Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Elder Nelson in Elk Grove- his hometown!

Hello Everybody,

This week was a roller coaster let me tell ya! First YSA work and tracking down young adults is a very hard thing to do. They have school and work and sleep all the time! It looks like I already know what my life is going to be like when I get home!

Elder Berry and I have spent most of the week getting to know each other and setting goals for our Zone and Companionship! Literally this was the first week of the transfer so not a whole lot of meetings or crazy activities yet. The highlight of the week had to be Stake Conference!

Ok I will try and list off all the families that swarmed me...I mean came up and talked to me this week! The Foxes, Potts, Mullens, Haas, Jenson, Stephenson’s, Busch’s, Bishop and President Hogge and I'm blanking on a few more! It was good to see everyone! Everyone said I was tall and all grown up! I actually hope I grow a couple more inches...so I can’t be all the way grown up yet!

We met at Bishop Hogge’s house twice this week! Both times he asked about home and how my family was doing! I thought it was awesome! I can tell he wants to just ask a bunch of questions but keeps it on purpose for us missionaries! He is a great man and great Bishop! We live in apartments off Bruceville! So very familiar spot and I know my way around town as if I lived here or something!

I think highlight of the week was teaching a new investigator. He has met with missionaries before but this time he is a lot more committal. We feel like this could be his time to enter the gateway! He was unable to come to conference for actual legit family problems so we know he wasn't actually flaking on us! I’m pumped to be teaching him and hopefully something amazing will happen with him! Elder Nelson is doing great out here! Everywhere we drive I am just yelling saying “Hey I remember that place, or Hey I have been there!” My poor companion I bet he is sick of me pointing at everything and yelling at it! Anyways I got some pictures to share! We had a Zone Activity today! We each came with little minute to win it games! We all played at Elk Grove Park! This week was good. Hopefully this upcoming week is just as awesome!

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Transferred to the YSA ward!!

Hey Family and Friends,

This week for sure had its ups and downs. First the down side, Elder Toki is officially home and I will miss the fun we had together. He was for sure one of my favorite companions! Transfers this week as a single Zone Leader was very busy and tiring! It was fun though trying to balance 18 missionaries and when and where they are all getting transferred to!

So quick update on transfers.... President Hymas called me and told me I was getting transferred! They made a lot of changes this transfer! The Fijian Ward will get two new missionaries in that ward! President Hymas call to me when like this. “Elder Nelson the Lord has called you to go home......you will be serving the Cosumnes River YSA Ward in the Elk Grove Zone!” For I second, I was confused and wasn't sure what he meant by going home but when I finally understood I accepted the call and jumped out of the park car I was in a ran like 800 miles in circles! I was screaming and dancing and really just acting like a freak! IM PUMPED, YOUNG EG BOY IS SERVING IN ELK GROVE!! It’s good to be home!

My new companion is Elder Berry! He is from Rexburg Idaho. He went to the same High school and played on the same team as Elder Anderson, one of my last companions (Madison High). We are hoping this will be a pump-up transfer and that we will get a lot done in YSA work. The YSA ward covers two stakes! The Elk Grove Stake and the Sacramento Stake. The Sister Training Leaders, STLs, cover the Elk Grove Stake side of the boundaries and we cover the Sacramento Stake boundaries. So really my proselyting area didn't change but the people I am preaching the gospel to has!

Let me tell you a little story about yesterday our first day in YSA work! So, by the time transfers were all done and I got all unpacked it was dinner time! We ate dinner at Chick-fil-a and then went out. Not a lot of success most of the night. The first door I knock for a potential YSA investigator was also the first door that opened for us that night, it was around 8pm! Just imagine this right, 8pm, crazy day, finally someone opens, and I get to share the gospel with them!!....it was a very attractive Latino girl, and boy oh boy, I couldn't say one word.... finally, when I was done being in LaLa Land we actually got a return appointment and gave her a Book of Mormon! Elder Nelson needs to focus up and not get stuck in LaLa Land again. I learned a good lesson my first night out! I will be better prepared to see who in inside of these YSA houses! I am doing great, I have a new fire for the work, and know that this church and gospel are true! It’s time for me to play some basketball now!

The happy missionary,

Elder Nelson!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Transfer coming next week...


Hey Family!

This week was a meeting packed week!  We had MLC, General Conference, and Elder Toki’s departing interview. I remember when Elder Toki and I got together we were thinking this upcoming week was never going to happen.   I never thought Elder Toki leaving was going to happen, but it is here! We will work super hard this week to help him finish strong.  MLC was great.  I feel like sometimes missionaries forget whose name is on their name tag and forget that most of the guidelines/questions people have they can answer themselves.  

My all-time favorite talk was from Elder Anderson. He finished General Conference with some fire. Elder Bednar is always my favorite but Elder Anderson knocked it out of the park. This General Conference was powerful...we need to be prepared for Satan to try and match that. Stay strong to the faith and just like Henry B Eyring and Russel M. Nelson said “SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE BOOK OF MORMON”. God preserves his people so we need to stay on his side!

This upcoming week will be a sad one but I learned a lot from Elder Toki! I will have to jump in with another companionship for the weekend...I will be a lone wolf by myself.  Transfer calls are this Saturday and I get to do them by myself because I will be the only Zone Leader. Everyone is calling me the Zone Emperor! Haha! The weather out here in SacTown is beautiful! I love it here...I think I will stay here after my two years and never come home...anyways!

We did a huge Church tour at the Seasons building. It wasn't as successful as we thought but a lot of good things happened. Lots of investigators came and they all felt the spirit and learned what the church is all about.  Well I’m too lazy to write more I’m sorry!

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

More exchanges and the work goes on!

(Elder Henderson is the one in the t-shirt. He was Connor's trainer and Connor loves him! They will forever have a special bond.  He came back to visit)

Dear Family and Friends,

We had another crazy week of three exchanges! The first exchange this week was with the Assistants. I was with Elder Murphy and super excited to be companions with him because I have heard so many good things. He is the newest assistant. We honestly had a blast. Something I took from him and want to improve on is testifying of the love I have for people out here on the mission. That is a big reason why I am serving a mission so I need to tell people that.

The second exchange was with Elder Hammond. It was great to be with him for a long time and get to know him even better than I did before. I left him with the commitment to make long term and short-term goals to continue to progress at the same pace, no slowing down! Elder Hammond and Osborne are getting a long great and they are seeing lots of success from their obedience and hard work!

The last exchange this week was a little harder. The Elder seems to be struggling a little bit because he feels like everyone is out to get him and point out his wrong doings. I made sure to express my love for him and the love others have for him because they see his potential and what he can become. Everyone just wants him to be happy and improve. He is having trouble accepting correction. Other than that, our exchange was awesome. We hit the pavement hard and pushed ourselves to talk to everyone and testify of Christ. We both were exhausted at the end of the day but we could feel that our Heavenly Father was pleased with our effort.

Elder Toki and I again weren’t together that much this week but we are happy to be back together again. I’m going to miss him when he goes home in 2 weeks. We played our weekly beat ya teach ya basketball/lesson! These kids are starting to be more open to the gospel and there is like 20 of them that might start taking actually one on one lessons. Elder Toki and I have been doing our best to work hard together these last couple of days. He has like 12 days left! Anyways the boy is going to have to move out to California with me and go to school out here. Oh, shoot did I say I was moving to California...I love it here too much to not come back! I have met up with so many old friends and made so many more new friends that I would love to attend college with all of them. Anyways on a more spiritual matter. I made a goal to finish the Book of Mormon again before Christmas. It should be pretty easy since I was able to finish it in a week in Del Campo Area. I hope this time I will be able to dig a little deeper! The weather this last week was perfect! We drive everywhere with our windows down cruising! Its perfect weather to talk to people on the streets!

Much Love
Elder Nelson

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lots of exchanges!

Dear Family and friends,

This week was packed with exchanges. We did exchanges with Hmong, Marshallese and the Spanish Elders.

During the exchanges two of the elders were on their last exchange, I left them with the commitment to stay worthy of spiritual promptings and to use their time as wisely as possible. These two commitments were recently used but we felt like this would help them finish their mission on a good note.

The last exchange was with an Elder who has been struggling with finding joy in the work. The whole time I tried to help him recognize the joy in finding new investigators, good contacts, and solid lessons. We had a blast together and invited him to study diligence on PMG pg. 121! We will follow up with him on Thursday at District Meetings.

Elder Toki and I missed being with each other for the week but when we were together we got work done! We found 7 new solid investigators. We are hoping to put two of them on date this upcoming week!

The weather here in Sacramento has been amazing! The delta breeze is keeping everything cool to a nice 70-80 all day and its sweet! We drive everywhere with the windows down and man I miss being able to blast music...it’s just blasting MoTab for now! Which is getting old I will be honest...I love the gospel but MoTab is old!

Anyways! I was exhausted this week because I felt like I was doing everything with all the missionaries coming into our area. We had Stake Conference yesterday. It was all about Family History and how we need to be doing this work for our deceased family members. It was good...still the same topic from the whole rest of the year but it was powerful. The second coming must be real close if all the focus in Family History because that will be most of the millennium. This next week Elder Toki and I will have three more exchanges..nothing will be slowing down for us!

I almost forgot to mention we did play Basketball this Thursday with all the college kids. They were super excited to have us come play that they brought even more people! They brought better players but that just made it more fun. According to the member, he says every talks about the cool Elders who ball...so we are hoping the messages we share will be more powerful now they trust us and think we are "cool"! So hopefully 20+ new investigators will be listed soon!

Love everyone and miss you!

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

More beat ya- teach ya!!

Hey Family!

This week was off the chain exhausting! We had three baptisms this week in the zone, we had district meetings and I felt like we ran a ton of errands this week! It’s true what President Jardine used to say...our assignment as Zone Leaders we really are just Zone Servants. I love the chance that I have to be in this spot though. I’m glad I can serve all these missionaries!

Elder Toki and I had a blast on Thursday! Thursday was official 1 year mark out on the mission. All I wanted to do to celebrate was play beat-ya-teach-ya! So, all Thursday night we went looking around for people to play! We played two high schoolers in the park, killed them and passed put 2 Book of Mormons. We went to another park played three on three with some older men maybe around mid 30s. Beat them and passed out three Book of Mormons.

We got a text from the Assistants saying we needed to update the people who are firm and on date for baptism...we kind of forgot to do that...we got to the church and saw that our firms list was already up to date so we didn't get in trouble. We did hear someone bouncing a basketball at the Seasons Building so we jumped up and ran to the gym. A member who is in college at Cal state was playing basketball waiting for the 20 friends he invited to show up. We waited maybe 15 minutes and 20+ kids from Cal state showed up to play basketball. We called first game and balled these kids up. Best competition I have had all mission. We won 11-1 and got a return appointment for next Thursday night. We told everyone next time we were going to start with a scripture and a prayer. They agreed so I am pumped for next Thursday. Hopefully we will get 20 new investigators!!!!!

Work around the mission has been crazy, last week we were at an all-time low finding only 64 new investigators. This week the mission doubled it finding 136 new investigators. It was awesome to see the transition. We have been coming up with ideas on how we can make finding easier and find creative ways to get people to listen to the gospel. As a Sacramento Zone, we will start a Finding Friday, where the whole Zone will go do a blitz or team-ups together for most of the day! I’m excited to see what happens with this new idea!

Our Fijian Ward Bishopric will start a fast this week to find new Fijian investigators. All the missionary work in the ward starts through the Bishop's priesthood keys so we are excited he is on board and ready to help us out!

I have been thinking back on this last year of the mission and wondering what things I can do to continually improve. The two things that came to mind was journal writing (writing more than just one page) and obtaining Christlike attributes. Trying my best to be more humble, patient, and kind to people. Luckily the Lord is on my side or that would be impossible for me. We have three exchanges this upcoming week so Elder Toki and I won’t be together for much of the week but I will still make the work fun, I always do! Mission life is treating me well.

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

1 year mark this week!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was packed with meetings! We had Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Martinez of the 70! They focused a lot on obedience and the true teacher in lessons, the Spirit! It was amazing to hear their council and their humor. Both of them were hilarious! I have a story to share about what they said later in the email when we saw them in MLC!

Sadly, I was feeling horrible this week so I was out of commission for one day this week! I was really upset and mad that I had to be sick! I had a horrible headache and my body was just super cold...so I took some medicine and hung out with another sick Elder for the day. We were able to setup two blitzes in the sisters’ areas! We found a total of 15 new investigators between the two blitzes so they were very successful!

I love being a Zone Leader and being able to help out our missionaries and see miracles in other areas! It gets me pumped for proselyting. The best part about the week was this month’s MLC (Mission Leadership Council). Elder Toki and I were the first two missionaries to the MLC and right before the meeting we were able to visit with Elder and Sister Martinez. The first thing they said to both of us was not a "hi, I’m Elder Martinez nice to meet you, or hi, how are you Elders?" He said Elders "your ties are wonderful when you get home and get a wife you should match those ties with your wife's dress!  Now take that thought and cast it away, don’t think about that ever again until you are released as a missionary!" Hahaha - man they were funny people! Elder and Sister Martinez were able to attend that meeting with us and it was amazing how much revelation was flowing in the upstairs room of President and Sister Hymas house!

We got some great direction and a little bit of chastisement but that is expected as Leaders in the mission. Something all the Leaders will have to work on is correcting missionaries and making sure missionaries have a testimony of the rules! I guess there have been some problems with that going on in the mission! Elder Toki and I had the chance to eat dinner at the Cantillos home this week as well! It was amazing I love that family and I am sad that Nathan and I couldn't have spent more together through high school!

P-Day today was spent up in Serrano neighborhood in El Dorado Hills at Presidents house playing games and having friendly competitions! It was a blast to get the whole Zone out of Sacramento and into new grounds to enjoy our day off! Sadly, we weren't able to get in their massive pool they have..but we had lunch and had a ping-pong tournament! I did not win but if it was basketball we all know that outcome of that tournament! Anyways Elder Toki and I are still having a blast as companions and the members are now asking us if we knew each other before the mission because we seem like such close brothers. Hey this week is my one-year mark. I officially have served for half of my time! It went crazy fast! The mission is fantastic, now only if we can find someone to baptize!!

Your boy 

Elder Nelson