Yahoo, we had a wonderful visit (via Skype) with our cute Elder! He looked great, and was happy, healthy and loving his mission. He told us that he never wants to come home, and that actually made us proud (go figure)... He spent the day with the wonderful "Smith" family, and we send our sincere appreciation to them for including him in their Christmas festivities..
He loves Trenton and the wonderful people there. They have made him feel right at home.
Welcome Elder Dannett, to the Arkansas, Little Rock Mission and Trenton, Tennessee!!!
Merry Christmas Everybody...
So, going back to Frayser was awesome. I went to see Kierra because she had been anit'd and had stopped going to church. She freaked out when she saw me... haha it was funny, but we were able to get her to commit to coming to church, so I'm hoping she did. I also saw Crystal and Stephanie, Fildal and Diamond. Stephanie didn't notice me at first, but then I said "remember me" and she almost tackled me through her TV haha they are all doing great. It was awesome to be able to see them. We ere supposed to go to Star's but weren't able to.
Anywho, I got my new companion. His name is Elder Dannatt. He is from Vegas. He is about 6'5" and he played basketball and football in High School and has a scholarship to Arizona State when he goes home to play linebacker for them. He is BIG and he is a stud too. He is so much better than I was when I came out. I remember being so scared to talk. We actually had a really good first week, found us a few new investigators and were able to set a couple of dates, so we are excited, going to get him his first baptism early rather than having to wait 4 months like I did. It definitely has brought back memories... We went into P.E.C. yesterday morning and one of the Bishopric counselors was like "who is the new deer in the headlights Elder" haha it was funny. It definitely takes a couple days to get used to things. To top it all off though, a speaker didn't show up, so right as sacrament is starting, they asked him to speak... He had about 2 minutes to prepare, but he did a good job, and I think it helped him to relax too. He was doing a lot better after that.
That is crazy that Nick is coming out here!!! Is he speaking Spanish or English? He is going to love it.
So, on Christmas we are going over to the Smith's at about 1:30 so I will call somewhere around 2ish. I will let you know more once I find out when Elder Dannatt's family can talk with him. But ya about 2 and at the latest 4.
I am e-mailing early today, before we head off the Memphis, because the Frayser Elders will be done e-mailing by the time we get there... so ya!
I will find out who my new missionary is on Wednesday, it is going to be interesting.. I'm excited though, and I'm sure it will be a new experience and hopefully I will do some growing. I got an e-mail from Pres. Peterson that said "You are going to get one of the best new missionaries because I want him to see baptisms right off", so we will have some work to do.
This week was kind of uneventful, we were getting Elder Sprauge ready to head home. We are teaching a couple of kids though, who are 10 and 12, who's parents are members. We are hopeful for them. The new missionary needs to come in and see some success.
On Christmas, we are going over to a members house and we DO get to use skype, as long as the new missionary is able too. If he isn't, then I'm not going to, so he doesn't feel bad, but ya. Our church gets over at 1 and then we are going over to the Smith's home, so somewhere in the afternoon... haha sorry I don't know 100%, but I will let you know for sure when it gets closer.
I've got to wrap up quick this week, since we are heading down to Memphis, but I love yall!!!
So kinda weird, Elder Sprauge and I have been talking in some kind of English/Australian accent and it has gotten so out of hand, that now when I text or email I have realized that I am thinking in an accent...Yep, I'm going crazy.
So Yes, Briana did get baptized, and it was amazing. It was kind of funny, right after she was baptized we were standing in front of the font and this little girl that was there, who is like 10 was like "that was so awesome" everyone got a good laugh out of it, but ya, it was way cool. I think I told you that we found out that she lives in the Jackson ward boundaries, so she is supposed to attend there, and we were a little worried if she would ant to and how that would go, but she went to church there to be confirmed and ended up seeing a lady who used to give her vocal lessons, and she talked to her and now Briana is going to be in the ward choir down there. Pretty cool stuff.
So, Elder Sprague goes home next week. I will droop him off in Memphis on Monday, where he will go to the Temple with all the Elders that are going home. Then he will go to Little Rock to the Mission home for dinner and a final testimony meeting then to bed, and head home first thing Tuesday morning. So, I will get to hang out in Frayser with the Elders there!!! I'm pretty excited about that. Wednesday, I will go to transfers to get my new comp. and head backup to get to work.
Thanks for everything, I love you guys. Love, Elder Nelson
P.S. I got Keith and Crystals wedding invitation this week, awesome!!!
Oi! Had us another awesome week. We have been teaching Brandi's friend Briana, and on Tuesday, we taught her and I decided to have her and Brandi look up "Safety for the Soul" by Elder Holland after we left and watch it. That night we got a text from her that said, "hey, this is Briana and I decided that I want to get baptized on the 3rd by Elder Nelson", it was super cool. We were pumped! So, she will be baptized on Saturday.
Thanksgiving was actually pretty awesome. We spent it with a family that lives here in Trenton, the Kellie's. It was fun and we had some awesome food. Other than that we ended up knocking doors the entire day. We didn't have any appointments for Thanksgiving because people were all with their families, but we ended up having a good day from it. We didn't really know what to do, because everyone we knocked on said "oh well, we are going to visit family or we have company", so we came up with a plan that we would just try to tell them we are going around showing our gratitude for the Savior by sharing his word and ask if we could share a quick scripture about what we were thankful for. I decided that I was going to use a different scripture from the Book of Mormon on every door. It was pretty cool. People would answer the door all angry that we were bothering them, but if they would accept a scripture they instantly changed after we started reading it and we ended up with a bunch of return appointments and potentials from it. The best though is this guy named Clyde. He is a pastor of another church, but is pretty down to earth and has an open heart. He listened to the restoration and wants to know it is true so bad. He has been reading and praying to find out. We went back and had an incredible lesson with him on prayer. When we left he told us he couldn't come to church this week, because he was being ordained at his church on Sunday, but that he would come this week... haha He was actually a bit solemn when he told us he was bring ordained. We are hoping that he gets an answer and has the courage to act on it.
I will be staying in Trenton this transfer, we had our interviews with President yesterday and I should be here. Elder Prague will be going home in 2 weeks. I will find out his moms number for you.
Anywho's, love yalls, hope you're having a good holiday season. Tell Thomas to get to work, he is taking my place for the year, and quit being a punk and write.
So, this past week has been amazing... We have been seeing miracle after miracle, sooo cool. On Tuesday, we had the zone leaders come up to go on exchanges, I went with Elder Lester and stayed here in Trenton. We had done a little thing where we pray over the area and pick streets to tract and compare lists and then we tract whatever street we have in common. We came up with a street called Lyndale. So, Elder Lester and I went out and got lost? haha I don't know the area too well yet, but we ended up walking down the wrong road a few miles, so we walked back and found our way to the right road, by this time we had about 45 minutes until we had to be back to the apt. to meet Elder Sprague and Elder Gerber to go to dinner and it was about a half hour walk from where we were. We knew that there was someone there to find, so we kept going and got to the street and didn't know whether to go left or right, so I said a quick prayer, and felt like we should goleft... the first house we knocked on, a 19 year old kid answered and invited us in. He had just moved here to get away from the streets and to straighten his life out and had been praying for help... We committed him to baptism next month and with tears in his eyes, he accepted. We went back the next day to check up on him and he had done all of his reading and was doing awesome. It was so cool !
We also started teaching one of Brandi's friends, and Brandi's grandma said to take it easy because she probably wouldn't respond well if we treid to commit her to baptism, so we went and taught the first lesson, and the spirit was amazing, so we went ahead and committed her to the 3rd of December. Then on Thursday, we had a meeting all day in Memphis and we were sitting tere and got a refferal on the phone from mormon.org. It said "Hi, my name is ___ and I live with my family who are members of your church. I want to meet with you and take the lessons and possibly join your church"! We called him up and set up an appointment to go see him. These are just a few of the miracles that we have seen. It has been so cool, and it has all come from Obedience and hard work, and then to top off the week, Brandi wasw baptized and confirmed on Saturday and Sunday. It was so awesome and I was able to confirm her... It was amazing!
I can't believe that Thomas is already home! It was just yesterday that we walked out of Molca Salsa and said "Same place in 3 years?" haha and then he left for his mission. You need to tell him to write me and give me a recap of his mission and, make sure you rub it in to him, that I still have another year left!!!
Thanks for everything family! I love you... Love Elder Nelson
We are overwhelmed with emotion at the growth this past year has brought to our cute Elder. The past year has flown by (in my eyes, not his father's). We have loved watching him develop a greater understanding of the Savior's love and the plan of Salvation, along with a greater knowledge of the scriptures and how they apply to his life and all of ours. We celebrate with him, a year of hard work, growth, maturity and love for the service rendered to his Heavenly Father and the people of the South. We look forward to another great year of service in the Kingdom and the blessing that come to him and to our family through this great work. We are so very blessed...
The 10th brought some crazy mixed emotions. It is incredible how fast the past year has gone. I can't really describe it. You come out and two years seems like an eternity, but each month you look back and it seems like it went by in a flash. I have started to realize why two years can be so tough on some people. When you look at it forward, it is tough, but when you remember how fast it has gone, it makes you not want to waste a second. It has also been really nice to be serving with Elder Sprague, he is closing up on the end of his mission in a few weeks, and he is determined to go out strong. There is such a contrast between missionaries like him and those who start to check out of their mission as it winds down. You can tell a difference in their persona. They are all happy, but you can tell those who are happy because they are going home and those that are happy because they have just experienced the best two years of their lives. I'm hoping that I can be the latter.
Dad asked me what I have enjoyed the most about the first year of my mission, that was a tough one. I think one thing is the knowledge that I have gained up to this point. Whether it was in Blytheville, where I learned the basics of the gospel, so that I could teach it, or in Frayser when I learned to adapt it to different people in different walks of life or coming to understand that all of the knowledge in the world doesn't matter if you don't care about those you are sharing it with.
I have loved being able to meet so many varieties of people. I have loved seeing myself grow and come to love people I barely knew. Being an instrument in the Lords hands and seeing how he has blessed me. I have loved the challenges that I have been through, that had I seen them before my mission, I never would have imagined getting through them. I'm so thankful to be able to say that my testimony is growing. It sat around and was a bit of a waste before my mission and now that I am working at it and sharing it, I can feel it growing.
We had a long discussion this morning about how blessed we are to know God's true plan. Seeing it from any other perspective but from in the church with the knowledge we have seems scary. We have so many answers to fill in the blanks. I have loved coming to understand that the gospel and the scriptures have answers to absolutely everything. That along with my testimony to know that even when I can't find an answer, I know that there is one, and then to study it out and to find the answers. My mission has been amazing so far, but I have so much to still work on. I don't want to waste a single minute over the next year.
I love you guys, thanks for sending me out here.
Love Elder Nelson
ps. We do have some ivestigators, the top one right now is a girl named Brandi, she is awesome. She is supposed to get baptized next Saturday as long as she can stay smoke free, she also introduced us to her friend, and we are going to start teaching her and I think that could be a pretty good opportunity.
I just got placed back in the sticks!!! It is awesome. I am in Trenton Tennessee, it is the farthest north east corner of our mission, and it is awesome. There is a little branch here of like 35 active members, it is pretty cool. My companion's name is Elder Sprague, he is from Payson, and is on his last transfer. Luckily he isn't getting trunky and he wants to finish off strong, so we are working hard. The area we cover is actually pretty big and most of the work we do is in a town called Humboldt, which is also where the chapel is. It remeinds me a ton of Blytheville, but less ghetto and less crime, I think.
Leaving Southaven was pretty tough. Going around saying goodbye to people wasn't too fun. We went by to see Crystal and Keith Saturday night and they gave me some gifts and Crystal had written me a big long thank you note. So they are getting married on December 10th and Keith asked me to be his best man!!! It was way cool. Unfortunately, I am too far away to go back down to it, so I won't be able to:) still cool that they are going to get married, and they are doing so well. They even talked about getting ready to go to the temple and be sealed in about a year. We also went by to see Betty, it was scary... haha Elder Crotts says "so Elder Nelson has some bad news..." (and Betty had been praying that I woudn't get transferred) but he says that, and she gets this angry look on her face, and stood up like she was going to punch me and just started saying, "No" I assured her that I would be back and she calmed down. But, it was pretty tough. Elder Crotts and I sang God be with you till we meet again, which was pretty tough on all of us, but it was a good goodbye.
Well, I'm going to end this because I don't know what else to say, but I love yall!
A special thank you to all of the wonderful people of Southaven, Mississippi, for looking after our son, while he was serving in your area. He met the most wonderful people, and it was with a heavy heart that he left your area. We cannot express enough, the gratitude we feel to all of you for feeding him and making him one of your own. We hope to meet all of you some day.
So first off, Betty was baptized!!! It was awesome! She is the sweetest lady ever. This month in the mission it was the most successful since I have been out. As a mission we had 54 baptisms. We had 22 of those in our zone, and 10 of those in our district of 3 areas, so our 3 areas had 1/5 of the mission baptisms... It was awesome. So the chili cook off was great, we didn't win, but I'll be honest...we made some awesome chili... it had 3 lbs of beef in it haha, it was kind of a bummer, we were really the only ones that made actual chili, everyone else just made like tortilla soup and called it chili, so we should have won. It's all good though. Elder Crotts and I went as each other, we were supposed to have investigators there, and we wanted to make sure they could recognize us, so we just switched name tags and went like that... Oh and I rocked a mean comb over... it was a lot of fun though, they had a lot of cool stuff goin on, even had a hay ride that lasted like half an hour, they went down through a neighborhood behind the church around this really pretty lake and stuff, pretty fun.
So, last but not least... I'm getting transferred... boo! I', not super excited about that, this area has been amazing. I was looking back over my journal last night, and I came across an entry when I first got here. When I was et'd I was pretty bummed, I went from one of the highest baptizing areas in the entire mission to an area that hadn't had a baptism in over a year, not to mention, I just loved Frayser, so I was pretty down, and things were pretty hard. But about 3 weeks after getting here I have a journal entry that said, "I was sick of being down... I was sick of not baptizing, and as of tomorrow things are changing, we are going to go out and work harder than anyone." My next journal entry talked about Willie's baptism, and we have consistently baptized since. I'm so glad that I didn't keep things going the way they were, this would have been a long 5 1/2 months here. Instead we got out and worked and over the last 5 months, we have been one of the most successful areas in the mission, and the ward is about to take off, they will have a ton of success in the coming months, if things keep progressing the way they are now. I'm nervous for my new area, but I will go work hard no matter where it is...
I love you guys, thanks for all of your prayers and all of your support! I can't believe I have almost been out a year... today is the one year mark of my farewell talk... haha this is going way too fast.
So, Madeline is so dang cute... haha I loved getting the pictures, I have been showing them off to people. That is going to be really weird having Jamison that close to me. You will have to find out where he is going to be staying, he could be within 10 minutes of me. Weird. I'm guessing he will probably be staying in O mound or Frayser or Raleigh.
Anyways, had another weird week. We don't get a lot of lessons, but the ones we had are really good. Betty is getting baptized this Saturday, that will be awesome. She is loving the church, and is so excited to be baptized... We took Crystal by the other day for a lesson and they really hit it off, it was cool. We also went and started teaching Sean. It went pretty well, he is a quiet kid so it was tough getting him to participate in the lesson, but it ended up going pretty well. We had a member drive out to their house with us, and on the ride home he got pulled over because he didn't move onto the shoulder to pass a cop on a one lane road with no shoulder... It was ridiculous.
Not much else goins on other than Elder Crotts and I have entered into the chili cook off this Wednesday at the church trunk-or-treat. We are going to WIN!!! haha not sure what we are going to dress up as though.
I love you guys once again. Hopefully there is more to tell about next week.
I can't wait to see the new little one! I can't believe she was that big??? bout time T Bizzy popped her out.
So, this week was interesting. Betty got into a really bad car accident. They were stopped and a truck rear ended them at 50 mph. She got really bad whiplash and had to be cut out of the car, but other than her neck, she escaped without any serious injuries. It was a miracle. She is still planning on getting baptized, hopefully the neck won't hinder that too bad. We also are going to start teaching a kid who's dad is a member. His dad is an awesome guy in the ward, but his son Sean hasn't been baptized, so as of Wednesday we are going to be teaching him. I'm pretty excited about it We have out work cut out though. Not much else going on in sippi... I did shoot 2 under disc golfing today!! First time ever. I had like 6 birdies.
I am going to have to jump in on your Ward challenge and read Alma 49-63 this week... I recently started a Book of Mormon challenge where you mark anytime it mentions Christ with one color, another color for his words, another for his doctrine and another for his attributes. It has been pretty amazing. I just finished 2 Nephi. I have gotten so much more out of it this time, as I have read.
So, we watched a movie at the Gossett's this week. It is the new church movie "17 Miracles", and it is amazing! It is about the Willie and Martin handcart companies, so amazing. They went through some stuff.. you ought to get it. Other than that, not much to write about.
Oh, I have lost 10 pounds.. I have been working my butt off every morning, and it feels good ! haha.. okay, now nothin else to write about...
oi! first things first, I know the new baby's name before any of you!!! cant tell you though, T Bizzy wont let me... but I wanted to rub it in... so there. I'm the favorite member of the family.
Anywho, Crystal got baptized!!! It was so awesome, she is going to be an awesome member.The baptism was amazing, there was also a guy named Ciso Martinez who got baptized with her. It was cool. I was able to confirm her on Sunday which is always fun.
Earlier this week we were sitting there and didn't have anything to do but tract and we were like lets call Crystal and see who she knows. She ended up giving us like 10 names of friends she wanted to hear about the gospel, then she told us how she was at the gas station this week and the lady at the counter was having a terrible day, she gave her a Book of Mormon and told her it was something that really helped her when she was struggling, pretty cool haha I wish more members would do that, we would baptize like hot cakes!!
The ward is about to take off here though. The Bishop just issued a ward challenge to have one missionary experience this month. if everyone in the ward took that challenge it would be amazing.
Also mom... I'm no longer your son... haha I was adopted by one of our investigators... her name is Betty, she is an older lady who is basically wheel chair bound. she told us since she had never had any children that we were her adopted sons. I made sure that she knew that Elder Crotts was Jacob and I was Esau... I'm definitely the unruly one. HaHa Betty is so cool though. she loves the church and should be getting baptized in a couple weeks, I'm really excited for it, and she says once the pecans start falling she is going to make us a pecan pie!!! yeah!
We don't have much else goin on. Southaven is an interesting area, we don't teach a lot of lessons and we do a lot of walking around tracting, but I'm pretty sure over the last 4 months we are the highest or 2nd highest Baptizing ward in the mission... we are being blessed.
I love you guys, let me know when the little one comes!
As I was sitting in the Minnesota airport, laying over on my way to Iowa City to help with a new grandchild, I had a great call from the mother of Jake's new companion, Elder Crotts. It was so wonderful to talk with another missionary mom, who's son is serving with my son, and to share in our thoughts, dreams, and pride in our two sons. Thanks so much for the call. Our sons seem to be working hard, and having a great time along with some success too.
Ok, a cool story. This week we got a call from a guy named Brother Oliver that lives in Chactaw, Arkansas. He was working down in Helena Arkansas and met this guy. The guy uses the Lord's name in vain, and brother Oliver kindly says, "you know brother, the Lord would bless you a whole lot more if you didn't use language like that. The guy apologized and it got a conversation started about religion. Well, Brother Oliver brought up the church and shared a BOM with him, and the guy is getting baptized this weekend. Super cool.. He said that Brother Oliver bore hi testimony and they both started to cry, he said the spirit was incredible and the guy went home and read the BOM and went to conference, called up Brother Oliver and said, "I don't care what it takes, I need this in my life... Unfortunately, he is just outside our area, so we don't get to go teach him, but the SenatobiaElders are. Just so cool how "Standing as a witness" will open doors...
So, conference was amazing. Keith came to Priesthood session and he loved it. Then Crystal came to the first session on Sunday, and during Elder Hales talk she started to cry. Needless to say, she loved her first conference. Willie came as well, and loved it. He kept saying "Pres. Monson is a funny dude" haha it was a good day.
Crystal is set to get baptized this Saturday, should be fun. We have also been teaching this lady named Betty. We met her last Saturday and she came to church and loved it, then she came to a ward party we had at the Gossetts and had a great time. We went by yesterday to teach her ad we were doing the cup demo, (don't know if you have heard of it) basically shows the structure of the church of old and now. Her niece came out who is "devout Baptist" phshaha Well, she started listening in, and we ended up committing her to Baptism... didn't set a date, but Betty has a date to get Baptized on the 29th of this month. I'm pretty excited about that one. Hopefully we can get her niece in on it as well:) Things are just going awesome right now...
Love you guy!
Yes, conference was so good. I love Elder Holland, he just lays it out, doesn't sugar coat anything. Also, we were talking with Brother Drake about the last couple of conferences and how they are being a lot more straight forward with the stuff they say and just coming out with it, rather than beating around the bush, they have been so good.
Priesthood session was awesome. As I was heading home to go to bed, I was like, wait... Pops is probably out to eat with everybody... dang... haha
So, and eight hour day out in the gutters sounds like a piece of cake, compared to knocking on doors for 11 hour a day. Haha I don't think I will complain so much when I get home about workin... haha
I love you pops, thanks for making me come out and help you in the yard and whatnot, growing up, otherwise, I wouldn't make it out here. hahajk
During the Priesthood session of Conference, Stuart received a text saying "Hey, your son says to get your butt on a mission"... After replying "who is this", he was told that it was Brother Drake, 2ndcounselor in the bishopric in the Southaven ward. He was sitting with our son Jake. He told Stuart that they were looking out for our son, while others were looking out for his son while he served in Pocatello, Idaho. It was great to hear him say "it is a pleasure to know your son". We also learned that Jake was having lunch and dinner at the Drake home on Sunday.
We are so thankful for special people like the Drake's, that look after our missionary...
So, yes I got a new companion! His name is Elder Crotts. Elder Crotts was actually one of the first people I met on my mission, he served in west Memphis, Arkansas when I was in Blytheville and we would carpool to meetings when we had to go to Memphis. We call him "Mario Crotts" because he drives like he is in a video game. haha Anyways, he is from Spanish Fork, and a really nice kid. He is an incredible teacher, knows the scriptures really well and I am excited for this transfer to see what we can do.
So we had an interesting week. We didn't teach a whole lot because of the transfer, but got out and worked hard. On Saturday night we didn't have any new investigators for the entire week, so we went out contacting. We kept praying to find someone and we saw a family out on the porch, so we went over and talked to them and this lady named Betty said she had always wanted to read the Book of Mormon, so we gave her one and invited her to church. She was so excited to come so we set her up a ride and she came and loved it! Only thing was, we didn't go because Elder Crotts had an allergic reaction to something we ate the night before, so we spent most of the day in the apartment. It's all good though...
Crystal is still doin well. We should be meeting with her tomorrow. She was at church yesterday and is still going strong and planning to be baptized on the 8th. We are excited for it.
Not much else going on in the South... Hopefully a little more excitement to report on next week...
Love yall Elder Nelson
PS. Can you please send me the new special edition of the Ensign, the gold one with 3 Nephi on the cover...
Well...We had a baptism... So, on Thursday night we went by to see Crystal and Keith to make sure they were ready for their baptism and everything. I was able to give both of them copies of the BOM from the kids in the ward (that you sent me). Elder Zendejas and I added our testimonies to them as well. They loved them and we got to tell them about the different activities that YM and YW do, like Youth conference, and Crystal was so excited for her daughter to be old enough to go. So, we left Thursday and everything was cool. On Friday, we went and filled the font and everyone came, about 5 minutes before neither one of them were there and we were stressin out a bit, then Keith came through the door. A couple minutes later Crystal calls and says she won't be coming, having a family crisis...so we had Keith's baptism and it was awesome. Brother Payne, a convert of about 3 years, a stud, gave the talk and he talked about all the churches he visited and how he finally found the one with all the answers and all of the truth, and how much it had changed his life, which was cool because that was exactly what Keith's life has been, and after Keith bore his testimony to us about exactly that. It was awesome. We saw Crystal after, and she still wants to be baptized so we are going to reschedule her date tomorrow when we see her.
So, we got transfer calls this morning and Elder Zendejas is heading out, so I will be getting a new companion. I'm excited, I just hope he likes to work. It can be hard to get out and work hard when you don't have a companion that is willing to. But if he is, we are going to have all kinds of success in Southaven. It is funny, I was talking to Elder Lisch this morning and he was talking about how before a couple months ago, Southaven was known as being one of the dead areas in the mission, and that baptisms just didn't happen here. I am really happy that we have been able to do some good stuff here and hope it continues. The mission goal is to have every missionary companionship baptize every month, so we can't be the weak link. haha
So, answers to your questions... Yes, I did recieve mom's package, thank you very much:) The weather has been great all week until today, it is pouring... bummer, disc golf is hard in the rain! We have been getting out on the bikes quite a bit lately. With it being so nice out, we don't want to waste the weather being in the car when we don't have to be.
This week is going to be a good one...keep us in your prayers. I love you guys, Love, Elder Nelson
I had an interesting week. On Tuesday afternoon we got a call from the President telling us that two Spanish speaking Elders were coming to live with us for the week. One of them, Elder Scott, just had surgery and couldn't stay at their apartment because the water was bad, so they came to stay. Elder Zendejas got sick, so Elder Clouse and I went out every day and were able to meet some cool people. We met this guy named Mr. Smith, who 10 years ago was wheelchair bound, then one day he prayed that he could walk and he stood up and walked. Before he was stuck in the wheelchair he was a walking postman, so that day he went back in and got his job back. He was a really cool dude. We also went up to Memphis and went contacting one day and it was pretty fun, I had forgotten how much I had missed the people of Memphis. We also had some guy up there get in our face and start throwing up gang signs and telling us to get out of his neighborhood. haha It was pretty awesome, I just asked him if I could give him a pass along card.
Yesterday, we were asked to go into primary and talk about how being a missionary has blessed us. It was pretty fun, the kids had all kinds of questions. One asked why sister missionaries had to wait to go on their mission until they were 21 haha had to avoid the real answer to that one.
Crystal and Keith should be getting baptized this friday. We are pretty stoked, but Amy isn't quite ready, so we are going to keep working with her. Also, yesterday the ward added 4 new ward missionaries as well as an assistant ward mission leader. We are pretty pumped to have some more ward missionaries... Get the work on a roll!!!
I have a new quote I love now. It is from the John Tanner story. "No man putting his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God".
Answers to your questions mom, The Elder with the bug is Elder Lisch, and the bug is a butterfly. I have taken pictures at a bunch of lakes, one is Horn Lake, and one is Coro Lake. Desoto memorial gardens is a funeral home and cemetery here. haha, just had a cool lake, so we took pictures. The rock wall surrounds Graceland in Memphis.
After reading this weeks e-mail, our hearts are full and we feel so very proud of our cute missionary! We just love that he loves his mission and the people of the South. We are grateful for his spirit, his caring heart and what he is learning and "Becoming"... It is a wonderful blessing to have our son serving in the Kingdom!!!
Sorry I didn't e-mail yesterday, libraries were closed... Anywho, this week was awesome. We set a date with one of Crystal and Keith's neighbors named Amy. She is 18 and a pretty cool girl. She is supposed to get baptized on the 17th as well. We also set a date with the Soto kids. They are a less active family in the ward who have two kids who haven't been baptized. They are getting baptized conference weekend! We are pretty excited about it.
So, we just got back from Zone Conference, and as part of zone meeting we all shared what we loved about being a missionary. Some were pretty funny and others just awesome. We also had a "who has had the most awkward moment" contest, which was really fun. It was cool though to just remember all the great moments and remembering the things I love. I love all of the different cultures I have been apart of, and getting to know people from all walks of life and realizing how amazing they all are. We all agreed that the tiny roll we play in someone receiving the gospel is so rewarding when you see their lives begin to change. I just love being a missionary.
I am running out of computer time, but I love you guys!!! hope all is well. Love, Elder Nelson
So this week was interesting,. Our numbers were pretty terrible, but we had a really productive week anyways. We decided that we needed to get out and to meet all the members of the ward, so we have been going through the ward roster, trying to get our faces out there and maybe get some members doing some missionary work. We have a few members we have met that have been working with people and we are hoping that by us coming by it might help them to ask others to be taught.
Crystal and Keith are getting baptized September 17th so that they can be married first. They are awesome, they came to church yesterday and brought all of their kids and some friends. One of them is named Amy. We have actually taught her a couple times, but she was never keeping her commitment to read and pray, but when she came yesterday I asked her and she said that she had, so we are excited to go over to Crystals tomorrow and teach all of them, and see how her reading went. Hopefully we will invite her to be baptized as well.
We have also been teaching a couple of kids named Zac and Tyler. We tracked into them a few weeks ago. They are pretty cool and we are going by there tomorrow. Zac came to ward basketball on Wednesday and seemed to like it. They were supposed to come to church but he got sick Saturday night so they didn't. They have some great potential as well.
Answers to your questions:
1. No, the hurricane hasn't effected us. The weather has actually been really nice. It got up to like 95 this week which is like 105 heat index, which actually isn't too bad, so we were able to get out on the bikes and ride a bit. Did the hurricane effect Robbie at all? I heard it went through the DC area.
2. Elder Z is great! He just found out that his sister is having a baby right after he gets home, a little by, so he is really excited about that.
3. Elvis days were pretty sweet. I will send some pictures with an e-mail... I definitelywouldn't pay money to see Graceland, I don't think, but is was good to be able to walk around the area and see some of the stuff. I don't know if I told you about one of the top members of our ward was actually converted by Elvis. Turns our he was meeting with the missionaries when he died, and had actually gone home to read the Book of Mormon the night he died. Anyways, she got hold of his copy of the BOM through a friend and ended up joining the church. Really cool story.
4. E. Badger has been out like 16 months, so he still has some time left. He just told me this week that Kierra has been anti'd and doesn't want to come back to church, so I am going to have to give her a call today and see if I can talk some sense into her.
Oh!!! so last week we went to play disk golf with willie, and I beat him!! I shot 1 over. I should have shot under par, but I screwed up a couple birdie opportunities.
Oh Oh!!! Willie received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and was ordained to a priest. It was so cool! We knew it was coming but didn't know when and all of a sudden the Bishop called him up during church and sustained him. We were amped and then we got to be in on his conferral after church. He is such a stud...
Anyways, not much else I can think of. I love you guys!!!! Tell everyone hello!
I had a perty good week. We have been teaching this lady named Crystal and her boyfriend Keith and this week we went by and just had a good gospel discussion with them. We answered all the questions they had and were able to set a date with Keith. It was really cool. Keith keeps talking about everything that was missing in his life and how he thought this was what he needed. We talked about how each of us have a potential and that they were going to be able to do amazing things within their church and with their family. It was pretty awesome. They came to church and loved it again. It seems like every time they come though, the lessons are o whatever they are struggling with, or whatever it is they are needing to overcome. Amazing how things work out. Another one of those "Church coincidences"!!!
We also had this guy named brother Green speak in church this week. Brother Green was baptized 2 years ago. He just went through the temple for the first time on Tuesday! He was asked to speak on how the gospel has changed his life, it was the first talk he has ever given in Church and it was incredible! He talked about joining the church and having the FULL armor of God on, and how he finally found the strength to overcome ole scratch. It was incredible, just a short sincere talk. It is amazing how much the gospel can change peoples lives.
This week Willie was interviewed to receive the Aronic Priesthood. It has been awesome seeing how he has jumped into the gospel and is just going with the flow and how he is being blessed. God truly blesses those people who are willing to put forth the effort. I am hoping they get him to speak in church before I get transferred so that I can hear it. That would be awesome.
On a non gospel note we played in the stake volleyball tournament, it was really fun, we didn't win it but our team was pretty good, and I hit a guy in the face with a ball and almost knocked him off his feel. I felt really bad until they told me that he had gone after some guy in the basketball tournament and that he kind of deserved it...haha I still apologized though.
You guys better start getting into disk golf. When I get back we are going to play, you might be able to beat me since I only get to play once a week.
I love yall!!! Thanks for everything!
Love Elder Nelson
This week was pretty sweet! We have been teaching this lady named Crystal, and her kids. We went by on Tuesday to teach her the Plan of Salvation, and had one of the most spiritual lessons ever. She kept saying how she had never been taught about that stuff anywhere else, and I was just like, "well Crystal", you know what's next don't you, and she was like "Yep, I need to get baptized..." It was so cool. She is getting baptized on the27th. She has been anti'd by her family and she is just like "I don't care, I know it is true". Then she asked us to come back and teach her fiance, Keith. She likes it all so much and Keith was really cool. He had stopped going to any church when he was younger because there were so many churches and he didn't understand that. So he started to research every church there is. It was really cool talking to someone who knows so much about religion, yet is still open minded and willing to do what it takes. We talked to Crystal yesterday and she said that he had been reading the Book of Mormon and the Gospel Principles book all week. We committed him to be baptized as well, when he finds out it is true, and he has accepted. He already knows it is true though. He told us that our version of the Plan of Salvation is the only one that really makes sense, and he said he could feel something at church and when we talked to him, so we are excited about them both.
Willie is still doing good. He is taking us disk golfing and to dinner tonight, and he is supposed to get the Priesthood in the next few weeks. I am so excited about that.
So, up in Memphis they have "Elvis Days" goin on. So after e-mailing today, we are going to go up there and check it out. They have a bunch of Elvis impersonators that perform and stuff, it is up at Graceland.
Not much else to tell you, I think we are going to be getting out and knockin doors a lot this week to find more peeps to teach.
I had a wonderful visit with Sister Gossett, from Southaven Mississippi today. We are so very grateful for the loving care she and her husband are giving our son. It was also wonderful to talk with someone who sees him often, and cares so much about him. A warm thank you to the Gossett's...
So Mom and Dad, yall need to save a couple of fun trips for when I come home haha.. Yall are going everywhere! jk
This week was pretty good. We found 7 new investigators and had 7 investigators to church. It was pretty cool. We have been teaching a lady named Crystal and her 2 kids, then this week she had a neighbor over and we started teaching her. They all came to church, as well as Crystals boyfriend and his two kids. It was pretty awesome.
Oh by the way, we are both staying in Southaven. I'm really excited, we are going to keep this area goin.. So last week we went and played disk golf with Willie, and I shot +9! which was by far my best ever! Then today we went and I shot +3! and easily could have shot even.
There isn't too much else to report other than I'm doing really good. I love you guys!
Thanks for everything!
Love Elder Nelson
ps. I would love the CD "the work, a Nashville tribute" at Deseret Book, I heard it is amazing.
and you should call Sister Gossett.. They are the Corbetts of Southaven!! and thanks for the Violet Crumbles, they were incredible! (where did you find them)?
Alright, We had a great week... We were really worried about investigators after Willie got baptized because he was all we really had, but then on Tuesday, this lady that we had taught awhile back, called us and wanted us to come over. Things have taken a turn for the worse in her life and she wanted to change. We saw her Wednesday and had an amazing lesson and then she came to a baptism on Saturday. The baptism was for this guy named Robert, that the sisters have been teaching. He is really cool, one of the nicest guys ever. So he knew this lady, so she came and could really feel the spirit and kept telling us that she knew this was where she needed to be. She wants to get baptized but wants to learn more about the church first. Her two daughters have been meeting with us as well. They are also really cool.
As well, we went to see the Soto family. They have 2 kids who aren't baptized, and they haven't been to church in a few years. We saw them Thursday and invited them to come, and they came!@!!! It was awesome. We are going to try to get their kids baptized next month, we just need to be able to meet with them a little more often. We are pumped, it looks like we could easily have 5 baptisms next month. We just need to keep being obedient so the Lord will help us out.
On Saturday we went down to Senatobia for the Stake soccer tournament. We played 2 games and it took us until halfway through the second for us to figure out what we were doing. We ended up scoring one goal on the tournament...haha I got the assist!!!
So, I was thinking, doesn't Thomas have like just 3 months until he goes home??? So weird, he just left yesterday!! It's trippin me out how fast this mission thing goes by...
Anyway, Alls well in Southaven. I love you guys... Love, Elder Nelson
Willie got baptized!!! It was so awesome. All day on Saturday I was worried about the baptism, and then about 2 hours before, he text and asked what he needed to wear.. it was awesome. The service was the best I have been apart of on my mission. It was so awesome. He has built some friendships with some of the guys in the ward from playing soccer, so there was quite a good turnout, and his parents came as well. Brother Pierce, the guy that came to Salt Lake, gave a talk and then Brother Watt, one of the members here, baptized Willie...after the baptism, Bishop Westenskow spoke, welcoming Willie to the ward and he gave an amazing talk. He is a really cool guy and is jumping into being Bishop. He has helped us out a ton and is really taking an interest in the work. I got to get up and bear my testimony during the baptism as well, which was cool. I just told Willie's parents how awesome he was and how fun it had been to see him prepare to get baptized...I think his parents liked the whole night a lot. Yesterday he was confirmed during sacrament meeting and he was like "yall need to teach me how to do the offering stuff", so we showed him the slips and he paid his tithing right then and there. sooo cool. I don't think I have had anyone jump into the gospel like he has. He has embraced everything...He is an awesome dude.
So I have to tell you about the Gossett family. We had dinner at their house about 2 weeks ago and Brother Gossett told us if we ever don't have a dinner apt. to just call them and they would make it happen. So we have been over there 4 times now, and they are so cool. Brother Gossett owns a body shop and he just talks to me about all his cars that he has owned and the cars he is fixing up right now. Some of his old stories are hilarious. I just kept thinking what a funny night it would be if we could get him, dad, Gary Reynolds and Jeff Penrose together...he had us laughing all night long. They are so awesome. For the next High Priest activity Brother Gossett is having the High Priests over and they are going to blow up a beaver dam with dynamite...haha
We have been getting out and tracting quite a bit. We are still hoping to find some more baptisms. I found a scripture the other day that I liked. It is Jeremiah 16:16, it just says that in this dispensation that fishers would be sent and then hunters...at the beginning of the restoration, missionary work was like fishing. They could cast their nets out and pull in a bunch of fish at once. But now missionary work is more like hunting. You have to go out and search high and low for the elect. So that is what we are going to do!!! haha
I love you guys. Thank you for everything you do for me! Love Elder Nelson
ps...Tell everyone hellllooo for me! and the church is true!!! Here is a great quote: "I would rather be a Mormon, and know I am going to hell, than be anyone else, and not be sure." haha and thus it is, amen... love you guys!
So this week was pretty amazing. We had the zone leaders come work with us, and I got paired up with Elder Hyer. He is from North Ogden. We had an awesome day and worked our tails off. I made a decision though, we waste so much time trying to figure out what to do next when appointments fall through, because we always try to figure out what we can do besides tract, but this week we tracked for about 5 hours a day, and I feel great. I'm completely worn out, but I feel so much better inside knowing that we didn't waste time. We were able to meet some awesome people. It was really good...anyways, we are going to be working our tails off. haha
So Willie is getting baptized on Saturday, and we are stoked. We had a lesson on Wednesday, and we were talking and he said "those things that don't kill you make you stronger", and I made a Kanye West comment, we laughed for a few minutes and before we left he just said "Hey guys, thanks for brightening my day, I needed it... It is amazing seeing the changes in peoples lives when we meet them. Once they start feeling the spirit and striving to make changes in their lives they just look better and you can tell they feel better too. I wish I could take some credit for it, haha but it is all on the Lord...
Alright, the answers to your questions:
l. The sisters names are sister Rich and Sister Tunetti
2. Our district consists of Me, Elder Z, the Sisters and Elder Lisch and Elder Allen
3. The bunny in the picture was given to us by a member in the Memphis 1st ward around Easter.
there was a joke to go along with it, but I won't share that now.
4. Transfers are in 3 weeks, and I have no idea what is going to happen...
So tell everybody hello for me. I've got to run. I love yall.
anyways, things have been awesome. We set a date with Willie!!! it was so cool. We also met President Petersen Saturday morning, and he was a stud. He was a lot like Pres. Drewes, but President Drewes was all about getting the job done, even if it meant skipping out on a few rules. President Petersen is all about being exactly obedient and miracles will follow...we bought in!!! and then went out to the car and snapped all of our cd's that weren't basically motab.. but then we went by Willie's and we were talking to him and he was giving us the same stuff as always...he wants to get baptized but isn't ready, and I was just praying for some inspiration to know what to say, and then it hit me, so I started to talk and the next thing I knew I asked him if he will get baptized on the 23rd, and he said yes..it was so cool. We are planning on seeing all kinds of miracles.
Willie has been welcomed by the ward so much. He plays soccer every Saturday with all the guys, and is going disk golfing with us and a member today. He has had dinner at members homes, and people talk about him in lessons and how much he has helped them, and he has been opening up about how much we and the ward have helped him. It has been really cool. Every time we go over he talks about how much his life has improved since he started meeting with us. I am pumped. We have got to find some more people though. We will.
So we started this new thing here in Southaven. I sent it to you and it will explain it hopefully a little more. Basically we are giving members of the ward rubber bands and the rubber bands allow us to eliminate all unhappiness from our lives. It sounds really cheesy, but it really works.
Hopefully Elder Z won't be mad for me saying this, but he has been in the dumps for a few weeks now. We started this thing and we have been doing so much better. I am turning into such a goober... I promised myself I wouldn't, but whatever. It's inevitable.
It was pretty fun going to church yesterday and all the members we had done it with had their rubber bands on and were snapping each other. It was way cool. It has now spread through the mission to I think 4 or 5 areas. They are all doing it now.
Not much else going on. Just been having some fun and workin hard.
Sorry I wasn't able to e-mail on Monday or yesterday, the library was closed for the 4th of July and then yesterday we had some people we needed to see, so I told Elder Z that we would have to put it off. Anyways, things are actually picking up quite a bit. Willie came to church again, this time he stayed for all 3 hours. It was really a cool meeting. We also had a less active we working with bring his cousin. We are sitting in Sacrament and this 8 year old girl bears her testimony about getting baptized and the spirit was incredible. This guy Jason, just looked over and asked "what do I have to do to get baptized". It was really cool. The sisters in the ward had a similar experience with a guy they have been teaching who is going to get baptized now. It was a really good experience.
We also had a lesson in Priesthood on Charity. Brother Peirce (the guy that you helped with the apartments) , (I can't remember exactly what he said), but it was about the judgment and my thoughts on it were that so many churches/religions worry about the punishment we will receive from our mistakes, when we really should be judged on our righteous actions. I think that hit Willie when he said it, and it was really cool. We are going by to see him tonight and are planning on setting a date. I'm excited!
Another cool story, yesterday, we were blitzing our area. Basically I went with Elder Allen and Elder Z. went with Elder Lisch. We went and worked for awhile. But Elder Allen and I contacted this guy named Johnnie. When we walked up he was pretty hostile to us, and Elder Allen was about to go back at him, but for some reason I felt like we shouldn't, so I just read a scripture from the BOM to him. He ended up opening up to us a little and told us how he had lost his kids about a year ago. I asked him what it would mean to him if he could be his children's father forever, and he got a little teary eyed and said it would mean the world to him. He invited us back to teach him, so I am really excited for that.
So on the 4th, we played disk golf with Willie in the morning again. (by the way, right after you sent me those disks, he gave me like five of his. haha I think that makes me a legit golfer... Anyway, it was pretty fun, and I almost beat him, which is amazing, because he is unreal. I think I will beat him before this transfer is over though. After that we went over to the Drake's home and had a BBQ with them and the former Bishop's family, the Taylor's. We spent a few hours there and then went and played some more disk golf. We then picked up the Senatobia Elders because they were spending the night at our apt. and they totalled their car on a raccoon a couple of days ago.
Things have been really good though. I told myself that this area was going to get turned around and it is. I was told no one has really worked hard here in awhile, so it is prime!!
I haven't been able to meet Pres. Petersen yet. We are having interviews with him down in Senatobia on Saturday. I am excited for that. I have been told that he is much like Pres. Drewes. The biggest difference is that Pres. Dreweswas all about doing whatever it takes to get it done and Pres. Peterson is about getting the Lords help in everything and that miracles will begin to happen. It's pretty cool though because Pres. Drewes has been taking about that kind of stuff for a couple of transfers now, and it has led perfectly into Pres. Peterson. haha It is what we refer to as one of those "church coincidences"...
That's so cool to hear a out everybody in the ward heading out on their missions. Who all is out and when do the rest of them head out? You will have to let me know...