Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 7-27-2015. New companion, Elder Hayward

Elder Burgoyne (middle) going home and a new companion, Elder Hayward
First I would like to start off with a Birthday shout out to my youngest sister Kenz!! I love you Kenz and happy Birthday! Don't worry I didn't forget! ;) And I'll be sending you a letter today so get ready! It sounded like you guys had a legendary week this week! Pioneer Day looked like a great time! Our ward here tried, to have a little Pioneer Day BBQ, but it was just pouring the whole time, so it kind of got wrecked! haha but it was the effort that mattered!

Like I said last week, this week was transfer meeting. Which basically means, death as an Assistant! haha not really it just means you have to do a whole bunch of extra crap, that takes away all your time of proselyting in your area, and causes your stress levels to skyrocket. . . ! Whoo! I'm sure you can catch the sarcasm in my voice! There are many things that I LOVE about being an assistant, but if there's one thing I will complain about it is definitely preparing for transfers. It's ok though, everything worked out, I didn't have a stroke, and nothing big was forgotten. So it was a Success!! 

So, as I said before Transfer weeks basically kill our area for the week. But...! In the few short hours that we did have everyday, we got some serious work done! It's a blast being back with E. Hayward. He was one of my favorite companions, and we served together in Hollywood. We're calling this transfer the REDEMPTION transfer. Because last time we were together we just didn't do as well as we should have. So, Round 2 now we're making sure we don't make the same mistakes! 

This week we tried basically every single day to get in contact with Vena, and we just heard nothing! So we were stressing out super hard, and in our minds we had basically dropped her. But on Saturday night as we were driving to an appointment I felt like we should give her one last call. So I did, and she finally answered! She kept apologizing for not answering any of our calls. She said that she was going to come to church the next day. And she did! We got to have a good long chat with her and we finally figured out what happened! Basically she just got super nervous for her baptism and all of her friends were telling her that she wasn't ready, and unfortunately she listened to them! But then she said when she was at church she felt the spirit super strong and just knew that this is where God wants her to be. So she reset her date, and she should be getting baptized this Saturday! So sick!

Sorry, I'm totally out of time, but I love you all so much! I'm so grateful for the Gospel! I know that it can change each and everyone of us! 

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 7-20-2015


SUPER SATURDAY!!! That youth activity sounded legendary! It was cool to see some pictures of all the youth! I literally recognized no one. . . Yikes!! I think when I get home I will have to be re-introduced to everyone back home, because the 'pre-mission veil' is very thick!! It will be good though! It sounds like everyone is enjoying their summer and that it is filled with all kinds of fun stuff!!

This week we had some "fun stuff" going on! Here's a couple random things that happened: We had a ward BBQ on Saturday, and right when it was about to start it started raining cats and dogs! So then, it ended up being an "indoor BBQ"!! We got a super bad flat tire, so we had to put on the spare, and get all that worked out. We ate Grio (this famous Haitian dish) that our Recent Convert Pascaline made for us since it was E. Burgoyne's last week. We ate at this famous restaurant in Palm Beach called "Gordo Burger". Basically they have this super famous Burger, called the Gordo Burger. It was ginormous, but delicious. (I'll send a pic) We met a guy who said his name was, "Mental Genius". I lost my scriptures and my journal last weekend at church, so the whole week I was praying to find them, and then the other set of Elders from our ward found them! We gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. Of course, we spoke about Missionary Work! Our Recent Convert Jeff received the Aaronic Priesthood!!! 

That's basically a brief summary of our week!! The only other news I can think of is about Vena. We're still not sure what happened to her! Everything was great this week! We saw her everyday, and then on Friday she had her Baptismal Interview and everything was good! Her baptism was set for the next day at 3, and then she was no where to be found. She didn't answer any of our calls, and we went by her house, and the people that she lives with said they hadn't seen her since the day before. We still haven't seen her and neither have the people that she lives with. We're praying hard for her, so hopefully we can get in contact with her ASAP!!

This next week is going to be wild! Transfer meeting is on Wednesday! So that means I will be getting my new companion! Usually we don't find out, until Wednesday, but since as assistants we help President plan for transfers I already know everything! ;) So, if I tell you that means you have to keep this on the Down low until Wednesday! But my companion is going to be Elder Hayward!! I don't know if you remember him, but he was my companion in Hollywood. We're going to have a blast being back together!! Like I said, this week is going to be crazy, so please pray that I will be able to have the strength to do everything that's ahead of us!! 

I love you all so much, and I really do miss you guys! I'm sorry if my emails just seem super lame, and inconsiderate, but please know that I do love you guys a lot!! Have a fantastic week!! 
Elder Nielsen 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 7-13-2015

Our new ride (I wish!)

It sounded like everyone had some eventful weeks at all of their different camps!! Thanks for all the cool stories and pictures! Maddie, I wish I could have been there for you and Mom's lightning story!! That sounded crazy! I'm glad no one got struck by lightning though. Thanks for all the updates on all my homies back home as well. It's crazy to hear about how many people are getting home right now!! Please make sure that you tell everyone that they absolutely CANNOT get married before I get home!! haha thanks! Also tell them all that I would love to email them so give them my email address and tell them to email me please!! :)

Every week is a great week here in Ft. Laud, but this week it seemed like we especially saw the tender mercies of the Lord! So, 2 weeks ago Satan went hard on all our investigators and none of the came to church. . . which was not good because Elder Burgoyne and I set a goal of baptizing 11 in our 2 transfers together. Right now we are at 10, and we need at least 1 more. But that Sunday was our last Sunday to bring people to church to baptize before the Transfer ended. So we were devastated!! But we decided that there was still some way that we were going to baptize before E. Burgoyne went home. So we started praying specifically to find someone who has been to church before. Or for some former investigator who had been to church before. Then on Tuesday, right after zone training we got a call from one of our former investigators named Vena. She had been to church just a few weeks before and she was really solid, but then randomly one day she just dropped us and told us she didn't want us coming by anymore. But this time things had changed. During the phone call she was telling us about how on the 4th of July she made a mistake and got drunk. Then she started throwing up, and she said that as she was throwing up something prompted her to call us. Then she started thinking about it and she recognized how unhappy she was at the moment and how happy she had felt when she came to church and was reading the scriptures and visiting with us. So a couple days later she called us, and told us she wanted us to come back. We started teaching her again, and she came to church this Sunday, and now she is ready to be baptized this Saturday!! 5 days, before E. Burgoyne goes home! :) So Sick!! This experience really strengthened my testimony of how God truly is preparing all of His children to receive the gospel! Sometimes even in the strangest of ways! Haha I never thought someone puking their guts out would be how they were prepared, but God works in mysterious ways! ;) 

This week we also had transfer planning with President since transfers are in a week and a half! It's crazy to think that it's already been 2 transfers since I first got here with E. Burgoyne. Time has gone WAY too fast! So now I'm just trying to learn all of the last things I need to learn from Elder Burgoyne so that when he leaves things don't completely fall apart!! I've never felt so much pressure in having to take over, but it's good! I'm learning a lot! :) I'm sorry my emails are so short! But my time here is short so I will just have to tell you all the stories in person! ;) Don't worry Dad, I'm not trunky though! I love you all so much! If there's anything that you remember from emails please know, that I know that I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and our Redeemer. I know that by coming unto Him, and by following Him we can find true peace and happiness! 
Elder Nielsen 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale West 7-6-2015

4th of July. Since Missionaries aren't allowed to do Fireworks I figured that while we were out on our roof watching some I had to do something similar with bug spray and a lighter! ;)
Wow, that looked like a fun family reunion!! I feel like I was practically there with all of the pictures that you sent me! :) thank you for that! I think the best thing I saw was Kendal's hair! Hahaha I thought it was a joke when I first saw it, but I can't believe he actually left it like that for the whole trip!! That's hilarious! We seriously have one of the best families ever! It's amazing that we can still all come together and have a great time and help each other out. No wonder, Satan tries to go so hard to do everything that he can to destroy families! Because they literally have a life changing effect on our lives! 

Over the course of my mission my memory just keeps getting worse and worse! Every email I just try to think back on the week and I can never remember what happened! One of the highlights this week was we had MLC on friday. MLC's are fun, because Us and President get to give a training to all the Leadership, and then they end up basically giving the same thing to all the missionaries in their zones. It was a little stressful preparing it, just because you know that the things you present will be presented to the whole mission! But our training went better than we even expected! So that was a big relief. 

Also this week, we baptized another awesome Jamaican lady named Myrtle! I call her my Jamaican Grandmother. She's an older lady and she always call us 'sweeties' and 'dear' and just says grandma stuff all the time! Haha she's an awesome lady though! Such a huge miracle. The way that we found her was she was a media referral. So we just get a text on our phone with her phone number and address and name. So we tried calling her but she didn't answer, so we decided to just look up the address and go. When we get to her place we realize that she lives in a 55+ community. Now let me rant for just a moment. . . There are so many 55+ communities in Florida! It's ridiculous!! Basically what they are is just these huge apartment complexes full of only old people! Now don't get me wrong I love old people, but there's nothing worse than driving along and seeing a huge apartment complex you get all excited to go and knock it. And then you  go and knock it, and find only people who can understand you if you yell at the top of your lungs directly in their ear!! So when we first get there, in our minds we just imagined it going no where. But we went and knocked her door and she was so excited to see us!! Apparently a few years back she was living in New York with a friend who was a member and they had missionaries over all the time. Then when she moved down here she didn't know how to get in contact with the church. So her friend just got her address and sent it in as a media referral. She was super legit from the very beginning. In our first lesson with her she asked us, "So what do I need to do to be baptized??" haha there's nothing better to a missionaries ears than that phrase! :) 

Other than that not that much happened this week! Except Sunday! Sunday was an awesome Sunday for us as well! Elder Burgoyne and I nick named it "Recent Convert Takeover". haha the reason being because it seemed like every recent convert got a calling or was already doing something to help out the ward. It's awesome to see just how quickly people can progress in the gospel. And how much the Lord can help us along the way! I love this work! I know that it is the Lord's work! I know this is His Church! Have an amazing week and I love you all! 

Elder Nielsen