Tuesday, August 14, 2018

President Dallin H Oaks was here!!

Dear Everybody,

I will skip right to the part of the week that everyone wants to hear about. President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency came to the California Sacramento Mission and the Roseville Mission. It was an incredible experience. Since the Meeting of both missions was held in the boundaries of the Sacramento Mission at the Mormon Center next to the Sacramento Temple, we were in charge of putting an agenda or a program together for President Oaks. That means someone had to be Conducting the meeting with President Oaks. That was me! I don’t want to seem like I am bragging but I got to sit on the stand with President Oaks. It was amazing. I wasn’t nervous the whole time being up there until I had to stand up and realized that I couldn't see President Oaks because he was behind me. I didn’t get just an individual picture with just him but I got to shake his hand and took a giant mission picture with him. He is hilarious and it is way better seeing General Authorities in person than on TV during General Conference. His spirit was real and we can see a lot of love in his face. It was a great last transfer Mission Conference.

This last week we set a goal to find a new friend to teach every day this whole transfer. That comes out to be about 40 new friends to start teaching. We found 14 new people to teach this week. We worked super hard making sure we were out of the Office and on the streets proselyting. This message of Jesus Christ's Restored Church is too good to be lazy about. We had a ton of fun being able to work and put ourselves out there. I am still praying for another miracle baptism to end the mission. Two baptisms my last transfer would be awesome. 

We had a day where I was homeless and bouncing around companionships for a full day. I have never done anything like that on my whole mission. The reason why we did this was so we could do team-ups with all the new missionaries and do exchanges with most of the Zone Leaders. Elder Ricedorff and Thompson stayed and did Exchanges in the Garfield Ward while Thursday night I stayed in the Diamond Springs ward. I did the morning workout and studies with these Elders and then we worked all morning in El Dorado. It was beautiful up there because all the smoke from the fires is in the valley not in the hills.

After that team-up they helped carpool me to meet up with 2 more Elders. I worked in the Brighton Ward on the East side with these Elders for the afternoon. I ate dinner with them and after dinner met with 2 more Elders who serve in the Brighton Ward on the West side. We worked all night in their area, which is mostly Oak Park (for those who don’t know Oak Park it is a rough neighborhood with gang members). It was a blast seeing some crazy stuff. I did three team-ups throughout the whole day and man was it tiring but super fun. We got a lot done this week. 

Some other random Highlights are not getting a flat tire this week when we picked up baptismal records. I got to see some good friends at the mission conference. Elder Schwenson and Sister Wilding. I will send a picture of us. I have some pictures of our car travels and some pictures of us out in the world working. Overall it was a good week. I am happy missionary who has some mixed feelings about coming home so soon. 

Elder Nelson

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tripaionship! 3 AP's working...

Dear Everybody,

This week was a busy one! First, we had a New Leadership Meeting, we had a Mission Leadership Council, and had to plan all of our exchanges. It was a lot of time on the computer and a lot of time in the Mission Office. We probably averaged about 1 hour of proselyting each day. It has been hard to get out and get missionary work done with just one tripanionship of Assistants. It makes our lives twice as busy. It is a good way for us to learn how to balance priorities and still focus on what is important. I have some fun stories to share from this week’s shenanigans.

We were driving down to Stockton this weekend to get a baptismal record. Elder Thompson was driving the mission Sienna minivan because it had more gas than our Tacoma. Also, because the Sienna doesn’t have a tiwi so we can drive faster on the freeway. Elder Thompson drilled a curb outside of the Stockton Stake Center. Luckily the tire didn't explode but it did leave a giant ball of air on the side wall of the tire. On the freeway on our way back from Stockton though, the tire exploded. It was crazy and it made for some good memories. We are safe and the car didn't flip. That is the third flat tire I have gotten on my mission. It was great. 

Biggest miracle of the week! Elder Nelson got to go to a baptism of someone that I taught. I had the privilege to baptize him and it was a great experience. He was crying after the service was over and it was very touching moment with him. He will do great things in the church. 

Do any of you remember Philip Eyrich that I found and then taught. He got baptized about 5 months ago with Elder Forte and Yorgason. He was baptized in the Garfield Ward and that is the new ward that I am serving in now. The ward is on the older side but it seems like a good ward to end my mission on. I get to sit by Philip now every Sunday and go to class with him. We had a blast together. 

As my mission starts to come to an end it is getting bitter sweet. I want to finish strong and need to use my experience on my mission to train my companions and other missionaries. At the same time, I am doing My Plan which requires me to set goals for myself after my mission and makes me think about home more than I want to. I just finished the Marriage and Dating section. I am having a blast. Covering 11 Stakes/Zones of missionaries, 180 missionaries makes time fly. Hands down this last week was the fasted week on my mission. I don’t want to think about how fast this transfer is going to go. Until next week my friends.

Elder Nelson

Monday, July 30, 2018

The last transfer of my mission!!!

Dear Everybody,

This week was Transfers, and only working on Transfers. Once we worked on Transfer we had to keep working on Transfers because working on Transfers takes forever. I hope you get the idea. We literally lived in the Mission Office this week. We moved missionaries around on the Transfer Board with President Hymas. We got all the new Leaders called and organized the missionaries who would be training new missionaries. We worked on Transfer Instructions and the Transfer train Line up. It literally is a never-ending process.
We planned for the upcoming Mission Leadership Council. Throughout this week there was a couple of meetings to train missionaries. Elder Thompson and Ricedorff took care of those meetings and Elder Forte and I lived in the Mission Office and worked together for once.
Anyway, that was most of my week. It was working in the Mission Office and working on organizing 180 missionaries. This is the biggest transfer in the last 4 years of the mission. It is great to be a part of it and we will see how it goes tomorrow. Tomorrow is the official blend of all 180 missionaries. It will be crazy! I need to have all my stuff packed up tonight so I can move to my new home tomorrow morning. 
Here is the crazy Awesome news. We have our Calendars synced with President Hymas calendar because we are his little shadows walking around. We saw that August 11th there was a Mission Conference. Now everything on the Mission Calendar, we know about and we prepare for so when we saw "Mission Conference" in the next few weeks we panicked. We called President and he said, “sorry Elder I know about it and I can’t tell you who is coming." Well low and behold, I know who it is but I can’t tell. I am excited!!!
We went to the Temple this week for the Departing missionaries. I still love the temple! that place is out of this world get it….I am dumb I know. 
I got a lot of good pictures with some good people since I am leaving some of my favorite wards.

Bye Bye 
Elder Nelson 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A fun and busy week!

Dear Everybody,

This week was another one for the books. We had two exchanges this week. 
The first exchange I was with Elder Mutchie from Kaysville, Utah. I have not laughed so hard through an exchange. All day he had me almost in tears at some of the things he would do. For example, we were talking to this lady as she was getting into her car. She sat down in her hot car and the leather seat burned her legs and she quickly got out of the car and started saying not nice things. Immediately almost as if Elder Mutchie knew she was going to say those things he started yelling singing in front of this lady, “THE SPIRIT OF GOD LIKE A FIRE IS BURNING." Literally, I was dead. It was a blast.

The second exchange was with Elder Carling. He is also from Kaysville, Utah and he went to the same high school as Elder Mutchie. It was a crazy week of exchanges and both of them went great. Saturday, we did Seeking Saturday which is where our whole zone gets together and tries to find people to teach. This week we did a Car Wash as a Zone in the church parking lot. It was really fun to be honest. It was the most water I have messed around with in 2 years. It is sad but fun. We played softball with Laguna Creek 1st ward. It was fun as well. We had quite the fun activities this week. I reminded myself why I never played baseball growing up. Sorry mom but that sport is too slow pace for me. 

President called and made some huge changes this upcoming week. This week we are working on transfers.  President called and said that he wants only one set of Assistants. That means since Elder Forte goes home in 10 days that Elder Thompson, Ricedorff and I will be a trio of Assistants this next transfer. That also means I am getting transferred back to Carmichael Stake to be closer to the Mission Office. My last transfer and they are taking me out of Elk Grove...I am a little upset and not happy with it but it is what the Lord wants for the mission so I will go with it. I told some of the families down here that I am close with that we are leaving and they aren’t happy. The Bertagnini Family started crying. I felt so bad. These next 6 weeks will fly by. Our trio is now in charge of all 11 Zones and 165 missionaries all by ourselves. We will go to all the meetings now instead of splitting the meetings between two Assistants. Our lives literally just became twice as busy. Time will go even faster now. Everyone should know I am doing well and I feel heathy. It has been a great week. Until next time. I only have to write 6 more of these emails.

Elder Nelson 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Dear Everyone:

I know this might come off as a surprise but this week went by super quick! We had Zone Conference 3 days this week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday! It was great! I love seeing all the mission friends I have made and I always love giving trainings and being able to help others. Our training was about setting daily goals that stretched the individuals and companionship every day. There are a lot of good goals made in our mission but they could definitely push everyone more. More importantly everyone needs to get out of their comfort zone more. It was a great 3 days.

I was exhausted after the third day. We had 18 hours of total meetings. President Hymas got caught sleeping in the Conference by Sister Hymas. It drained all of us. The new missionaries to the California Sacrament Mission are transitioning really well. There were definitely times where we were walking on egg shells but we think we got most of the major kinks out. Again, those missionaries down there are super funny and we all get along great. There are no concerns about the Leadership getting along. We did a team-up down in Tracy with the Manteca Zone Leaders. Holy Cow that is such a long drive. It was an hour there and an hour back. It was fun to be in new areas and new parts of the mission but too far away. It was another busy week but luckily today was wonderful P-Day and we woke up at 630 and then passed out again and slept for another 4 hours. Monday naps will literally be the physical thing to get me through my mission. I want to start and finish the whole Book of Mormon in my last transfer and that should hopefully power me through the end spiritually. I want to baptize as many people as possible these last few weeks too. I have some good goals to help me finish strong! I have time but also on the flip side its coming to a quick end. 

The highlight of the week was I had a special visitor come and visit me in Sacramento. Caden Henderson and his wife Dacey came down to visit Sacramento and they came and said hi to me. Man, I miss Caden but it was good to see him and catch up with him. He is doing great and it was awesome to meet his wife. She seems like a wonderful young woman. I wish I had more time to get and know her but in the near future I will see them again. 

I hope everyone has a great week. 
Elder Nelson!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The big day of joining (part of) Modesto and Sacramento Mission!

Dear Everybody, 

This week was the week that I have been waiting for, for a long time now. It been a sleep loser that is for sure! Ok first things first, the rest of the week before I get to the good stuff! This last Monday, the 2nd, we had a BBQ and played a bunch of outdoor games with our Zone to celebrate the 4th of July! We played soccer, ultimate frisbee, and football. It was a blast. The Liahona Ward (Tongan) gave us a bunch of meat for us to BBQ with. We had more meat than we could handle. We had interviews with President Hymas and talked about the big day of meeting the 40 new Sacramento Missionaries. We met with President and Sister Hymas and the other Assistants to make sure that everything was ready for us to meet all the missionaries down in Stockton. It was a lot of organizing over the phone. We called the Lodi, Stockton, and Manteca Zone Leaders to make sure all of their missionaries would be at the Meet the President Meeting Thursday morning. Wednesday was a great day. Happy Birthday to America!! Both the Laguna Creek 4th ward and Laguna Creek 1st ward had breakfasts in the morning. We were able to eat two breakfast and still be out proselyting at 10am. Since it was the 4th of July everyone was home and we taught like 6 actual sit down lessons on that day. It was awesome day teaching a ton of people. The 4th of July evening from 6-9pm we had to be inside. Elder Ricedorff was in Elk Grove with me when we did Zone Nerf Wars so we set up the 24th and Gardendale building for a Nerf War with the Zone. It was lots of fun. We had 24 missionaries running around shooting each other. 

Thursday was the big day. To be honest, I did not sleep well Wednesday night and I am not sure why. I wasn’t really nervous to meet all the new missionaries but I think there was so much leading up to that day that I was too excited to sleep. We met at the Stockton Stake Center and went around and met all 40 missionaries. It was lots of fun and I just gained 40 new friends. These missionaries are hilarious and I think we will all get along great. The “Meet the President” meeting went great. It went about 3 hours over but it was really good meeting. These new missionaries seemed to be living a tough/strict mission life before we joined with them so they are excited to start having fun and being creative in the work.

Thursday night we planned an exchange with Elder Manley and Elder Yazzie who are the Lodi Zone Leaders. So, we already have one exchange done out of the 3 zone leader companionships down there. The exchange was weird because we all work so differently. It was good to balance the work and we got some good information about the 40 new missionaries. It made planning for upcoming Zone Conference very easy. 

This upcoming week we have 3 Zone Conferences to go to. Tuesday (Lodi, Stockton, Manteca) Wednesday (Sacramento, Elk Grove, East Sacramento, Rancho Cordova) and Thursday (North Sacramento, Carmichael, Folsom, El Dorado) It is going to be a week full of training and trying to have energy. We will train about 180 missionaries in 3 days. I am so excited. Now that the transition is happening and I know more of what my role is in these missions combining I feel 100 times better! I am a happy missionary with great desires to finish my mission strong. Yes, I only have single digits weeks left and Yes, I am starting "My Plan" next week. (My Plan is a program the church has put together to get missionaries thinking about home and helps them transition from mission life back to normal life). Today since it was P-Day we woke up at 630 like normal we planned and studied for the day and then went back to sleep for a couple of hours. We slept again from 730 to 1030! I think that is the most sleep I have got on my entire mission and I loved it. I feel great and get to play basketball later today

California is treating me great!
With Love,
Elder Nelson

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Another week flies by..

Dear Family and Friends,
Ni sa Bula Vinaka

This week was so busy that Elder Ricedorff and I only proselyted with each other for one day. This week we had 3 exchanges and a handful of team-ups. 

Exchanges were back to back Tuesday, Wednesday and then we had an exchange all day Friday as well. It was great to have two companionships running around our two wards. That means we each just covered a ward and worked hard. I was with Elder Pitcher, Elder Woodward, and then Elder Westra for the week. The team-ups: I was with Elder Kemp and Elder Mandasoza. It was a blast to spend so much time with our missionaries. We were so busy this week working with missionaries so we would have as much time as possible down in Lodi, Stockton and Manteca this upcoming week. In a way, we finished all the work we had to do with missionaries this week between Sacramento. Elk Grove, and Rancho Cordova.

July 5th is the official day we will be down in the new area with President and Sister Hymas. Each Assistant will be down there and we will each individually give trainings. We then start planning future team-ups and exchanges. The official count of missionaries coming in is 40. 32 Elders and 8 Sisters. We got all of their names, the areas they serve in and phone numbers. It is about time we get this show on the road. I am ready for a busy transfer this transfer. The only days Elder Ricedorff and I were together was Thursday evening. Which all Thursday evening we made some documents, diagrams, and PDFs for President Hymas. Being an Assistant has literally made me have to learn how to use a computer. It’s not a bad skill to have. The other day we had together was Saturday. Saturday, we got to proselyte together and invite everyone out to church. Sunday was a great day. We only got to stay in Sacrament Meeting for both wards and then we had to run around like chickens with our heads cut off to get baptismal records, some phones, and drop it all off at the mission office. 

We have no fun 4th of July plans sadly. It will be a normal proselyting day until 6pm. After 6pm it will be sitting inside a Church Building and the Zone Leaders will all give trainings. After the trainings we have to be home by 8:30pm. Boo- it is sad because I wanted to party and celebrate this great country but I guess not. Next year I can. 

I heard LeBron signed with the Lakers...I think I will never watch basketball again.
This mission is getting faster. I am doing my best to finish strong. I still have a lot of work to do here in Sac Town.

Elder Nelson