Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This week was again crazy busy. Life is just going to be like this- I admit it now. It never slows down. I officially am used to doing something every 30 seconds. I never get a break. We had two exchanges this week. The first one was with Florin Ward Elders. I was with Elder Henry and Elder Gillins. It was a fun to be on a little switch up for 24 hours. We did a lot of administrative work since our Elk Grove Family Shirts came in and we had to wrap them. We took all the pictures with the zone today so next week you will see more.
The last exchanges were with the Assistants. I was with the newer Assistant. It was fun. I have never served around him or ever really talked to him but he is nice missionary from Utah! We have an upcoming Christmas Conference this week. It will be tomorrow and we have to come up with our own Christmas Carol.
Next transfer is the beginning of the year (Jan 2nd I think)? Sorry this is short but I am exhausted. We just played basketball so that was good to clear my head.  Life is getting interesting on the mission. We talked to some other Zone Leaders this week and they agree that there is crazy amount of Drama going on through the mission. So, lots of drama and not enough work is what sounds like is going on. That’s the update from the mission. 

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

9 months to go!

Dear Family, 
I think I have said “another busy week” every week I write an email so I will start this email off with...THIS HAS BEEN ANOTHER BUSY WEEK. I am just so grateful for the trust the Lord has with me and all this responsibility. I am learning so much and I am honestly exhausted after every day. We did two exchanges this week. The first was with a good Elder. He really has opened up this transfer and has been a lot happier. We focused on opening our mouths during the exchange. He doesn’t talk much so I gave him the most opportunities to open his mouth.

The second exchange was a similar kind of exchange where I gave the Elder the opportunity to talk to people and lead conversations on the streets.  The Elk Grove Family (Stake) is doing great. We gave everyone laminated #BeTheMessage for their cars and have many other things we want to give our Family before the transfer is over. I’m excited to see the future of this area. Life is good here for me in Elk Grove I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! Some highlights this week was last P-Day I played basketball with Moein and Joseph Irving (mom note—these are boys he went to elementary school with). It was sweet! I miss them so much they were great friends and still are great guys. They are all grown up and trying to figure out life just like every other YSA aged person in the world. 
I love you all

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dear Matavuvale, (Family)

This week was busy, busy, busy. We always had something going on this week and I felt like there wasn’t time to even take a break or a deep breath. That’s the joy of missionary work though. I also am grateful that I am busy and grateful the Lord has entrusted me with many tasks to take care of.

First, we did two exchanges this week. The first exchange was with a good missionary with great intentions to share the gospel. He is struggling to get some help from his companion. We focused on being a good example and recognizing that we are always on stage. Now he is a District Leader so I want him to know that his missionaries are always watching.

The next exchange was with Elder Schwenson. This elder is bringing energy to the zone and I love it. He has really been helping me out by getting the zone excited and ready to do missionary work. We got to bond so well. Elder Schwenson actually is from Meridian Idaho, he went to Mountain View High School. We are like homies now. The focus of our exchange was staying dignified. He is a happy and energetic elder who is ready to work for the Lord. The elk grove zone is starting to catch fire and energy is definitely starting to spread. I am happy with how the Spirit has been able to inspire the missionaries here.
We found more investigators this week than last week so another record was broken here in the Elk Grove Zone. Booyah!!

This last week was stressful.  Elder Gillins is doing great. We are trying our best to get him a language study and 12-week study in every day. Some days we are too busy and we miss the opportunity. I am doing all I can to give this trainee the knowledge I have to help him reach his potential. I love serving with him. He has been a blessing.

We had Zone conference and it was great. The spirit definitely told me some things that I can improve on and I am excited to make some changes. My companions and I are the face of the mission now and it’s weird. Zone Conference was all about “Becoming the Message” and the picture that Bro. Twomey took is the poster for the whole mission. It’s pretty cool.

We had a crazy baptism event happen this last weekend. Jose was on date to be baptized on Saturday. The week before he passed his interview and he was ready for the baptism. The Stake President called me Saturday morning, the day of the baptism, and told us some concerns that popped up and it clearly would have stopped Jose from being baptized. I called President Hymas and told him the situation. About 3 phone calls later, President Hymas tells me “Elder Nelson, I want you to have a lesson with Jose and see if he is ready for baptism asap and I want you to be the only one, not your companions.” Scary right..no pressure. Anyways Jose is not in our proselyting area so I called the sisters in that area to set up a lesson with Jose so I can make sure he is ready to be baptized. Jose first available time was 4pm... the baptism was scheduled for 6pm...no pressure, right?

So fast forward to the lesson, there are some details I am leaving out for confidentiality. It was a very powerful lesson and the Spirit was present and I was definitely praying for the guidance of the Holy Ghost and was feeling the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I bet your wondering who I went to this lesson with if I wasn’t supposed to take one of my companions...I took Elder Schwenson and the sisters were there. It was super weird to have Sister present in a lesson anyways. Everyone followed my lead in the lesson so I did most of the talking...no pressure, right?? It’s all on me!! At about 4:45pm I asked the necessary questions and found that Jose is ready to be baptized. We called the Vineyard Ward Bishop, WML and President and let him know that the baptism was on!!  Crazy day to add to a week of me literally doing everything.
After the lesson and all that happened this week I literally was not wanting to proselyte that night so I went to Jose baptism and I RELAXED!! 

I am happy this is a new week and that I was able to take the sacrament to start over. This P-Day I am chilling...I even spoiled myself and went shopping to make myself feel better is just needed to feel good and blow some money. I look forward to our MLC this week.   Love Elder Nelson

Monday, November 27, 2017

Training a new Elder

Dear family, 

This week was an exciting one. Elder Berry and I are training Elder Gillins from Las Vegas Nevada. He is Visa waiting for the Philippines. We think we will only have him for 6 weeks (this transfer). I still am super excited to be training. Elder Gillins is a good missionary and he has a good mindset. This first week of the mission for him was a lot of meetings. I felt bad for him. We told him that mission life is not like this and he should look forward to this upcoming week because we will be proselyting hard. Our Elk Grove Zone found the most “new investigators” since President Hymas has been President. He called us and gave us a huge shout out.
I am super proud of the zone for working diligently for the Lord. They found 23 new investigators because of their mindset and attitude in finding. We praised them and encouraged them to find more this week. The Elk Grove zone is the best. I’m excited to have missionaries who bring energy and get excited. Elder Berry is a great. We are looking forward to zone conference this week.
This week was just a lot of planning and preparing for this upcoming transfer. Between our meetings, language study for Elder Gillins (Tagalog), and 12 week training...we proselyted for like 4 hours this week. Now I understand why Zone Leaders don’t train. This upcoming week is busy but we are focusing on finding new investigators because we have no one to teach. YSA work is so fun but so hard.

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

No Transfer!

Dear Family,

This week was fast. We did team-ups with every set of elders. Transfer calls came and went. I am still with Elder Berry in Elk Grove as Zone Leaders. Just about every companionship in the Zone changed. We got some sweet missionaries coming in and I am super excited. Elk Grove Zone needs to do better with finding people to teach!

We will stress on opening our mouths this upcoming transfer. The next day, after transfer calls, President Hymas threw a twist in our busy Zone Leader lives. I got called to stay a Zone Leader with Elder Berry but to also train a new missionary!!!! We will be in a trio!

President Hymas told me I was a hardworking and obedient missionary so I didn’t need to go to the “train the trainers” meeting. I’m pumped. This transfer will be super-fast for me. Elder Berry is worried about what the new missionary will be like, but I am just going to love him to death and treat him how my trainer treated me. We will be homies no matter what. I hope I won’t be eating my words soon!

Anyways life is good in Elk Grove. I have 3 thanksgiving dinners and already have plans for Christmas.
I thought of ideas for Christmas presents: new floral ties (skinny ties) and short tie clips. Life is good! I look forward to this transfer! 

With Love,
Elder Nelson

** This weeks pictures are Grandma and Grandpa Pollmann's old backyard.  The pool is the pool Connor learned to swim in and the basketball area (with the vines growing on the walls) was made by Grandpa Pollmann just for Connor to play basketball in!  Connor was in the neighborhood so he knocked the door and the people let him in the backyard to take pictures.  This Missionary is getting very very spoiled!!- Ashlie

Monday, November 13, 2017

Another good week...and some throwback pictures!

Dear Familia and friends,

This week again was very fast. We had exchanges again and it was great!  We found 5 new investigators. Being on full bike and talking to everyone is soo effective. I miss being able to bike around and have everyone become a new investigator, not just YSA aged people. We did a zone bike blitz in Vineyard area and that too was super effective. We biked around Vineyard Ward for 2 hours. I even knocked my own door at my old house. That was super trippy.

We had a goal as a zone to get 20 new Investigators (2 per companionship). We found 17 investigators some were new some were potential. I can’t remember the exact number. This week as a zone we found the most “new investigators” since I have been here and Elder Berry has been here. The zone deserves some praise for sure. We won’t be letting off finding this week. We will incorporate a goal this last week of the transfer to find more investigators than the previous week. 

I love being a missionary. I’m doing my best to become the message I share and I want the rest of the Zone to become the message they share as well. We had MLC this week...MLC brought great insights. Revelation is always flowing in MLC I love it so much. Transfers calls are this Saturday. They have a new transfer schedule which means Transfer day will be Tuesday now instead of Monday. I will be emailing on Monday next week not Tuesday like usual. There is always a possibility that I could leave Elk Grove or get a new companion. President Hymas likes to mix things up and rock the boat around. 

I officially am 14 months out on my mission...time is straight crazy fast out here. It’s scary to think that I am one of the oldest missionaries now. I’m excited to see what the future holds. I am making it a goal to read Doctrine and Covenants this month. I want to finish it before the month is over! Wish me luck! Also, a goal is to get everyone pumped up for Light the World. I know Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet but best believe I am already looking forward to Christmas. Christmas has such a great spirit! 

With Love 

Nelly boy

** side note-  Sister Mullen is a lady from our old ward in Sacramento.  Connor attended her in-home daycare before he was old enough for preschool.  This week she gave him some pictures of when he was in her daycare. I have attached them to this email.  Also a fun fact, the little girl in the ORANGE shirt was one of Connor's daycare friends at the time. Today she is his cousin.  Her dad and Eric are brothers and these pictures were taken before Eric and I knew each other. Small world! :)    love Ashlie 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Another week goes by...

Dear Family and friends- 
This was a very different week! We were in a trio for the week with Elder Henry. We had two exchanges this week and balanced Florin and Cosumnes River YSA! We always had something to do and I loved it! The first exchange this week was with a quiet missionary but when he does talk he is powerful. We focused on talking with everyone and smiling! Everyone needs to show how happy this gospel can make us! I committed him to have the faith to baptize by asking everyone to be baptized.
The next exchange this week was with a very good missionary and he has great desires to do missionary work. I focused on just having fun with this Elder because he seems to be struggling with his companion. I committed him to stay diligent and to study PMG pg. 121.
Elder Berry and I are doing awesome! We didn't have much proselyting time together but we are getting along. We had a Halloween Training on Halloween night obviously, it was an interesting training. We complimented everyone for 2 hours straight...it was the sister’s idea I hated it! But I played along with it.
I was super sick Saturday night and all of Sunday I have no idea what happened to me. I had a really bad headache Saturday night and I woke up Sunday with a fever of a 101 and body aches and nausea. It was a blast sabbath day! I slept for 36 hours straight and couldn't keep any food down. 
Our investigator pool right now is starting to get better. During all the exchanges we were able to find a lot of new people to teach. We are just hoping that many will commit and want to come to church. We have MLC (mission leadership council) tomorrow so I am excited for the new revelation the mission will receive.
I’m a happy missionary
Elder Nelson 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Another week in the life of a missionary....

Hello from EG!

This week was fast and tiring! We had three exchanges this week. The first two exchanges were in our Zone and the last one was in Carmichael with the Assistants. Elder Berry and I decided that I would take the “harder” out of the two companions for the week. During our exchange, we focused on being ourselves and having fun. The Elder I was with, is a very closed book but we were able to have some good miracles. I committed him to be diligent in all phases of missionary work.

Two days later I had an exchange with a different Elder. He also is a closed book and very very indirect. It was a funny exchange- he was cracking me up with some of his weird comments. We focused on talking to everyone and having courage to act. It was a long day that exchange I was getting very drained from doing everything. We had a Companionship Study half way through the day and I committed him to take the initiative and talk first. The rest of the day went a little smoother.

The last exchange of the week was with one of the assistants and we had a blast. It was an unusual exchange for us because we picked up another Elder from our Zone half way through the day. His companions went home because his father passed away. He got special permission to go home for a week and he will be back next Sunday. I have never heard of that happening but he is blessed I guess.

So, it was 3 of us and we were in Carmichael trying our best to baptize nations.  The Assistant Elder committed me, after contacts with people, to represent the message we just shared with people. I tend to get too pumped up when we have a good contact and I guess when I leave I am loud and laugh. By the end of all the exchanges I was exhausted.

Sunday was a good day...another Sabbath Day of running into more old friends or even people who I can’t quite remember but know me. We ate dinner in the Florin Ward and my Sunbeams teacher (Alisha Williams..she married now so that’s not her last name but anyways) fed us dinner. It was funny to see her reaction. Highlights from this week were getting new proselyting clothes from grandma and mom. They fit good and I needed them so thank you! We ate dinner at the Bennions. They are such a cool family. I love serving in the YSA ward. Missionary work is still tough and kinda slow though. For Halloween tomorrow, we are stuck inside a church building so you know I will be going insane and wanting to leave. I also have no pictures again. I’m sorry I'm failing at taking them. I will do better next week! I have tons of families looking out for me so don't worry about us not getting fed or me needed anything. It feels like I have family everywhere! And to answer my mom’s question- Yes sometimes I feel like a celebrity with everyone looking to take a picture with me! Not sure if Elder Berry is getting annoyed about it or not!

Elder Nelson

*** Connor may not have pictures to send me but attached are 6 pictures that I received from people just this week who ran into him.  FYI- Mom's LOVE to get pictures of their missionaries so when you have missionaries over for dinner--take a picture and text it to their families! :) It will make their day!- Love Ashlie 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Another week of working hard!

Dear Family

This week was great! It went very fast! We had Zone Conferences this week and it was all about the First Vision and using the best tools our Father in Heaven has given us (Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel). I went into Zone Conference this week with the question of “what does the Elk Grove Zone need to improve on?” It has been on my mind lately and I have been studying out in my mind! I knew that Zone Conference was going to have the Spirit strong enough to get my answer. The answer to the question I got was help the Zone develop the faith to Baptize! It totally sounded like PMG (Preach My Gospel) develop the faith, chapter 9 to find, but instead of 'finding' its 'baptizing'.

 Elder Berry and I are going to plan a Zone Training and try to give a training based of developing the faith to baptize! I’m super excited! This zone already has 6 individuals with a date who are praying about their date! And 5 others who has accepted and ready to be baptized on their date! I know God will give them the right answer.

 We had the opportunity to do exchanges with Elder Snow and Elder Henry. I was with Elder Henry who is from Spanish Fork, Utah.  He is a good hardworking missionary. We actually were able to get two less active YSA member to church this Sunday because of our efforts. I committed him to study diligence in PMG and to be as diligent as possible throughout his whole mission!

 Elder Berry and I are continually trying our best to be there for our zone and help them in any way possible. Elk Grove Zone will develop the faith to baptize and their efforts will be blessed because of it! Some highlights from the week was watching the meteor shower that happened this week! It was pretty cool! Some of the stars were hard to see with all the city lights.

 I saw Isabel Mariano this week. I dropped off a gift to her from Sister Hogge. It was cool to see her! I saw Aaron Pierce at church but failed to get a picture...it blanked my mind! That kid is so funny! We played some 'beat ya teach ya' this week at the church with some nonmembers! They brought some really good kids! It was fun...I still didn’t lose but it was best competition I have had out here! 

 We were driving down the street one day and Elder Berry loves to parallel people on the road. This time he paralleled some girls and they saw us and slammed on their brakes just to play along. The girl then floored it after we slowed down and almost hit the car in front of her so she swerved into our lane and then almost hit the car in front of her again so she swerved into the suicide lane and almost hit the car trying to turn in the suicide lane so she swerved into the next lane on the opposite side of the road. She then almost hit a Police car head on and then swerved all the way back onto the right side of the road. The police car turned around and pulled her over so quick! I literally thought I was going to see a huge crash happen. It was a crazy day! 

 With love,
Elder Nelson

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!