Tuesday, September 26, 2017

More exchanges and the work goes on!

(Elder Henderson is the one in the t-shirt. He was Connor's trainer and Connor loves him! They will forever have a special bond.  He came back to visit)

Dear Family and Friends,

We had another crazy week of three exchanges! The first exchange this week was with the Assistants. I was with Elder Murphy and super excited to be companions with him because I have heard so many good things. He is the newest assistant. We honestly had a blast. Something I took from him and want to improve on is testifying of the love I have for people out here on the mission. That is a big reason why I am serving a mission so I need to tell people that.

The second exchange was with Elder Hammond. It was great to be with him for a long time and get to know him even better than I did before. I left him with the commitment to make long term and short-term goals to continue to progress at the same pace, no slowing down! Elder Hammond and Osborne are getting a long great and they are seeing lots of success from their obedience and hard work!

The last exchange this week was a little harder. The Elder seems to be struggling a little bit because he feels like everyone is out to get him and point out his wrong doings. I made sure to express my love for him and the love others have for him because they see his potential and what he can become. Everyone just wants him to be happy and improve. He is having trouble accepting correction. Other than that, our exchange was awesome. We hit the pavement hard and pushed ourselves to talk to everyone and testify of Christ. We both were exhausted at the end of the day but we could feel that our Heavenly Father was pleased with our effort.

Elder Toki and I again weren’t together that much this week but we are happy to be back together again. I’m going to miss him when he goes home in 2 weeks. We played our weekly beat ya teach ya basketball/lesson! These kids are starting to be more open to the gospel and there is like 20 of them that might start taking actually one on one lessons. Elder Toki and I have been doing our best to work hard together these last couple of days. He has like 12 days left! Anyways the boy is going to have to move out to California with me and go to school out here. Oh, shoot did I say I was moving to California...I love it here too much to not come back! I have met up with so many old friends and made so many more new friends that I would love to attend college with all of them. Anyways on a more spiritual matter. I made a goal to finish the Book of Mormon again before Christmas. It should be pretty easy since I was able to finish it in a week in Del Campo Area. I hope this time I will be able to dig a little deeper! The weather this last week was perfect! We drive everywhere with our windows down cruising! Its perfect weather to talk to people on the streets!

Much Love
Elder Nelson

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lots of exchanges!

Dear Family and friends,

This week was packed with exchanges. We did exchanges with Hmong, Marshallese and the Spanish Elders.

During the exchanges two of the elders were on their last exchange, I left them with the commitment to stay worthy of spiritual promptings and to use their time as wisely as possible. These two commitments were recently used but we felt like this would help them finish their mission on a good note.

The last exchange was with an Elder who has been struggling with finding joy in the work. The whole time I tried to help him recognize the joy in finding new investigators, good contacts, and solid lessons. We had a blast together and invited him to study diligence on PMG pg. 121! We will follow up with him on Thursday at District Meetings.

Elder Toki and I missed being with each other for the week but when we were together we got work done! We found 7 new solid investigators. We are hoping to put two of them on date this upcoming week!

The weather here in Sacramento has been amazing! The delta breeze is keeping everything cool to a nice 70-80 all day and its sweet! We drive everywhere with the windows down and man I miss being able to blast music...it’s just blasting MoTab for now! Which is getting old I will be honest...I love the gospel but MoTab is old!

Anyways! I was exhausted this week because I felt like I was doing everything with all the missionaries coming into our area. We had Stake Conference yesterday. It was all about Family History and how we need to be doing this work for our deceased family members. It was good...still the same topic from the whole rest of the year but it was powerful. The second coming must be real close if all the focus in Family History because that will be most of the millennium. This next week Elder Toki and I will have three more exchanges..nothing will be slowing down for us!

I almost forgot to mention we did play Basketball this Thursday with all the college kids. They were super excited to have us come play that they brought even more people! They brought better players but that just made it more fun. According to the member, he says every talks about the cool Elders who ball...so we are hoping the messages we share will be more powerful now they trust us and think we are "cool"! So hopefully 20+ new investigators will be listed soon!

Love everyone and miss you!

Elder Nelson

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

More beat ya- teach ya!!

Hey Family!

This week was off the chain exhausting! We had three baptisms this week in the zone, we had district meetings and I felt like we ran a ton of errands this week! It’s true what President Jardine used to say...our assignment as Zone Leaders we really are just Zone Servants. I love the chance that I have to be in this spot though. I’m glad I can serve all these missionaries!

Elder Toki and I had a blast on Thursday! Thursday was official 1 year mark out on the mission. All I wanted to do to celebrate was play beat-ya-teach-ya! So, all Thursday night we went looking around for people to play! We played two high schoolers in the park, killed them and passed put 2 Book of Mormons. We went to another park played three on three with some older men maybe around mid 30s. Beat them and passed out three Book of Mormons.

We got a text from the Assistants saying we needed to update the people who are firm and on date for baptism...we kind of forgot to do that...we got to the church and saw that our firms list was already up to date so we didn't get in trouble. We did hear someone bouncing a basketball at the Seasons Building so we jumped up and ran to the gym. A member who is in college at Cal state was playing basketball waiting for the 20 friends he invited to show up. We waited maybe 15 minutes and 20+ kids from Cal state showed up to play basketball. We called first game and balled these kids up. Best competition I have had all mission. We won 11-1 and got a return appointment for next Thursday night. We told everyone next time we were going to start with a scripture and a prayer. They agreed so I am pumped for next Thursday. Hopefully we will get 20 new investigators!!!!!

Work around the mission has been crazy, last week we were at an all-time low finding only 64 new investigators. This week the mission doubled it finding 136 new investigators. It was awesome to see the transition. We have been coming up with ideas on how we can make finding easier and find creative ways to get people to listen to the gospel. As a Sacramento Zone, we will start a Finding Friday, where the whole Zone will go do a blitz or team-ups together for most of the day! I’m excited to see what happens with this new idea!

Our Fijian Ward Bishopric will start a fast this week to find new Fijian investigators. All the missionary work in the ward starts through the Bishop's priesthood keys so we are excited he is on board and ready to help us out!

I have been thinking back on this last year of the mission and wondering what things I can do to continually improve. The two things that came to mind was journal writing (writing more than just one page) and obtaining Christlike attributes. Trying my best to be more humble, patient, and kind to people. Luckily the Lord is on my side or that would be impossible for me. We have three exchanges this upcoming week so Elder Toki and I won’t be together for much of the week but I will still make the work fun, I always do! Mission life is treating me well.

Elder Nelson

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

1 year mark this week!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was packed with meetings! We had Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Martinez of the 70! They focused a lot on obedience and the true teacher in lessons, the Spirit! It was amazing to hear their council and their humor. Both of them were hilarious! I have a story to share about what they said later in the email when we saw them in MLC!

Sadly, I was feeling horrible this week so I was out of commission for one day this week! I was really upset and mad that I had to be sick! I had a horrible headache and my body was just super cold...so I took some medicine and hung out with another sick Elder for the day. We were able to setup two blitzes in the sisters’ areas! We found a total of 15 new investigators between the two blitzes so they were very successful!

I love being a Zone Leader and being able to help out our missionaries and see miracles in other areas! It gets me pumped for proselyting. The best part about the week was this month’s MLC (Mission Leadership Council). Elder Toki and I were the first two missionaries to the MLC and right before the meeting we were able to visit with Elder and Sister Martinez. The first thing they said to both of us was not a "hi, I’m Elder Martinez nice to meet you, or hi, how are you Elders?" He said Elders "your ties are wonderful when you get home and get a wife you should match those ties with your wife's dress!  Now take that thought and cast it away, don’t think about that ever again until you are released as a missionary!" Hahaha - man they were funny people! Elder and Sister Martinez were able to attend that meeting with us and it was amazing how much revelation was flowing in the upstairs room of President and Sister Hymas house!

We got some great direction and a little bit of chastisement but that is expected as Leaders in the mission. Something all the Leaders will have to work on is correcting missionaries and making sure missionaries have a testimony of the rules! I guess there have been some problems with that going on in the mission! Elder Toki and I had the chance to eat dinner at the Cantillos home this week as well! It was amazing I love that family and I am sad that Nathan and I couldn't have spent more together through high school!

P-Day today was spent up in Serrano neighborhood in El Dorado Hills at Presidents house playing games and having friendly competitions! It was a blast to get the whole Zone out of Sacramento and into new grounds to enjoy our day off! Sadly, we weren't able to get in their massive pool they have..but we had lunch and had a ping-pong tournament! I did not win but if it was basketball we all know that outcome of that tournament! Anyways Elder Toki and I are still having a blast as companions and the members are now asking us if we knew each other before the mission because we seem like such close brothers. Hey this week is my one-year mark. I officially have served for half of my time! It went crazy fast! The mission is fantastic, now only if we can find someone to baptize!!

Your boy 

Elder Nelson

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Another transfer...

Wazzzup Family!

Transfers were this week, obviously, that’s why I am emailing on Tuesday! Elder Toki and I are staying together!!!! This is his last transfer so this will be the second companion I have that will be going home! Elder Toki will stay strong to end I have faith in him! Elder Henderson is officially home so my "mission family" is literally nonexistent. Just me now! The transfers changed every companionship in our Zone except Elder Toki and I! We are the only original two!

This week was nuts! During transfers, we had a companionship totally mess up what they were supposed to do. They drove half way up to the Mission Office and didn’t have everything they were supposed to take up! Long story short Elder Toki and I had to clear 2 hours of our day to go up to the Mission Office and back it was annoying! But we understand the sacrifices we need to make in order for us to help our missionaries so we repented for having hard hearts!

Elder Toki and I put together a Zone Gathering yesterday! We focused on the spirit and how the spirit is our joy on the mission! We really just tried to pump our missionaries up for this upcoming transfer! It was awesome! Elder Toki made a joke saying that summer was over because last Sunday night it felt super cool and nice.... he jinxed this last week so bad! This last week was hot! 100+ degrees every day! It was funny to see him just be sweating and us burning outside and him say "well summer is over..." We started a Missionary Book of Mormon reading! The whole mission will finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year! I’m excited to see what I can learn from that! 

We have a new trainee in our apartment with us now! Elder Evans from Centerville Utah! We will try our best not to scare him away but let him know missionary work can be fun! I am looking fresh in my new shoes! We played ball with Nathan Cantillo and Grant Bertagnini! They have become our mission homies! They come and proselyte with us during the week. Our Zone had 3 more baptisms this week and so we had the awesome opportunity to attend those! Our investigator pool has died this last week so this upcoming week we are hoping to find a lot more!

This week ahead will be busy with MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and a Zone Conference with Elder Martinez of the 70s is coming! We are excited for the new revelation we will receive and the guidance from our area Seventy! It will be an awesome week!

We had the chance to go to a Fijian wedding this week in Wilton! I jumped out of the car and told Elder Toki "wow there are a lot of white people here for this wedding I probably will know a family or two from when I lived here" right after I said that the Bush Family popped out of their car which was right next to us! It was very cool to see them again! Trevor is huge now!

Elder Nelson
Serving the best Mission right now!