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.