Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Last P-Day the weather was actually nice and we played some soccer, ultimate frisbee, and signs as a whole zone. It has been awhile since I ran that much and I felt so out of shape and fat. Literally side aches were killing me. Our recent convert John is such a stud. He has been coming to lessons with us and he is really helping people progress. People get tired of hearing missionaries testimonies and voices but when a normal person shares their testimony it really rocks the investigators. He has been helping us out a ton. We had a new member move in that we never met before. She is a single lady so she took us out to eat because obviously, we couldn't eat in her house. She took us to Buffalo Wild Wings. I want to apologize now because yes, I was distracted going there for dinner. THE CAVS AND WARRIORS GAME WAS ON! I haven’t seen basketball for four months and I felt like I had never seen or watched a TV before because I was sooo hooked on watching that game. Something was wrong with me. Luckily the member was super cool and didn't mind me so distracted. She actually was laughing at me.
Tuesday was the slowest longest day ever. So most of you know we have a car and we have bikes. Well with the recent transfer changes (in December) we only had 800 miles to drive around in the car. Well 800 miles for a whole month is just not enough at all. Anyway, we were out biking for about 30 minutes Tuesday morning and Elder Ravsten got a flat tire. No big deal. We fixed the flat and continued on with our day. The next house we knock we come back to the bike and his tire was flat again. Well, since we already used our one patch we had to walk back to the apartment. We got to the apartment around lunch time so we had a lunch 'hour' to fix the bike and eat. Elder Ravsten decided to take his bike axle out which knocked out all of the ball bearings. He found out his axle was broken...not to mention all of the tiny metal balls rolling around the apartment. Anyways, we drove our car to the Bike shop to get a new axle, tube, and ball bearings. It was around 2pm now. We took that dumb bike out the door of the apartment and his back tire wouldn't even spin. So, we turned right back around and walked into the apartment to fix the bike again. He took the whole thing apart again and reassembled it. Another hour! We eventually decided to drive to our members’ house for dinner and take the bike with us and fix it in his garage with all his tools. We got the tire on again. This time it spun but it would not spin for a very long time. There was some friction in axle somewhere. Anyways now that dinner was over and we still have seen only one person. We biked on to who we had planned that evening. We didn’t make it far.....his tire was flat....again. I gave up. We walked the bikes back to the car at our members’ house and drove home for the night. He spent the rest of the night fixing his bike and spent the rest of the night making phone calls saying I was sorry we missed appointments and tried to setup new ones. God was testing my patience that day.
Wednesday was a different story. After fixing the bikes we set off to see people in the morning. Wednesday was super wet and rainy! But we used a ton of miles on the car so we were stuck biking. We went and got a list of people to see from our Relief Society President. She appreciated us helping her out with seeing people. We had a member confess to us that she has been smoking and wants to quit because it was "killing her!" We had the chance to give her a blessing to help her remember the Lord and help her addiction to go away. We had dinner at our Elders Quorum Presidents house. This is the guy who gets all the different kinds of meats for free. This night we got Sirloins! He is so awesome! The whole night he was roasting Elder Ravsten, it was hilarious! I love my companion to death but he makes it so easy to pick on him! He almost asks for it! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!
Thursday, we prayed for better weather so that we wouldn't get soaking wet and man- our prayers were answered! It was sunny and it was actually warm. We had a District Meeting on Spiritual gifts. The whole district had a spot light opportunity to be told what gifts they had. My district told me that I was faithful, always upbeat and positive, a hard worker and a consistent worker, and I was always having fun. It was cool to see what they had to say. The rest of the day we spent finding out information about ward members. We did some investigation work! It was pretty fun. On our way home, we decided to take a different route than usual back to the apartment. We passed Interkom?( I think that how you spell it) high school and there were police everywhere and like 3 different groups of about 20 people all fist fighting each other. It looked like a crazy movie scene. Luckily, we didn’t get close enough to where anyone saw us.
Friday was a great day. It started off a little rough. We biked to the church to Weekly Plan. On our way, back from the church my pants got caught in the gears of my bike. It ripped from my ankle all the way up to my knee. It looked like I was wearing shorts!!
We met with a less active family that night and man does the father have a bad mouth. He was cussing up a storm. He wasn't being rude at all just his vocabulary wasn't very big so those are the words he used. They offered to give a bike! Hallelujah! Elder Ravsten got a new bike that won’t take a whole day to fix anymore. The tires on the bike actually spin too!
Saturday morning for personal study I didn't really feel like reading. So, I went on the gospel library and found featured films and watched Meet the Mormons for studies. And oh, man I hate to admit this but I bawled my eyes out when I watched Anthony Armstrong mission story. It made me look back on my life and see just how blessed I am to have a strong mom and a dad who was able to love me like his own child. I wasn't crying because I missed family but because I felt the spirit tell me I was doing the right thing and that Sacramento is where I need to be!
We had a baptism on Saturday for Addison. She isn't 9 so it wasn't a convert baptism but we still taught her. It was a super baptism and I'm glad I was able to help bring a soul to our Father in Heaven.
Sunday, we woke up and our power was out. Getting ready for Ward Council and not being able to see yourself in the mirror is hard! We had to get ready pretty fast because Ward Council is at 7:30am. We got in the car and started driving out of the apartment complex but the gate wouldn't open because the power was out. Sooo- we had to ask for a ride to the church. It was a crazy morning. Sunday was so needed though. It was amazing! The Relief Society President, Elders Quorum President, and Bishop all told me today that I was a great missionary and they all were happy with the hard work I have done. They all said that I was one of the best missionaries to be in their ward in a long time. I felt so happy and pumped!!! I love positive feedback and it made me want to work so much harder! I happy I have been able to help this Ward so much and that I have been able to fulfill my purpose as a missionary.
Everyone keeps asking me what I want for my birthday...hmm a couple things come to mind. I really like what Tessa did and gave me a grocery store gift card. That really helped! Of course, some gift cards for food places too. Panda express, in n out, taco bell, and chipotle are the popular ones I go to. That’s all I can think I want for my Birthday right now. I’ll continue to think and let you know next week! Oh, maybe some money for some protein powder!
Monday, January 16, 2017
This was the best week of the whole entire mission! I felt amped out of my mind and spiritually was overwhelming with awesomeness. We straight killed it preaching and teaching! Well let me tell you about it, why don't I!?
Last Monday I needed a haircut so bad! I was Nappy Nelly! So of course, there is nothing better than starting off the week looking fly as can be right! When we played basketball, I felt like I was jumping so high! I also used that gift card to Safeway that the Jones Family sent me. It was such a blessing. Thanks Jones Family.
Tuesday was the wettest day of my life. Elder Ravsten loves to use the car because its quicker than biking and we aren't in the cold. So because he loves the car we were running out of miles and had to save them for P-Day. Which means when the giant rainstorm came we were biking in it. It actually was super fun. The wind was blowing so hard when the rain would hit your face it would hurt!! We went on team ups with North Highland Elders. After team ups we biked back to Natomas. We knocked a ton of doors and a lot of people were home. We found three new investigators that day alone. Knocking doors is super ineffective. I was wet head to toe. My shoes had little ponds inside of them. Once we got back to the apartment and all dried up we had to go help a single lady fix her washer. Her home teachers were out of town and the Bishopric was busy with other meetings that day. But no worries we figured out a way to fix her washer. I’m just hoping we put it back together the right way and it won’t fall apart as she does laundry. Washers are not easy to figure out!
Wednesday was so bomb because we had interviews with President. Our mission has a new rule where President is required to have interviews with all the missionaries each transfer. It is such a blessing to be able to meet with President more often now. President told me that "there is just a certain drive and light that I have. Not very many missionaries have it. It is not something you can teach missionaries either. I can tell that you have been serving righteously and that makes a mission President proud." Booyah! I was spiritually and physically pumped out of my mind! It gave me a drive to work harder!
We taught the Plan of Salvation to one of our progressing investigators. We asked her how she felt after we taught it, like does it make sense, do you have any questions...? All she said was "this is so true" (ummm another BOOYAH!!!) we are going to ask her to be baptized next time we see her!
Thursday was another great day! The whole week was consistent with blowing my mind away. We had a great District Meeting about desire! If we have no desire to serve, work, and teach where will the miracle happen? It helped me to open my mind and focus on some different Christ-like attributes! We went on team ups with the Foothills Elders and don't worry this time I wasn't with Elder Haywood. We biked into an apartment complex and immediately the manager comes running out and tries to kick us out. We calmly told her we were the missionaries and that we share messages about Jesus Christ. She wasn't having it. She was screaming at us, freaking out that the apartment complex was private property and that we needed to leave or she would call the cops.... well we didn’t leave obviously! We are saving souls!! The cops arrived like 10 minutes later. Guess what happened! The lady got in trouble with the cops because 1. She isn't the owner of the private property so she can't kick us off 2. We did nothing that was harmful or illegal on the property so the cops should not have been called and 3. We got to flash our minister/clergy men badges and feel like complete bosses!!!!! Once the cops left the person we had and appointment with wasn't even home so we left! Haha! oops!!
One of my favorite things on the mission is trying to find people or find information on people. It’s like detective work and it is entertaining. One of our Ward Missionaries parks in a handicapped spot at his apartment complex he stays in and recently someone has been stealing his spot. The rumor was the person stealing the parking spot could walk and didn't need the wider handicapped spot to get in and out of her car. So, we went and knocked doors asking who is the lady parking her Mercedes in my Ward Missionaries spot? The Family told us they tried knocking all the doors and couldn't find the person. The fourth door was knocked on (too bad it was not on the fourth floor...get it?) was the lady who was stealing the spot. We asked her to move the car nicely and she reported us! Well long story short she ended up moving the car and the Family got their spot back!
Friday the 13th ooo sooo wasn't scary. But I can tell you what did happen I was spiritually uplifted out of my mind! We were on a bike path headed to an appointment and we stopped to talk to people on the way. We would bike up the path almost make it to the end and end up turning around walking next to someone about the gospel with them. After that we starting biking up the path again. Another person would walk by so we turned around and talked to them as we walked back down the path. We did this like five times! It was like never ending bike path! It was so cool to talk to so many people! We almost were late to our appointment too! We have this 92-year-old couple we have been seeing that last couple of months and the very first time we went by he said "he doesn't mind if we come over just don't try to convert me." He believes in Christ and reads the Bible so we share Bible messages before we leave. well Friday was like the 15th time we went by and we were just sharing Ephesians 6 about the armor of god! I got the strongest spiritual prompting to bring up the Church and the Restoration. We ended up sharing the Restoration and they thought it made a lot of sense. They still didn’t believe some things but that will change with some scriptures to back it all up! All I remember from that lesson was how strong the spirit was! It was the coolest feeling ever!
This whole week was just incredible! Oh, wait did I forget to share that for dinner on Friday the family we went out with took us to Chevys again! Heck yeah it was sooo good!! The picture with the old man in the smiley pants is when we went to Chevys.
Ok Saturday was the day where I was spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually blown away. We had a mission conference, just the Sacramento Mission, with Elder Renlund, Elder Ardern, and Elder Dorius. When we were waiting for Elder Renlund to arrive we were standing in the gym in our spots to take a mission picture with Elder Renlund. When that man walked in the door! Oh, my Lanta the whole room was filled with the spirit. It almost hurt! In the actual conference meeting I sat very front row very middle seat!
Elder Renlund had three messages for us as a mission from President Monson and Jesus Christ. 1. Thank you for serving 2. You were called to this mission for a reason if you don't know that reason asked God and write down your answer 3. President and Sister Jardine truly love us and are the exact leaders that this mission needs!
After he gave his three messages he needed to give the rest of the hour was question/answer time. He walked down off the pulpit and stood right in front of me with a white board and marker and answered everyone's questions. Elder Ardern and Dorius gave their input and shared things with us whenever they felt prompted. Elder Renlund 1. Is the funniest leader in the church I have ever met 2. Is sooo smart that it blew me away!
I thought I was picking up the gospel and knew a lot but boy was I wrong! He is so inspired it was incredible. Words can’t describe that meeting with him. He also mentioned to us that he was wearing President Monson's suit that he gave him! The best part of the whole conference was when we got on the subject on priesthood. Elder Ardern stood up and said "the priesthood that Peter, James, and John hold was the true Priesthood and it is the same apostolic priesthood that Elder Renlund has. (Pointing to Elder Renlund) ...standing right there is Peter, James, or John!" It put everything into perspective for me and literally blew my mind! It was SOO AWESOME!
Sunday to end this incredible week nothing was better than church. We sat with Kekoa in primary during second hour so he would actually stay in class. Primary singing and sharing time was painful! How did I survive that as a kid? Anyways we made it fun for Kekoa so that he would stay. Third hour we had a meeting with Bishop. He straight up told us that we were doing a fantastic job and he said that he could tell we were working our butts off. He just wanted to asked if there was anything he could do to help because he could tell we were exhausted. We kindly just said no and told him that he was killing it as a Bishop. It was cool to get recognition for working hard!
Last part of Sunday we spent with John to see how he has been doing since his baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. He is still cutting NBA players hair and he is still making so much money as a 22-year-old. His brother has a Nissan GTR so of course I had to see it. He even let me start it up and man that engine could roar! This week was off the chain! I loved every second of it!
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Last P-Day we ran around doing errands like chickens with our heads cut off. That’s how the average P-Day is. My companion returned his $100 pants he bought at Banana Republic. We played some basketball - you know the same thing every week. We were supposed to have dinner with a family that cancelled on us twice already and again on Monday they cancelled. They wanted to reschedule and we told them no. We met two Jehovah’s Witnesses Monday night and oh my goodness... They used scripture versus to basically call us "Satan’s children" and the whole time they were just smiling and trying to act as nice as possible. They don’t even know when their church was established or if they hold the priesthood authority!
This last week it was raining to hard. I know Idaho has had some insane snow and storms so I can’t really complain too much. We were on bikes getting blown off of them by the wind and soaking wet from the rain.
All day Tuesday 'it was help people with technology day'. We had 3 families call us to have us help them install or setup something for them. I’m not smart enough to work all this new technology. We had dinner with an awesome family. They are a very young couple and we felt like we could relate to them a lot more than the other families in the Ward. We had some cool conversations and it made the night super fun.
I had this cool spiritual prompting to go and knock on this one door that we were passing. We walked up to the door and rang the doorbell twice and knocked once. No one answered. I was so confused on why that happened. But remembering that sometimes we are meant to meet people to get in contact with their friend or neighbor who are prepared for the gospel. So, we marched over to the neighbor’s house next door and boom! We talked to a girl named Vicky who took a Book of Mormon and wanted to learn more about what we share. It was so cool. Diligence paid off. I easily could have jumped on my bike and left but I'm happy I keep on trying by knocking the neighbors’ door.
Tristan was baptized Wednesday night. It was supposed to be Thursday the 29th but his family could not make in town that day so we postponed the event. The service was awesome and hopefully the baptism will have a big impact on some of his family who is less active. His uncle Chris is super awesome and hilarious guy but just doesn't see a need for a relationship with God. We have become really close with Tristan's family and they almost treat us as their own kids- it’s so cool.
Thursday, we had some bomb lessons planned and some super awesome service activities planned. Literally all the lessons fell through. We saw zero people that we had planned on. It was like improv, just talking to random people for about three hours because we had no set plans. We were able to do our service though. We helped this less active family with some yard work. The front yard was fine and took 20 minutes but the back yard was literally the Amazon Rain forest. We were climbing over branches and trees just to get to the "back lawn." I was hoping we were going to get machetes and just start cutting our way to the back fence. We spent about two hours just cutting things down and then we had to leave. This yard was 10x worse than the initials yard service grandpa and I used to do. I wish grandpa was there to help because then we probably could have got some actual work done.
We went by the basketball courts to see if there was anyone we taught from the last 'beat ya teach ya' but they weren't there. There were some other kids who recognized us and knew that we were good but we still didn't play. We figured Proselyting would be the better choice. We had a Zone Training and something that I am going to do more often is inviting people to be baptized. I usually only ask people if I know they are ready. I need to start throwing that baptism question out there more so people will understand the importance of it. Getting the idea of baptism in the investigators head will help them also want to become prepared for it so I am working on that.
Saturday was my official 4 months out on the mission! Saturday, we ran into a ton of different churches and they all wanted to try to prove us wrong. The common topic was the Trinity. They shared all these scriptures about how God and Jesus are one and blah blah blah blah blah!!! I grabbed their Bible out of their own hand and flipped to John 3:16 and Matthew 3:16-17! I told them right there that those are separate beings! That if God and Jesus weren't separate beings then the Bible just contradicts itself. If the Bible contradicts itself then it's not true. I shared the fact that God and Jesus have same purpose not that they are the same person. They looked at me like they knew I was right. They still didn't want a Book of Mormon or ever say I was right but they knew inside that I was. My knowledge of the scriptures is incredible to what it used to be when I was home. I have so many memorized and know what chapters talk about what. I feel like a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
We presented our Ward Mission Plan to the Ward council on Sunday and they all loved it. Bishop Brown said that it was one of the best Plans he has seen in a long time. We will know next week if the Bishopric wants to add or take away anything before it is finalized. Sunday the rain was so bad they there was flood warnings and lots of places actually flooded. Some of the cars wheels in the church parking lot were covered in water. It was crazy. California needs to rain to help them get out of their drought.
This last week I have been watching what I eat because I literally am getting fat. 30 minutes of working out in the morning is not long enough to burn all the calories we get. I have been able to maintain 175 and hopefully I will be able to get up to 180 hopefully with muscle weight and not fat from all the pie we eat! I’m not on a dumb diet or eating spinach and water, I'm just limiting the amount of food I eat.
Elder Nelly is loving the mission still! Still not missing home! I just work my butt off every day..lay down in bed and turn on the scriptures on my iPad and go to sleep! I am having a blast and the memories I am making are incredible. Wouldn't change it at all. Not even for a basketball scholarship to a D1 University.
· Elder Nelson
Monday, January 2, 2017
Crazy long and slow week because of the holiday but it was fun and we had some time to lay back a little bit! Probably the hardest week so far on the mission as well!
Tristan passed the interview for baptism this week. His family rescheduled his baptism for Wednesday the fourth so his grandpa can make it. Pday was crazy last week we were able to go to the mall and buy some clothes. I didn't buy any clothes but my companion bought $100 pants. He's going to return them because they are way to small!
We are teaching the new member lessons to Kekoa. We taught him the restoration and reference that with Pokémon. He loved the lesson and is a Pokémon maniac. I didn't feel good on P Day. I had a headache and so I went to bed early.
We had crazy exchanges this week! We did two exchanges backed to back and they last 48 hours. It was a long time away from my area and was a nice break actually. The first exchange I was with Elder B., from Nazarene Philadelphia, in the Natomas second Ward. He is the new zone leader in our area and he is actually laid back and cool so I really enjoyed the exchange with him. We taught a lesson with some members from their ward! The members that came were the Goss Family. Sister Goss says that she was in Sean Nelson young single adult group or youth group, I can’t remember, but she knows uncle Sean. It is funny how small of a world it is out here in Sac Town. Elder B. and I laughed our heads off that whole exchange!
After exchanges with Elder B. and I went straight to exchanges in the Foothills Ward with Elder H! Boy, was he out to get me since our last exchange. So remember when I shoved him into the wall and told him to leave me alone and quit picking on me...well he got revenge. We were biking down the road and out of now where he reached over and shoved me off my bike. Just full on pushed me! I got up off the ground and literally said nothing...I prayed so hard for patience at that moment. I thought I was going to kill a missionary that night but luckily my prayers were answered and I didn't say a word about it or retaliate at all! We are even now sooo who cares! After that exchange I was so happy to be with my companion again.
We ran out of miles in our car so we biked for about three days. The zone leaders told us that we had about 1200 miles. They told us this month we only had 800 and so we were 300 miles over the limit. Luckily, we haven't gotten trouble, or at least not yet. We were biking around in Natomas and found Bishop Brown's kids outside playing on a trick shot basketball court at a park. It is like an obstacle course but with basketball hoops and it was sick, I straight killed it. It was Tristan's birthday on Thursday and so we went over to his house for dinner and Elder Henderson and his companion was there as well. It was so fun to catch up with him we laughed our heads off the whole night!!! The Franklin family just listen to me and Henderson talk because we wouldn't shut up. My companion, Elder Hendersons companion just stared at us and thought what the heck is wrong with these two. It was a fun night!!
As my companion and I were headed to the church to sync our iPad schedules with each other, my back tire literally exploded it sounded like a gun shot! I still am not sure what happened to the tire. I didn’t find a nail or anything in the tube it just exploded. It was a long walk back to the apartment. No one wanted to pick us up so we walked!
We had a chance to play "beat ya teach ya" at the park that's just across from our apartment. The zone leaders came with us and we played five on five with some of the kids at the park. They thought they were so good and they thought that they were going to destroy the missionaries. They were taller than us and actually older than us too! Butttttt we straight destroy them!! They literally did not stand a chance the game was over before it started. The missionaries destroyed the Street ballers. Welcome to the true gospel people. They actually invited us back to play and so we're gonna play today. Streetball is the best I wish they played it more in Idaho. I love to hear the OOOs and AWWs by everyone! It adds flavor to the game.
On New Year's we threw a party. The Spanish elders came over to our apartment and slept over. We got a bottle of Martinelli's from a member! We got a scary baby mask that looks like it straight from a horror movie. We messed around scared each other all night while drinking the Martinelli's. The fireworks outside the apartment were off the chain loud and huge! It was a good New Years!
Church got changed to 9 AM. We still had to wake up at 6 o'clock anyways so it didn't matter that church was early. It felt super weird to have church early, Sunday felt like it was a very long day. The schedule just got thrown off and the day seemed super long. Happy New Years to everyone back home!