Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween and a CLOWN Chasing!!

I have officially made it have half way through my training! I don't feel like the new missionary out here anymore! My Companion says that I have been doing amazing and that I'm basically just the average missionary now. It’s pretty cool that he said that! Trust me I don't plan to just be an average missionary out here.  I will continue to work hard and to help the people here in SacTown!  Transfers are Tuesday and that means I could potentially leave this area or stay here!  Hopefully nothing too crazy happens. Well I better get started with the stories because that's all you peeps want to hear.

First off, we were biking home after using Facebook to online proselyte one night and we hear some footsteps in full sprint behind us. I casually looked back and it was a clown about 50 feet away from us with a chainsaw revving the chainsaw and yelling at us. Lucky for us he couldn't keep up with us because we were on bikes! Del Paso Heights is a scary area with lots of weird people. 

Biking in the rain is the craziest thing ever! Our whole bodies are literally soaked and we try to approach people and share the gospel and they look at us like we are the weirdest smiling aliens on the planet. Hardly anyone can take us seriously when we go up to doors dripping in rain! Besides Wednesday though, the rain only happen to come pouring down when we were inside in lessons with investigators. It was a super awesome blessing to see the rain stop while we were biking that day and then start raining as we approached the next door. 

My companion and I still wake up at 5:30am to go and workout with other Elders in our district. My body has officially adjusted and getting up in the mornings isn't hard at all!  Working out in the mornings are becoming more fun and now that I'm not tired I feel like I'm actually getting a good workout in! I’m not feeling tired through the days either I'm fully energetic and bouncing off walls like the average Elder Nelson! Running from house to house and just talking with everyone is so fun and it’s so cool to see/hear about people's lives and how they want to change or come closer to Christ. The spirit really can fill someone up with energy and happiness it is truly amazing to be able to feel it! 

I was able to go on another exchange with Elders from the North Highlands ward! I was with an Elder who is from England! His accent is awesome and I love trying go talk in my English accent with him. He says the funniest things that only people from England would say! I love it! I learned a lot from him! I learned how to tie the gospel into anything that anyone says and it is sooo cool to see it work in action!

Our Zone Leaders have arranged for our zone to go to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services place to do service every week now.  My companion and I work in an area where they sort food and see if food is expired or if the package is damaged. They play music only in that area of the complex and it’s so fun to be able to dance and work! My zone leaders actually approved the music they play too so it's not a SIN DON'T WORRY!!! But we dance hard there and actually work up a pretty good sweat going!! I just focus on making the best out of everything that I do and having a positive attitude about it and SMILE and it makes everything so fun! Words can’t describe it!

We had our Ward Halloween Party and we had a ton of miracles happen! We had a couple of less active families we have been working on forever to get to come to church and some investigators as well to come out and give the church a shot. The Less active families came to the party and church and we had like 6 investigators, some that we haven't seen in a long time, ask for rides or what time the party is because they wanted to come! It was so cool to see the Lord work on those people! 

We also had a chance to perform in front of the ward the Thriller Dance! Umm, talk about Elder Nelson killing it up there! I probably was Michael Jackson the 2nd! And by that I mean the not talent Michael Jackson the 2nd because that dance is so hard! The ward loved it!!!.......but we haven't been able to get a video from a member yet sooo i cant send it home yet, sorry.

I finished the Book of Mormon again that's twice since I left home and I have learned so much and have such a crazy understanding now of the gospel! I feel like I knew a lot about the gospel just I didn't know how to tie everything to together.  I am staring to read the New Testament and actually just about half way through! My scriptures seem to have turned into a coloring book! Oops!!! Scriptures are just that amazing and so full of amazing writings! 

We did a Zone Blitz in different Elders areas and it was crazy mayhem. So a blitz is when every Elder or Sister missionary come to one area and try to see as many people as possible! We had 10 missionaries (8 Elders and 2 Sisters) in The North Highlands ward, the Foothills ward, and then our ward! We probably saw 150 people in the 6 hours we were out! We cleaned up our area books and got like 15 new investigators because of it! We are going to be more busy than usual. The Lord has blessed us with so much and it’s because we help other missionaries! I have learned that helping other Elders area only helps our area more because the blessing we receive are way better than what we could ever do for service! 

Well no one should be worried about me out here because I'm just smiling and having a blast through this mission so far! I wouldn't change it for the world! Hopefully Idaho isn't too different without me! I feel like you guys can actually have normal fun times because I'm not there to ruin it with hyperness!  

Love Elder Nelson

Monday, October 24, 2016

Almost a month in the field...already!

Well another P-Day to write some good ole emails! So last P-Day we messed around to much playing basketball and hanging out with other companionships and didn't do any laundry, didn't shop, and didn’t do anything around the apartment to clean up! Classic Teenager move, I know. So today we managed to do all of the chores around the apartment and shopped before we played ball or even talk to the other Elders. 

This week we got up at 5am three times to go and workout at the American River College track with other Elders in our district. We always have 100m and mile races its actually super fun to go to the college. Let me just say that this week was brutal, I have never been so tired and so sore in my life. It feels just as bad as tryout week during basketball. I have been sore everyday of the mission so far and my companion thinks it's hilarious. Between Air Alert workout and biking everywhere I walk like a duck!

We had the chance to go on exchanges with week with the Zone Leaders and boy they were out to get us. After, my companion and I were able to talk about the exchanges and then we noticed what they did to us. First off they check our planners and threw off our plans and said that "this and that" would be better. It felt like they were trying to prove a point that we don't use our time wisely??    Both Zone Leaders gave my companion and I a lesson on being humble. They told us that we came off as we were better than every other companionship.  My companion is a genius and very knowledgeable in the gospel. So I can understand how we can try to prove people wrong but they said we need not seem cocky. My companion and I were dumbfounded! We try our best to serve all the other Elders to help them not to tear them down, we get up at 5am in the morning to try to help them workout and study with them, and we have been focused on baptism in the other areas more than our own.   We live with these Zone Leaders!  I love them but.....

The area as a whole has had little to no help and it makes it hard for us to be able to get investigators to church. There isn't a lot of fellowship but we are working on that.  I have learned a lot from this ward and learned how to work super hard in our area and how to make Ward Plans. My companion/trainer says that I am picking up everything super fast. He keeps joking that I'm am doing good enough to maybe run my own area with a new companion. No Thanks!!!   Training is the first three months of the mission. I have learned so much out here and I feel like my knowledge of the gospel is expanding so fast! I knew more about the gospel than I thought! I love it out here.

We have a ton of chances to serve and help people during the holiday season. We can pick up the millions of leaves that fall here and teach people at the same time. We have been doing our best to find new ways to find new investigators. We have the Halloween Ward Party later this week and we will have a lot of investigators there! I’m so excited for the opportunities we have during this time of year! 

My companion and I are super close and we have become best friends!  We are going to enter into the Thriller dance competition during the Ward Halloween Party. Umm. BEST BELIEVE IMMA BOUT TO KILL IT😎😎😎 

This up coming week (Wednesday) will officially 1 month out in the field. It’s crazy to think about how fast this has gone. Sorry I still don’t miss home! Except for Mom and Grandpa! I love you all but I’m having a blast out here in the mission! The hardest adjustment so far on the mission is trying to endure the 14 hour days! The work is great and fun, teaching is easy, and talking with leaders in the mission has gotten more comfortable! Just being tired throughout the days is getting hard to adjust to. 

Thanks for the handwritten letters. I hope everyone is having a good time in Idaho. Enjoy the rain and snow,  I’ll be relaxing in like 60 degree weather!

-Elder Nelson 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Another week 10-17-16

My two week training meeting with the AP's and President Jardine was awesome. They taught us how to really use our area book and apply it to our everyday studies. That’s something I have already done with my trainer everyday so it was a good review for me. 

We have a couple of Polynesian members we are trying to get back to church. Ofa is hilarious and a super athletic guy for his massive size.  He loves football and invited us over for a Barbecue and to also watch general conference with him. The barbecue was sooo good and they fed us until we were so fat. I couldn't even get up on my bike, I was sooo stuffed. For conference we watched the Sunday morning session just the first three talks and they fit the family perfectly. President Monson's on the Plan of Salvation, President Nelsons on the importance of finding joy in our life, and someone from the 70 about the importance of sacrament meeting. It hit the family so hard they came back to church on Sunday and it was awesome!

This last week we have had a lot of time to ride the bikes around and to be able to meet some new people. This last week was also the scariest week of the whole mission!! We had almost every person on every corner we turned that told us to watch out for the clowns. Apparently these clowns are terrorizing people and out to find the missionaries specifically. We go the Stake center every night to go on Facebook and online proselyte. Every night it is so scary to ride our bikes the three miles to get to the church in the dark and every time we are constantly looking behind our backs. There have been rumors about the clowns riding four wheelers outside of the gates of the church waiting for us too. I guess a couple of schools have closed down around this area because of clowns.

We got up super early on Thursday to be able to go with another companionship to work out with them and to study with them. We got up at 5:30 and got started working out at 6:15. The Foothill elders (the companionship we were with to help) had a member who had a squat rack and some weights so we really hit the gym hard that morning. My legs were literally dead and trying to ride a bike was horrible. We had district meeting as well.  I’m happy we didn't see any clowns on Thursday because my legs were so tired I would have not been able to ride my bike fast enough to get away. Rumor is that President Jardine is going to keep us inside for the night of Halloween because of the clown threats. 

We had the annual inspection by our apartment manager on Friday. It was one female lady going around doing inspections and she just opened our door and walked in our apartment because she has the keys to open it. So a rule for missionaries is that we can’t be in a house with someone of the opposite sex without another priesthood holder.   Well all of us missionaries were casually studying until we saw her walk in and we just ran out of the apartment as fast as we could!! The lady was so confused on why there was such a rush. It was hilarious!! After the inspection she tried to show us two small things that needed to be changed and tried to show us in the apartment but we all refused to walk back in the door. She was so confused why we had such strange rules. No wonder people think Mormons are crazy.   The two things we had to fix are 1. A bunk bed was blocking a window so it was a fire hazard in case fire man had to come in through that window. We spent like two hours taking down the bunk beds to move it into a new room. And 2. Was to "increase the airflow of the apartment" A.K.A we smell like teenage boys all living together in a small apartment. She was so nice about it but I was dying laughing. 

I had another chance to go on exchanges and dang let me tell you i haven't been this mad at someone in awhile.   The whole exchange the Elder was trying to show his "dominance" over me since I was new. Well since all of you know me....I don't like to be bossed around and when it comes to "competitions" to see who is better...I PLAY TO WIN! First of all we have the thingy in our car that tells the Office how our driving is and the Elder kept undoing my seatbelt on the freeway so I got two "citations"   Lucky for me the AP Elder was in our apartment also on exchanges. I told him what was going on and we had a little council meeting! My citations were cleared thankfully. It was awesome, let me tell ya!   I haven't had a problem with him since😊😊😊 no one pushes Elder Nelson around! sorry not sorry😊 

I was so happy once exchanges were over!!!

I was able to go to a couple of baptisms in our district which was a crazy experience. One person who was getting baptized was an older lady. She was in a wheelchair and it was kinda cool to see how they baptize people in wheelchairs.

The senior couple missionaries took my companion and I out to dinner at BJ's and it was a good dinner. Apparently it was Homecoming night that night so there was a lot of high schoolers there for dinner. Well us as missionaries fit in nicely but many people looked so confused when the older couples were there dressed up. We got a lot of weird looks.

Sunday we went to sacrament meeting and none of our investigators showed up again which sucked but oh well. We met in ward council with all the important people and talked about the 160 inactive people in our ward. It’s awesome for us missionaries because the leaders find the people they want us to see and we see them. I feel like we have the easy part of that exchange. We went to a house of a youth in our ward and he opened his mission call! It was awesome to see his family go crazy when he got called to the Philippines because they have Philippine background.

I also had a training course/assessment I was supposed to fill out on the computer last week so my trainer and I got in trouble for not doing that which was so dumb. It’s ok though.  I took the test and I was in the green zone. They have different "zones" to classify how someone is feeling: green is happy, yellow is anxious, orange is mad/upset, red is ready to start backing your bags. My companion and I joke around all the time we are in the red zone and it’s the best inside joke ever!! 

The APs say that I’m emotionally doing better than the other new missionaries.  I feel bad they are having a hard time. Hopefully the next two weeks or so ill be sending you pictures on my first baptism😎

Elder Nelson

Monday, October 10, 2016

Miracles, gun shots and tacos!

This week I can see that missionaries truly are watched over and protected by God! Every morning my companion and I wake up and workout outside because it’s nice and cool!  We are out there working out at 6:30am and nothing happens.  We come inside and it seems like just as we close our door it triggers mayhem outside. Every day this week we would finish our workout and the next moment police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances would be blaring their sirens!  There was one morning we just finished our companionship study prayers and three super loud gun shots went off followed by sirens ten minutes later. 

This week has been another week in basically what  I call “home”! I love Sacramento and more and more spiritual events are happening. This week  I was able to do my first exchanges, which is being with a different companion for 24 hours. I was with an Elder who has been out on his mission for 14. I learned a lot in those 24 hours! I had the opportunity to have a checkup appointment with my Mission President to see how I'm doing as a new missionary.

The Mission President is such an inspired amazing man! His knowledge is just incredible. I told him that I'm doing awesome and he won’t have to worry about me getting in trouble or being homesick (no offense family and friends at home). We meet with tons of people. We almost got in a huge argument with some lady because that day we were helping a handicapped member move some stuff around in his house. This member lives in a gated community and when we were headed out of the gated area this lady approached us and basically just yelled at us because we can’t "legally" be in there proselyting.  Eventually she started this whole commotion (which i think was her plan) and some super awesome lady named Sheryl came up and saved us. Sheryl was yelling at the other lady telling her she was the devil because she was yelling at us and stopping Gods work. Sheryl helped us leave the gated area and told the crazy lady to leave us alone. Sheryl saved and is now our new investigator. 

I got to do service at a barn house stacking about 100 hay bales into a shed. I have never seen a farm with palm trees in it! It took like two hours with six Elders. It was the workout of a life time, I felt so sore after lifting those giant hay bales. My guess is each one weighed like 120 pounds. I have officially gained my first five pounds on my mission and I hope its muscle because I'm not going to get fat. Working out on the mission is better than at home. My companion continues to challenge me in lifting, running, jumping and basketball competitions just to help working out be fun. But I have learned that waking up to lift is way better than working out at any other time.  I can almost dunk and it is awesome! Don't worry my spiritual muscles have probably grown like 70000 pounds too! 

A lesson I have learned while on my mission is that if you serve other missionaries areas and do team ups and help them with investigators then our area will prosper. My companion and I have had zero time to be in our area because we are always helping these other companionships in our district. This week we probably spent four hours in our area which is not long for a whole week but we found 8 new investigators in our area. It’s a miracle seriously its soo awesome to see the Lords hand in our area. We were able to eat at one of the taco stands and met some crazy funny people there. One guy we were able to talk to we shared how the gospel brings happiness and invited him to church. His response was "the only happiness I find is in these tacos”.

Sunday was sooo good and needed.  I feel like Sunday is just the perfect day to get refocused and get new motivation. I was able to face two fears on Sunday. The first one was a seafood dinner. Which I know I shouldn't complain about free food and I'm grateful that I was able to get dinner. But I was able to mix the fish with the cheesy macaroni and downed it like a champ.   I was able to eat enough to where they didn't tell me to get more.

The second fear which is a legit fear and don't make fun of me for this. So the back story is we met this referral we had and Doc (the referral)  was a great guy with a good understanding of the bible. He asked us some questions and made himself sound interested so he invited us into his house. As soon as we sat down Doc told us he was a Jehovah's Witness. It was like a nightmare because I have heard so many stories about how smart they are. We talked about some crazy deep doctrine and for a 12 day old in field missionary, I was able to blow his mind. My companion and I talked about some insane history and Bible verses that honestly I didn't know I knew. He was hitting us with weird questions and all he was trying to do was prove that our religion was wrong.   We talked to this guy for like three hours and almost was late to dinner. We have another scheduled time to meet with him because we feel like we were able to help him feel like the Book of Mormon is true and really from the Americas. 

Please keep sending more letter I love getting them. Feel free to send my address out to get more letters they make me feel more connected with the real world. I promise it’s not distracting.

Love Elder Nelson

(no pictures this week)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

We ate at a members home on Wednesday and they are super cool and super nice. But my worst most horrible, nightmare, dumb, scary, terrible, frightening, fear ever happened while I was eating.  Almost at the same time at the dinner table the dad and the mom pulled out what I think was their diabetes shots, I don't care what it was honestly, but they put their shots ready and the mom aggressively put the shot in her arm and continued with the conversation like nothing happened!! Then the dad aggressively put the shot in his leg and continued like nothing happened.  At the dinner table they did that. HOW DO YOU CASUALLY DO THAT??? I wanted to pass out so bad at the dinner table I seriously felt like I was white as a ghost. 

Other than that....The days are just getting better! I have just been tired throughout the days and I have been trying to sleep more often. My First miracle on my mission was with the spirit and I was thinking I needed to turn on a road and it was the completely wrong road but I swear I saw the GPS telling me to turn.  Well by the time we were able to turn around and find the house we were going to it just so happened that we meet Scott our investigator in his driveway right as he pulled up. We taught him the restoration and the lesson was so good he took everything in like a sponge. Also it was an answer to my prayers because I have been asking to be able to start from Stage 1 with an investigator instead of meeting with old investigators being in the middle of the lessons and not understanding anything what they know. 

Coming into my mission I thought that this was going to be horrible and hard and that I would get homesick and want to go home.  Really everyone back at home gave me false expectations. Everyone lied to me!!! J  I love it out here I'm literally pumped with spiritual motivation even though my body is so tired it doesn't want to move. Every day I get back to the apartment and just look back on the day and can see how blessed the day was or how perfect somethings worked out.

We helped one of our investigators with service project which was sorting 25+ bags of mixed up cans and bottles at the recycle station. Helping her out was really awesome and the spirit after is amazing.

Sunday we were headed to dinner and we stopped by some old man because it looked like he was having a hard time walking. It turns out this guy got in a fight with his wife at a care home and threw a fit and left the care home and walked  3 miles to this park. He had 4 fracture vertebrae, a jacked up knee that could pop out of place and a pace maker.  He also was recently diagnosed with pneumonia. Anyways we walked and talked with him for like 45 minutes trying to walk him back to the care home. About 6 or 7 times he stopped walking and it looked like he was going to fall over dead, it was scary.  He went to the Christian Assembly church and we had a fun time bible bashing and talking. After those 45 minutes his wife come driving up in a car with a care person yelling at him to get in the car.   They were so happy we were able to keep this man alive. We arrived late but we ate the Kingston family and it turns out that he was Brock's YSA bishop while Brock was there. He thought it was super awesome I was able to catch him up with what Brock was doing and where he was living. They were a cool family all about sports and it was fun to finally really connect with a family. 

Oh and also like 20 minutes ago we were washing our car because it's Pday and my companion opened the door in the car wash! Hahah!
Watch the Mormon missionary version of hello by Adele. I thought it was hilarious and so accurate. 

Elder Nelson