Friday, October 30, 2009

From the Missionary Resort

Hola!!! So here I am in the Missionary Resort, LOVING IT!!! So it snowed this past Tuesday, yikes! It's starting to get cold! And pops I can't believe you have pneumonia!!! I'm praying for you! And I love getting your letters so keep them coming :) Ok there's so much to talk about and no time! First, on Monday's we go to the RC (referral center) and call people that have called for church dvd's, or bibles, or BOM's...well I had such an AMAZING EXPERIENCE!! First off, I just love black people :) ha and you can totally tell your talking to one by the sound of their voice :) Well I was calling a Mr. Roberts to make sure he received his free Bible and he actually hadn't, but then I started telling him about the BOM and the truths that it holds, and he was like super interested and he was telling me he had been interested in all kinds of religions since he was little and he had all these different religion books. Anyways, I was like yeah have you ever wondered why there are so many religions in the world?! There's like a different church on every corner, but there's only one God, so shouldn't there only be one true church of God...and ha he actually disagreed with me but then I was like can I tell you a story? He said yes of course, and so I began to tell him about Joseph Smith and how he was really interested in religion too and he wanted to be where God wanted him to be and as he was searching for answers he came across James I read him that and then said, and if you were JS and you were looking for the true church and you had just read that vs. what would you do? And he said pray and ask my God..and I said exactly and that's what he did. And he recorded his experience (ha and then I was freaking out because I could only remember it in Spanish!!!) but then I found it and about my 5th word in to reciting the first vision I just felt the Spirit SO STRONG bearing testimony to me once again that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and of course I started crying and I was like oh no! He's not even going to be able to understand me! But he did and after I asked how he felt and he said he felt moved and good, and I said Mr. Roberts, that is the Spirit testifying truth to you. And he said yeah that sounds right. And he said he was really touched and he could tell how much it meant to me. And he's meeting with the missionaries in a couple weeks to learn more and I'm gonna try to call him back after and see how he's doing. Ahh it was sooo AMAZING! The Book of Mormon is just AMAZING. We had a huge discussion about it last night (and when ELDER PERRY CAME ON TUESDAY NIGHT..AMAZING, I KNOW)! but Hno. Dickerson went around the room and asked each of us, "If the Book of Mormon is true..." and we answered! If the BOM is true, then Joseph Smith had a vision and had the priestood conferred upon him, and the gospel of Christ was truly restored on the earth, and there really is a God who loves and cares about us individually, and I truly was called of God, and there is a prophet on the earth today, even Thomas S. Monson, and ON AND ON AND ON! The BOM is either true or it isn't, there is no middle ground. And I testify that it is the most correct of any book on earth, the keystone of our religion, and a man can get closer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book; like Joseph Smith said. Ah pray for a confirmation yourself and ask yourself, "if the BOM is true then..." The list can go on and on! A couple other things that were inspiring. Hno Stone reminded us of something that I think we forget sometimes as missionaries. He said, "who signed that paper and who wrote their acceptance letter to be a missionary? Was it your mom, your dad, your Bishop? No, it was you. You are the one who said that you wanted to be here. Nobody else made that decision for you." It's so true! So I just want to suggest that Ty and Nick (and whoever else) make a copy of the letter of acceptance to be a missionary and bring it with them on their mission, so when the going gets rough they can turn to that and remember why they decided to come on a mission. And even write down right now why they want to come on a mission. You get that question all the time. Go because you want to go, because you want to serve your Savior and bring others unto Christ. If you're just going because it's expected of you, change that right now. Find that desire to serve! Because it's the best! But oh my goodness, it is SO HARD! A couple quotes... "The future is as bright as your faith" I love that! Tenga fe!!! "The Lord doesn't care what your abilities are, he just wants your heart, and when you give him your heart, he will make weak things become strong unto you. Sister Masumori (in the Primary Pres.) came to RS and spoke to us on Sunday and told us a story about how her and her husband were actually able to see their son on his mission because her husband went to NY a lot on business. Her son served in the Bronx and she said right before they were about to meet their son for lunch they almost got like shot because these gang members were about to do a drug exchange and they thought that her and husband were like from the gvt. or something..anyways she was like yeah that made me real comfortable as a mom having my son in an area like that, but when I saw him and his comp. turn the corner I literally saw a bubble surrounding them. "The Lord protects those who do his work." Future missionaries: You will be a great missionary if you 1. Have an eye single to the glory of God 2. Love your companion 3. Love the people and 4. Are obedient. Remember, "missionary work is a privilege, not a right". "Success breeds success" Elder L Tom Perry said "the first step to becoming a great teacher, is to first become a great student". Hno Stone said "the reason we find ourselves when we lose ourselves in because there's more of us to find..the more you give yourself, the more you find out about become recharged and enlarged! LOVE IT!!! LOVE YALL!! LOVE THE WORK!!! I'll be sending out a letter tomorrow too with more info!!! Thanks for being amazing and such good examples! Stay close to the Lord! Alena and Ty..I'm expecting letters :) Love yall! Have a great week!! Oh and we taught in Spanish this week for the first time, more details later :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pictures from the MTC

Here are some pictures we got today from Amanda at the MTC. There are more posted on her facebook page.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Loving Life

Can life get better?! I submit that it CAN NOT :) Man life is just tan bien!!! I hope you've gotten all 3 of my emails so far! Let me know! So this week I am just overwhelmed by all the blessings in my life! I feel like life is just so good! I have absolutely nothing to complain about! Of course it's muy dificil but I figure I have the Lord on my side, so all is good! So last night Hna G, Elder Keele, and Elder Sims and I were sitting on some couches just studying and this teacher came up to us and asked where we were going on our missions..Paraguay! Well turns out she went to the same mission and has only been back for 3 months!! I can't remember her name but she knew Elder Curtis!I was so excited! But she just told us so much! I guess our mission is the highest baptizing mission right now in South America!!!! How amazing is that?!! She just couldn't stop talking about how amazing EVERYTHING about Paraguay is! Ha I am sooo going to be like that!! It's going to be amazing!!! She said it gets to like 110-115 but you just get used to it and you learn to love it! Hermosa!! Oh but madre, necisito mas zapatos por favor!!! She said she went through a ton of shoes! LIke the nice expensive ones. She said the roads are just awful! And since I'm sending two pairs home I figure I need two more pairs!And I will probably need them before I leave the MTC! I'll write a letter more about that! Oh and I got the package, gracias :) So have I ever told you how much I love our district and zone?! I can't believe I'm just going to keep meeting such amazing people throughout my whole mission! THE MISSION IS THE BEST! And I can't believe it's already been a month!!! Loco!!Yeah every Wednesday the new missionaries come in and I see them being dropped off and I just get all teared up haha. But I have finally reached the point where I am just fine. I remember my first night here I just bawled my eyes out and there were these two hermanas on my floor that were comforting me and one of them said, "yeah I was the same as you when I first got here, but you'll get to a point when you feel like your district has become your family." ha and I was thinking there is no way!! The Elders don't even look at us, they're super awkward and I just don't know how I feel about the hermanas yet, and there is just no way I will ever feel like that! Well two days ago I was telling my district about mi familia and how amazing yall are, etc. and at the end I just started crying and I told them what that hermana had told me and how now I feel like that. They are just the best! We are all so tyte, I love it! And Hna. G was super sick all week long and the elders gave her a blessing a couple nights ago (Elder Sims) and it was his first one ever, and he did so great! The Spirit was so strong! I think that unified us more. THe priesthood is INCREDIBLE! oh but I was going to tell you that I get to be a host in two weeks! ha I'm so excited! I don't pick them up at their cars, but when the elders escort them to the building we take them inside and show them their room and then kinda give them a tour of the MTC! That will be so fun! And I think Hna Henrich will be coming in that week so that will be so cool if I host her!!! Ok just some cool thoughts from this week... let's talk about Satan for a second..he is just so awful and so real! One of his most powerful tools is to cause us to doubt ourselves, to doubt who we are and what we can accomplish. Doubt is not a feeling from God. God loves us so much! And he has so much confidence in us! It's absolutely unbelievable! He is totally cheering us on with the angels in Heaven! They rejoice when we make good choices and when we have righteous desires (like bringing people unto Christ) God will prepare a way for us! Yes it won't always be easy, but the reward will be great! And if we bring save it be one soul unto Christ, how great will be our joy if we bring many souls unto Christ (ha fix that so it's right). But ahh I can't wait to actually help bring children back to our Heavenly Father. We lived with him before we came here and we can return to live with him again through Christ's Atonement! Ah that just gets me everytime! How merciful our Heavenly Father is for sending his son to die for us so that we can return to him. Christ suffered for everyone we will ever come in contact with in our lives. He FULLY atoned for each and everyone of our sins! Ah! We had a devo on tues. and Sister Robbins said, even when you can't fully converse with the people, LOVE THEM! haha that hit home, because I know I'll be struggling for the first couple months with the language, but I know that if I love the people they will know that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them. Brother Robbins said, "success is going from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm." ha how motivating! You just have to keep going and keep going! You can't let thoughts of doubt and failure get in the way of serving our Lord! I'm so excited to develop charity! I am ready to give my heart out to serving and loving and bringing people unto Christ. I know I was called by God to serve in the Paraguay Asuncion North mission. It's not just by chance. I am supposed to be going to this mission! How exciting! I love yall so much and am so thankful to have been raised by goodly parents and to have had such amazing church leaders and friends who have been such good examples to me! Life is good, huh?! Go and tell all those young men who are of missionary age and who aren't on missions that they need to go!!! It's so important and so key for the rest of their lives! PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE and then God will come in and provide the way. Don't let things of the world get in the way, whether it be school, work, or girlfriends! You'll regret it! The mission is SO AMAZING! Love yall soo soo much! Mom make sure Alisa and Ty got my letters and let me know if they did or didn't! I'm going to write Hary and Mary Lou and Grandpa Bill today! So let them know it's coming! Thank Sister Wariner for the letter, I love them! And I'm writing her and Chels back today (and Emily) and Angela! G2G!!! Love yall!Hermana Nelson

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week 3...Loving the MTC

This morning Hermana G and I got to travel to the OUTSIDE world!!! All the way to Orem! Crazy huh?! She's having some problems with her knee so we had to go to an Orthopedic Dr. (pray for her). But when we got back we still had enough time to go to the temple and it was so great! We did initiatories (my first time from since I went through). And then afterwards I was sitting on a chair waiting for Hermana G and this Hermana came up and asked me where I was going on my mission and I said Paraguay and that's where she served too! But in the South mission! But she was all excited and taught us some Guarani phrases and is going to try and come to the MTC tomorrow for lunch and teach us more or she'll send us some phrases and what not! Cool, huh?! Speaking of Paraguay..I was in this meeting and the lady that was teaching was the former mission president's wife in the Paraguay Asuncion North MissioN! Right before the Wade's! The Andersons. So she told me to stop by her husbands office sometime and ask more questions and look at pictures and what not! Love it!!! Ok this week was just great! Minus the fact that Hermana Miller left us this morning at 3 a.m.!!! No bueno! Elder Matautia, Gates, and Russel also left this morning, so now our district is down to 8! Weird! But I'm really excited because I think we'll all become really good friends! A group of 7ish left to Paraguay North on Monday! They are such studs! I can't wait to see them out in the field! So now it's just Hna G and I! Lol we have to much fun sometimes so we need to step it up! Oh and on Sunday we went to the zone meeting with Hna M because she's the coordinating sister and at the very end when we were leaving Hno Llewellen asked if I would be the new coordinating sister..yikes!!! Ha I definitely feel the least adequate for the position, the other hermanas are so much more spiritual and everything, but it will be good for me I think. I definitely have been humbled! So yesterday at dinner it was us hna's and we were sitting across from these two elders, so naturally we start talking to them and asking how the MTC is going and everything, and they've only been here a week. So one of the Elder's said he just HATES the MTC and just went on and complained about it..well ha I was not ok with me being me drilled him. (It probably didn't help that we had just got done watching a devotional by Elder Holland from a couple years ago). So I was all in passion mode and I just gave it to him. I said, "Elder let me tell you a little something something.. one of my really good friends told me that you can either look at the MTC like it's a prison because you're just stuck inside all day and you have to be in classes and study all the time and you have to eat the same food every single week and there's no free time, etc. OR you can change your attitude and take it as an opportunity to learn and to grown and to recognize how strong the Spirit is and how inspirational your teachers are and the speakers are and to just take it all in! We have been given 18 months/2 years to become closer to our Lord and Savior and to bring his children unto his fold. How dare you complain and feel sorry for yourself. NO it's not easy, but first off you are not here for YOU. You are here to serve the Lord. It's not about YOU anymore. Elder Holland said, "SALVATION IS NOT A CHEAP EXPERIENCE. It was NOT meant to be easy and it never will be! It was not cheap or easy of convenient for the Savior as he suffered on the cross" If you're going to be a missionary and sahre his word how can you think that you won't feel a tsp. of what the Savior felt? If you're going to be his disciples, YOU BETTER HAVE SOMETHING TO SHOW FOR IT! He said be able to stand and bear testimony when you return from you mission and say that 'you sufferened the will of the Father from the beginning." YOU'RE DOING THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE!" Your mission should mean EVERYTHING to you! He also said, DON'T YOU GO HOME, DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE FOR YOUR SAKE!" ha he is good huh?! Anyways I'm sure I probably scared that Elder, but his companion thanked me afterwards! How hard would it be to have an unmotivated companion? How blessed I am to have such an AMAZING companion, district, and zone! How great this work is!!! And we also were taught a lot about the importance of the Book of's what it comes down is either ABSOLUTELY TRUE or it is FALSE..there is NO middle ground! Ahhh I just love the BOM and its converting power! I can't remember who but someone said "have confidence that the Holy Ghost will witness to anyone who will sincerly read and pray about it of its truthfulness". The Spirit is SO AMAZING! Without it we are nothing! If any of you who are reading this have not read the Book of Mormon, PLEASE DO! You know me and you know my know that we are not some physcho people with some physcho religion. We believe in Christ and we know him to be our Savior and we have every desire to follow him. We know that the Book of Mormon is a true book, another testament of Jesus Christ. We love the Lord and we know he loves us. The gospel of Jesus Christ is once again restored to this earth and we have living prophets today who love us and who help us and guide us so that we can live with our Father in Heaven and our families once again when we leave this earth. This is my testimony. Please please ask my family for a copy of the Book of Mormon and please please pray to your Heavenly Father and ask him if it is true. My family can help answer any questions you have. I love yall all so much! This gospel is so good and so true!
Love always,
Hermana Nelson

Moroni 7:33

Week 2 at the MTC

Hey yall!!! How's everybody doing?! This week has been super amazing!! It's already flying by and I just want it to slow down! I love the MTC!!! We have a blast all the time! I love having cinco hermanas en mi distrito! It's the best! We already have plans to room together when we come back home to BYU :) Crazy to think that I will continue to meet amazing hermanas y elders on this AMAZING journey! So conference! Oh man!! It was sooo cool watching it as a missionary! We all gathered in the gym and the Spirit was just so strong. It seemed like every talk was directed right towards me and it seemed like they all had to do with missionary work! One thing that I learned this week that es muy importante is teaching with the Spirit! Because in all honesty if we don't have the Spirit then how are the people we're teaching going to know that we're saying is la verdad?! We have a progressive investigator, Gabriel, who just happens to be a teacher that served in Paraguay so we were really excited to teach him! BUT the first time we taught him it was NO BUENO!! I think that Heavenly Father wanted us to humble ourselves because we really needed to learn that the Spirit has to be with us when we teach! And then all during conference and at devotionals and firesides and LGM's they talked about how having the Spirit is so important to the work! So I think I've learned my lesson! So right now I'm trying really hard to pray for the Spirit as I plan and as we teach! Our lessons are so much better when we have the Spirit guiding us! So a couple nights ago Hno. Stone (a member of the branch presidency) was talking to us after the Tuesday night devo. and he promised us that by March 1, 2010 we will be talking and thinking in Spanish only!!! As long as we do our part and give our all and trust in the Lord! How amazing is that!!! So I'm going to strive really hard to reach that! It would be so helpful and then I'd be able to learn Guarani and help the people even more! While he was talking to us he also randomly said, "Hermana Nelson, I know you were called exactly where you were supposed to be called because it's the first time in your life where you're going to feel tall." I was like haha oh thanks so much! Not exactly what I was expecting lol. Oh today I saw Sister Buchanan in the temple!!! Talk about amazing!!! I was soo excited to see her! The temple is so amazing!! I love going once a week and I'm really excited that we'll actually be able to go in Paraguay! Ha ok funny story (probably funnier if you were actually there but yeah..) so we were teaching this week in the TRC (where volunteers will come in and pretend like they're not members and they're supposed to stay in "pretend" character the whole time!) So we were getting ready to teach a guy named Spencer and then all of a sudden one of the workers came in and told us that we would also be teaching his long lost sister Vanessa! Oh Vanessa...she has only been a member for a couple of months and it was her first time at the TRC so she had no idea what she was supposed to do and had no idea she was supposed to not really be a member. haha so we were teaching the first principle and all of a sudden she's like oh my gosh I know that to be true..let me tell you my conversion story! Ha so for the next like 5 min she goes on about how she found the church (it was actually a really good story but sooo funny) oh! and then before that even happened we told them we were going to say a prayer to invite the Spirit and then at the end of the lesson we were going to have one of them say the right as Hna. G is about to start saying the prayer Vanessa busts out in prayer in Spanish!! lol I almost peed my pants! It was hilarious! And then she says this beautiful prayer I'm sure..I couldn't really understand it but I bet it was great! So all through the lesson she would interrupt us and tell these stories about a principle we were teaching and she never caught on that she wasn't supposed to already be a member UNTIL the very end of the lesson, when I did the baptismal committment to Spencer..."Spencer as you read and pray for yourself to know that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority of God" and before he answered she looked at us and then looked at him and was like "WAIT, you're not a member?!!" lol it was hilarious! He looked at us apolegetically and then said yes I'll be baptized if it's true! Oh man it was hilarious. But what I did learn was how to teach with a member, which I'm sure I'll be doing all the time in the mission field so bueno! And she really did bring in a strong spirit when she was sharing personal stories about how she found out the truth for herself! And it was so cool to hear how her life had been changed because of the gospel and it makes me really excited to be a tool in the Lord's hands and help people come unto Christ! So Spanish is pretty good! I love learning it and I just wish like there was more time in a day...weird because I've never been as productive as I am in the MTC in one day ever in my life, but it still seems like I don't have enough time to ready and study from the BOM and PMG and everything else! It's all so good! I wish I had more time! Nuestro distrito is really coming along. We're a lot more united now and es muy divertido! I'm beginning to see the challenges of a trio but it's all good :) At the devotional Brother Banks shared a quote with us from President Hinckley that said, "I regard you as my companions in this work." How amazing is that! A prophet of God considers me a companion in this work! Ahh! And the work is good! Oh and there's been a couple times when the speakers have shared testimony of how we were called exactly where the Lord wanted us to be and how they really recieve revelation from the Lord on each individual! Brother Banks told a story about how he was there when they were going through each name and they had gone through a pile and then he told them to go back a couple names and then went on to say how he had messed up and the Lord wanted that person somewhere else! Ah Paraguay Asuncion North! I know and I knew from the first moment I saw where I was going that that is where I'm supposed to be! I'm so excited! There's a whole district of elders in my zone that are going there in a couple of weeks and they are all studs! I can't wait to meet the people and love them and share with them the gospel! And one thing I really want to do while I'm there is keep a high retention rate with the people I teach! I don't want them to fall away after a year! I'm going to really work hard on committing each member and helping them know and see how the gospel can truly bless their lives! I love the gospel and the changes I can already see it bringing into my own life! It's just soo good!! I love yall and miss yall but I'm ok with that now! The time is already flying by and I'll be back before you know it and then I'll just want to go back and visit all the time!!! lol ahh I got to go! I'm writing a letter home about family stuff so you should get that soon! Love yall love ya love!!! Miss ya too! Yall are the best family ever! Keep the letters coming :)
Hermana Nelson

Thursday, October 1, 2009

E-mail from Amanda

First off Hermana Galbraith is my companion!!! Crazy huh?! Thank you Sister Curtis! I also have another companion, Hermana Miller! We're in a threesome :) It's kinda crazy sometimes but I feel like we're always having fun! It's awesome! We get along muy bueno! Hermana Miller is going to Puerto Rico and leaves to the DR MTC in two weeks so then it will just be me and Hna G. P.S. mom find her mom on the mission mom site or w/e. So there's 12 people in our district right now but 4 people are leaving in two weeks for the DR, so then it will just be 8! Crazy but I'm really excited to get really close to everyone. There's another companionship of hermanas in our district and they are super cute and I love everyone to death! Elder Sims (one of the elders I met on facebook) is also in my district and him and his comp are both going to Paraguay. The remaining 4 people that will be with us for the rest of the time are all going to Argentina Mendoza! We're the only heremanas in our whole zone and we're all in the same district..obviously our elders needed some hermanas to shape them up! They love us :) My branch president is Pres. Dickerson and he is AMAZING!!! He has the strongest testimony of the BOM and he is just inspiring! He makes me really excited to learn more! He doesn't speak any spanish besides beuno goodo..which isn't spanish for those of you who didn't know. I have dos maestros..Hermano Hellewell y Chandler. They are both pretty tyte but if I had a favorite it would probably by H.H. because he is a stud and makes learning really fun! We taught in the TRC the other day. We taught the first lesson to Hermano Gonzales and it was so LEGIT! The Spirit was so strong and he seemed like a real investigator! It was super exciting! I love all the letters and dearelders I get so KEEP THEM COMING!!! I love hearing about what's going on and I wish I had time to write back about every little thing, but I don't :( We went to the temple today and it was so fun! Please keep praying for me! It was so so so hard that first day but the Lord has really blessed me! Everyday just flies by but we do soo much! We've learned how to pray and bear testimony (thanks Skyler) and we memorized the purpose in English y Espanol and oh! Pres. Dickerson challenged us to commit people to our districts goal was 40 for the week..well of course our companionship already has like 80 each..but I learned it in espanol so I'm going to try and beat the record before the time I leave (the record is 592 for a week) ha YIKES yo se! But it would be legit! And it's a great way to meet people! He challenged us to do that so we could get over our fear of commiting people to be baptized. FAITH NOT FEAR! ha it's exciting! I feel like I'm praying ALL OF THE TIME!!! It's great! I love being here because I am constantly feeling the spirit! But at the same time I'm having a BLAST! Hna G and I probably have to much fun sometimes! Everyone is finally being themselves so our district is a lot more united than it was the first week, we were kinda nervous, but now it's awesome! I laugh A LOT! In fact I've gotten the giggles so many times! They know me as the laugher and the crier..haha yeah. We have to do comp inventories where you tell eachother your strengths and weaknesses and they said that they loved my humor and how I'm always laughing and happy and how I just enjoy life. They also said I was great at bringing the Spirit into the lessons. I don't know about any of that but it made me feel good and it makes me want to be a better person! I love mis companeras y districto! Ok I have like no time and I'll try to send a couple pics but we'll see! PLEASE KEEP THE LETTERS COMING ALL THE TIME! I LOVE THEM!! 10 SEC..AHHH I LOVE YALL SO MUCH!!!