Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New Assignment and lots of answered prayers!

Dear Family,

This week was crazy crazy and crazy!!!!!! So first and foremost, I was just not feeling it this week! Which is normal- people have bad weeks but this week ended on a high note! Second, I was fed up with biking and I felt that my missionary talents just weren't being used to their full potential. I have been out for 18 months and I have over a year of Leadership experience and a District Leader in East Sac has been bugging me. Not feeling like I am really using my talents. Anyways I have been praying that God would help me feel some comfort and some energy to help me keep going. After I prayed one night I had the feeling that I was getting transferred. A day later I was still praying to know what that meant because I obviously didn't think that I was getting transferred because I just got to Mission Oak ward and this ward is freaking awesome! One of my favorites to be honest. Anyways the Spirit told me that good changes were coming and that Mission Oak still needs me. Ok cool so as far as I know from God I am staying full bike but some kind of changes were happening.

Anyways I had a lot of thoughts go through my head and I was just giving you some idea of what those thoughts were. Luckily President is an inspired man and texted our phone Friday night and asked me to meet with him Saturday morning. I agreed and he sat me down and we had a good talk. I thought he knew I had a rough week and so he wanted to talk about it, you know a good heart to heart! NOOO this man came at me with a new assignment. These were his words:   "Elder Nelson big changes are happening right now in the mission and the Lord has asked you to be a part of the big changes. First, I have an assignment for you before I explain more. Will you be my next Assistant?"

Yes of course I accepted! Elder Nelson, aka ME, aka Nelly is a new Assistant in the mission!! Holy talk about responsibility. Assistants always get their transfer call early and so actual transfer calls will be this Saturday and then Transfer Day will be Tuesday. So, I will be one of the four assistants in the mission. I will send a picture of an email from President Hymas. The mission combines with Modesto Mission (July 1st) and President wants to have two sets of Assistants to cover each half the mission. So, I will be slowly be getting "trained" I guess you could say until the mission combines. I don’t have all the full duties of an Assistant but my new companion and I will slowly work into being busy bit by bit. Oh, my new companion! I will be with Elder Ravsten again! I FREAKING LOVE HIM!! Yes, I am amped out of my mind! We will be companions AGAIN! Anyways that was the crazy news that happened this week! I will stay in Mission Oak and Elder Ravsten will come here! 

We had Zone Conference this week and it was good! Elder Schwenson and I were back together so you know we had a hard time staying out of trouble! It was all about using the tools the Lord has got us to the fullest and making sure we are responsible at all times! During the Zone Conference all the areas got new smartphones! which I am sure you have heard of missions doing! Anyway, we got a new Samsung J3! Barf! But it is better than our old slide phones so I will not complain! Sorry this email is getting out later than usual we had a combined Zone Activity with President and Sister Hymas in Folsom. We left our apartment at 7:30am to meet some missionaries at the Mormon Center to play ball from 8am to 10am before that activity started! A missionary was calling me out saying he could beat me so you know I had to play him this week and school him! The activity was fun and by the time it ended it was about 2:30pm! That’s why my email is coming out later than usual! Thank you everyone for your emails hopefully you have a beast week!

Also pray that I can be a good assistant because that is going to be crazy!\
Elder Nelson

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sac State Preaching!

Wassup from East Sacramento California,

This week was off the chain people. We have been finding lots of success recently working with part member families. We had seven investigators come to church. I felt like a chicken with its head cut off trying to help everyone find what classes they were supposed to be in. Luckily the Mission Oak Ward is beast and helped out and were great fellow shippers for these people. It is crazy how one person goes out of their way to say hi to a nonmember or stranger at church and how that helps the nonmember commit to staying at the church because they have a friend.

I found some inspired answers to why I am in East Sac right now. I was searching the first week I was here to know it was the right place for me and now I am looking for the why. It can be a dangerous game sometimes asking God why but God helped me out. Mostly through interviews with President Hymas I got a lot of answers.  But still God answers through his servants so it really helped me out.

The highlight of this week was Exchanges with the Zone Leaders. This was the first exchange in a long time where I went into the other missionaries’ area. Usually it is the missionaries come to my area because I have always been the Leader. Ok, this is why the exchange was so fun. We were working in the YSA ward here in East Sac Stake. It recently has combined with 3 other stakes so it is 4 stakes big. Anyways, I love YSA work because we are contacting and teaching people close to our own age. It is awesome. The best part (I know I said this like 100 times but this truly is the best part) that we went to SAC STATE!!! Man, that college is sweet! I took my unofficial visit I guess you could say.

I was with Elder Dougherty, who is also a baller, so we have a very similar mindset. We played the contacting game where you tell your companion which person to contact and then switch. So literally the whole two hours we were on Sac state was daring each other to contact the most attractive looking females. Literally we probably talked to like 40 people in the 2 hours and every single one of them, except for a man named Paul, was a female. It was freaking funny I was dying laughing.

We found 7 new attractive YSA investigators for those Elders. It was a blast! Truly, Preach My Gospel Chapter 14 was working. (There is no PMG chapter 14 just in case you don’t know but in the missionary world chapter 14 is "Flirt to Convert"). Anyways I was blown away at how cool the college was and the combination of females and being a servant of the Lord just made that Exchange great. This week was a blast. I told President Hymas in my interviews this week the only thing I want to do is baptize. That is, it! So please remember that this week that Elder Nelson just wants to baptize. My goal this week is to put someone on date to be baptized. 

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 months left!!

Dear Family,

This week was a quick one because we had exchanges. It is weird to only have 3 exchanges a transfer when I am used to having like 9. I was with two pretty new missionaries for the exchanges. I was with Elder Carter, who has been out for 4 months, and Elder Miller, who has been out for 9 months. If you add up my entire districts time out on the mission it equals my total mission time. I don’t remember if I have shared that little fact yet!!

This week’s weather was brutal. I know I lived in Idaho for some time but I cannot stand the cold weather. I still am a California boy at heart. We got hailed and rained on this week. Weather was freezing too but it was ok and I am not upset about it and here is why. I believe in this thing called "wife points." Throughout your mission you can gain or lose these "wife points". When you baptize someone, you gain wife points when you sleep in you lose wife points. See how it works? Now when the weather gets bad and you have to ride a bike or walk in rain or hail your wife points really start to rack up. Every drop of rain and hail is a wife point. So, I am not complaining because my wife is slowing getting better attributes to help me like cooking skills and slowing being prepared to handle my sass and freak out. She will be great for me!

 ANYWAYS to get off that topic. We have been working in the gold mines of Part member families. This is where the baptisms flow and the church attendance grows. We have been working a lot with gaining part member families trust and trying to teach the nonmembers of the family.

This upcoming week I am hoping for a lot of success. The work is booming and it is all thanks to the Lord and the Spirit. I am just trying to be like Alma the younger (Alma 29:9). I have learned some really cool things about the Tree of Life in my studies. I have been stuck in chapters 8,11,12 and 15 of 1st Nephi for like a month and it is awesome. My scripture knowledge is almost automatic I don’t even have to think about it anymore. It is cool being a missionary. It is cooler to be a missionary with car but what can I do? This week was a great one. Please continue to send letters because I love reading them even though I am horrible at responding. Rocky won State basketball! Booyah Rocky is the best people.

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dear Family!

This week was off the chain cold! I think a couple of times it hit below 40 degrees. I know that isn’t cold compared to Idaho but it is really cold when you are on a bike 24/7. This Mission Oak Ward is awesome! I finally got to meet the ward yesterday at church and they invited me up to share my testimony during Sacrament Meeting. The members here are ready to go and do missionary work and better yet they are ready and willing to help us with anything. For example, we have members hooking us up with Girl Scout Cookies! Boom! With such an awesome ward we actually got a lot of members to go out proselyting with us so that means we had the chance a couple times to ditch the bikes and ride in a car. Blessings.

The highlight of this week by far was going to the Temple! The Temple was great and I learned a lot about everything to be honest. I prayed for some specific things but one thing I am willing to share was that I prayed specifically to learn something new and that it would blow my mind. I knew a lot of people in the Temple during our session. Lots of old friends from Elk Grove and a lot of people from old Wards. All of these friends I have made came up to me and shared a little bit here and there and with all of them sharing insights either before or after the Temple session I was mind blown. I enjoyed it! I put some family on the prayer roll too.

With the work going pretty well and the ward being awesome...there is always opposition. I feel bad because I am trying my best to make the work fun and exciting but my companion isn’t always feeling it. I’m excited for this upcoming week. I have exchanges this upcoming week. I am used to doing like 8 or 9 exchanges a transfer but now it will be only 3. It is a big change but the Lord needs me here.

Something cool this week that happened was President Hymas was interested in my Tribe of Israel. He called one night and we had a good one on one talk for about 30 minutes. It was cool to show him in the scriptures where I have learned things. Anyways this week was really good and I had a lot of fun despite opposition. There always will be opposition in all things so I will just choose to be happy and control what I can control. 

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Area, New Companion and New Outlook!

Dear Family,

This week was straight off the chain people. I am officially back in a full bike area and man my legs are sore. We have a lot of people to teach and there are a lot of wackos on the street. My new ward boundaries for the Mission Oak Ward is Marconi/Bell/Winding/Walnut! It is pretty ghetto and there are a lot of funny people. My companion Elder James has been out for 3 months. He really did just finish training and so it is the Elder Nelson show. I am trying my best to teach him and just be personal with everyone.

The ward itself is super cool! There are some really cool families here! This week has been really cold here. One night we were biking and I think it hit 40 degrees. It felt like Idaho all over again, it was horrible. I am in Paeden Nelson's Stake so he better watch out- I will try my hardest to stop by! I just want to say Hi!

I gave my first District Meeting in 8 months. It is really different being a District Leader now. Both of my Zone Leaders now have been out longer than me but have only been a Zone Leader for a couple transfers. I think the whole mission got switched up pretty bad. I prayed about the reason of me being in East Sac and my role that I have. Apparently East Sac hasn’t had a baptism in a long time. It is Elk Grove all over again. I am here to make this Zone a Baptizing Zone again. I just play a different role as a District Leader instead of a Zone Leader. I am excited to work with the Lord to make things happen here. Starting from scratch.

My District if you add up all 6 of the missionaries’ time out on the mission it will equal my time out! it is pretty scary! Everyone is so new! Anyways the only bad thing is my apartment doesn’t have a washer and dryer in it so I have to do it the old fashion way and pay for the washer and dryer. It is weird. I am happy to be here though, I am just trying to give you the update on the new area not complain. This next week moving forward will hopefully be good!

Elder Nelson

Monday, February 12, 2018

Kind of a rough week and..Getting TRANSFERRED!

This week was a rougher one than usual to be honest. We had some been fighting and arguing with some of the missionaries in our zone. One of the Elders out here, who has become a good friend of mine, has a good relationship with one of the sister missionaries. That, let me clarify, is not out of the bounds of being dignified. They handle it very good. But one of the Elders called President and reported them for flirting. That big F word in the mission here...Flirting. President told us that they would all be transferred apart at transfer day. Actually, we got transfer calls and it is true he split us ALL up. Man, sorry if this is like a vent session.

My transfer call goes as follows. I am getting transferred to East Sacramento Stake in the Mission Oak Ward as a District Leader again. I am actually super bummed. This is the smallest zone geographically and has the lowest number of missionaries. I went from the two biggest zones (number wise) Sacramento Zone and Elk Grove Zone to literally the smallest. My new companion is Elder James, I like he has only been out for a few months. I am not excited but I will trust what the Lord has for me. Since I am a District Leader now I won’t have a car so I will have to rely on others and be full bike again. I honestly wish I was in Paeden's Ward but that didn’t even happen. Oh well...this week was full of unfun news but I am keeping on. I will go where the Lord wants me to go...I will just miss being a Zone Leader a lot.

I guess some good things that happened this week was of course my birthday! Happy 20 years old to me I am officially done being a teenager. The missionaries threw me this cool surprise party and had this huge cake! It was fun! Bro. Bennion took me out to Chevys for lunch one day. That is the best place of course to have a birthday meal. The Bertagnini family (which I haven’t talked about the Bertagnini family very much but they are the best family ever. She is the best mission mom like on the planet!!) took me out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner to celebrate as well. I had a good time!!

We did a Seeking Saturday activity as a zone at the Elk Grove Park. We passed out Lemonade and drew the Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk. We invited everyone at the Park to look through the drawn-up plan and take some pamphlets. I think we found like 10 new investigators and definitely got more people interested in what we believe in. It was a cool activity I will make sure to send pictures. We had MLC and it was all about making good choices.

So, this next upcoming week. Monday is Presidents Day or something like that so it will be a normal day of proselyting. Tuesday will be a P-Day and we also will be going to the temple. Hallelujah it has been a whole year since I have been allowed to go to the temple!!! so don’t look for an email Monday because you won’t get one! anyways next time I email I will tell you all about my new area! 


Elder Nelson

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It's my birthday!

Dear Peeps!

I am sending my email a little earlier than normal so I can party the rest of the day. I guess my plans for today is to go out with some missionaries to Chick-fil-a for lunch. It seems like some missionaries have some kind of lowkey surprise party happening later today! So, I have to pretend I don’t know it is coming! Overall, I am just looking to play some basketball and relax! It is hard to have a real party being a missionary but that is ok.

Anyways this week was fun! We have found lots of new investigators because the two investigators on date for baptism the 10th disappeared. They are gone, we have no contact, nothing, nada. It’s a bummer but I will just focus on what I can control and just continue to talk to everyone. That’s all we did this week really was find new people to teach. We have had a lot of success working through active families and teaching YSA's significant others. There is a universal rule in missionary work that goes something like this..."send a nice referral, receive a nice referral." We have just been doing our best sending referrals out to the family wards just knowing God will help us find a YSA investigator.

As a mission we have been focusing a lot on Christlike Attributes and control what we can control. I feel like I have been out long enough that I am starting to see a pattern in what the trainings are on. In a way it’s a recycled message. It’s not a bad thing because I am not perfect so it always is a good reminder that I can improve. We have MLC coming up this week! I always love MLC because we get all the good juicy details on the mission and get to know what direction we need to push missionaries in! It’s always fun being a part of the know-it-all group.

We did some exchanges this week. I was with Elder Schwenson (from Meridian ID) and Elder Moeller (from Michigan). The weather that day was beautiful. It was like Feb 1st and it was 75 degrees outside. It was great. I wore short sleeves for once! We broke the bikes out and it was super successful because there was lots of people out walking around. 

Sacrament Meeting yesterday was the craziest Sacrament Meeting I have been to on my mission. It was fast and testimony meeting so you know anyone can get up and talk. A certain individual (who is not white, this has a meaning near the end of the story) got up and talked all about how the YSA Ward isn’t diverse enough. She went off to say there is too many white people and because of that, others races aren’t showing up. She pointed out by name everyone that was a different race. I think to be honest she called out everyone in the congregation. Of course, since it’s a YSA Ward you would look around and just see people crying in tears because they thought it was funny. It was crazy! She was trying to get everyone to know what it felt like to be a minority and how stereotypes are a bad thing. She vented for 15 minutes if not more. It was not a fast testimony meeting by any means it actually went by very slow!

Some highlights from the week was Beat Ya Teach Ya! There is an Elder here from Arizona who played basketball and we did team-up this week. That gave me the perfect opportunity to play. We destroyed the 25 years old’s that we played. I felt bad..actually not really! We gave them both Book of Mormons and they became new investigators for the Waterman Ward. Another highlight is we are allowed to email our mission president now on Sunday nights. That truly gives me a full hour to email now. I will try better to make these emails a little longer and give you a better idea of what I do every week. 

Elder Nelson