfer meeting, made sure everyone got the right switches with cars and other stuff. Then we took all the dead missionaries to Presidents house and finally got some time to work our area for like 3 hours that night!! Next morning we have to wake up @ 4 AM to take the departing missionaries to the airport. We drop them off, and then we finally had a normal day of working!!. . . Until Saturday. . . 

Because then on Saturday we had a Mission Leadership Council with Elder Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy!! I don't know if you know about him, but it was pretty big deal! Everybody is predicting him to be the next apostle so we will see what happens! But if it's true then I will officially be able to say that I hugged an Apostle! :) So all of that "stuff" was just crammed into the short span of 5 days! It was basically a blur! Haha good thing my companion has me hooked on these energy drinks called "kickstarts" or there is no way I would have survived! ;)

But enough of this dumb business stuff let's get to the important stuff that happened this week!! So, I don't think I have mentioned him before, but the past few weeks we've been working with this 22 year old kid named Jeff. Jeff is the man!! He was someone who was just completely prepared by God to receive the gospel. He had a pretty sketchy time in his teenage years, and we found him when he was really looking for God and for purpose in his life. We have seen so many changes in his life over the past few weeks it's been amazing. He was able to be baptized and confirmed this past weekend and you could just see the joy in his face after it all! He's told us now that he wants to start preparing for a mission and he is going to come teaching with us tomorrow night! 

This week that is what I learned right there. I learned that there are so many distractions or just "random crap" that Satan tries to fill our time with. I'm not saying that everything that I did earlier in the week was a "waste" or unnecessary. Because it was necessary. But sometimes in our lives it is way too easy to be caught up in those things and lose sight of what really matters most. I know that the Atonement is real. That it can literally change anyone if they allow it too. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer, and that putting HIM first, and always remembering HIM is what is most important! I love you all and have an amazing week!
Elder Nielsen 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 6-8-2015


Sounds like everyone had a nice start to summer!! Mom, I loved the pictures of your mountain bike ride!! That place looks amazing! Also, I can't believe Kylie is actually going to be a dental assistant at Dad's office! I still just picture everyone in mind as how they were when I left. So I still feel like Kylie is just a 16 year old girl, but I guess not anymore!! So weird, my mind is just constantly being blown every time I email! 

But while things might be slowing down for summer in Utah, things are really picking up here in Fort laud!! Something that is cool as an Assistant is that we get to watch the whole mission. What I mean by that, is we get to see the progression of the mission and what new things are happening and how people are improving and wards and stakes growing. It's really cool. Something fun about the mission as well, is that each month there's a theme. Basically it's just a creative way, to keep all of the missionaries excited and faith filled. So for example in March, everyone called it Miracle March. Then people would send out miracle texts to their zones using the #MiracleMarch. And it was just a fun way to get people excited. So now, in June, the theme is #JumpsuitJune. Jumpsuit meaning, the white baptismal "suit" people wear at their baptism. Then everyone in the mission is sending their baptism pictures to us, and at the end of the month, we're going to make a mosaic of all the pictures and it's going to be in the shape of the Fort lauderdale Temple. Hopefully that made sense how I described it, but it's going to be legit!! So everyone in the mission right now is super excited and it's just fun to watch it all happen! 

This past week, also was the last week of the transfer. So that means we had our last transfer planning meeting with President. At the beginning of my mission I always believed that transfers were inspired. But this past week I just got to see how INSPIRED they really are! It was a huge testimony builder for me, too see how much revelation can come as we truly prepare ourselves to receive it, and if we are truly seeking and asking for the right reasons. Fun Stuff!  

On top of all of the transfer planning and other random stuff, we did get to do some work in our area! We had a great week in our area, with many of our investigators coming to sacrament meeting! Specifically this one family of four. It is a mom and her 3 kids, and they are probably the coolest family I have ever found on my mission!! Just to give you some background info, here in South Florida, there are A LOT of dysfunctional families. It's really sad to see sometimes, but this family is just too legit too quit! The mom, her name is Akia she has her 3 kids in line all the time. They are some of the sharpest kids I've met! And she works 5 days of the week, and she takes care of her disabled father who lives with them. I never seen such a busy woman! They loved church, and after sacrament meeting A was talking to her 13 year old son, and she told him that next fast and testimony meeting he needs to go up and bear his testimony! It was just hilarious to hear their conversation because I felt like I had had the same conversation many times before in my life! ;) 

I'm always running out of time! I'm sorry, there are so many more experiences that I wish I had time to share! But please know that I love you all so much! Please keep praying for me! This week coming up will be huge with transfer meeting and everything else that is happening so I will need all the help I can get! But I know that God is real. That His hand is in our lives more than we can recognize it. Have an amazing week!

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 6-1-2015


What an eventful week it has been here in Florida and as well in Orem!! First I would like to give a shout out to my little sisters! Kylie, congrats on graduating!! You're so old!! I can't believe you will have gone to more college than me, by the time I get back! (fyi, I expect a letter from you next week filling me in on all the details from graduation! :) Kenzie, congrats on that great american award!! It sounded like you worked super hard for that! And Maddie, way to survive your first year of Jr. High! I think you deserve the biggest medal of everyone for doing that! Don't worry Jr. High is only 3 years, and I promise life gets better after! ;) Also, I can't believe Reid and Ryan are home! When you see them you, have to make them promise that they WILL NOT get married before I come home!! 

Anyway, now about our week here in Ft. Lauderdale West, a.k.a. the Promised land! So I don't think I explained things very well, about how we have been teaching this Marshallese family. So, Mary speaks perfect english and marshallese. Her and her husband Ghandi, were the one's who got married and baptized earlier this month. Then like I mentioned last week we started teaching Mary's sister-in-law. Her name is Fretha. She speaks literally no english. But, we bought her a Book of Mormon in Marshallese and she's been reading it a lot, so that's where most of the teaching has come from. But our lessons with Fretha are fun, because basically we just talk to Mary, and then she says the same thing back to Fretha, then Fretha replies in Marshallese and then Mary tells us what she said. It's a slow process, but Fretha has come along way! In fact she was baptized and confirmed this past weekend! It was great to see just how happy they both were and how excited Mary was to see that because of her she made a difference in someone's life! Other than that nothing too eventful happened in our area, just continuing to search for all the people that God has prepared here! 

I would like to end just by sharing something that I have learned this past week. I've been studying a lot about Faith. And there was a talk that i found by David A. Bednar called Seek learning by Faith that really made things clear. He talked about how there are 3 different aspects involved in Faith. The assurance of things hoped for, the action of Faith, and the Evidences of Faith. He describes it as a cycle. First we have an assurance, or a hope. That hope leads us to act. And because of our actions and hope we are able to see the evidences of those actions! Which leads us to have greater assurance and hope, to act even more and see even greater evidences! For example, with the Book of Mormon, we are given a Promise, or an Assurance, that if we read it, and if we pray God will let us know by the Spirit that it is true. So anyone can read that and gain a hope for an answer. But unless we take ACTION, and truly study it, and pray with real intent, we will never see the Evidence. The spirit will never be given an opportunity to testify to us because we never did our part. It's the same with all other aspects of the gospel and in truly developing Faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for the chance that my mission has given me to seek learning by faith. I'm so grateful for the evidences that I have seen over the course of my mission that have increased my faith and deepened my conversion. I know Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that the promises He makes us in the scriptures are real, if we will do our part and just act! 

Love you all and have and have an amazing week!
Elder Nielsen