Monday, April 22, 2013

12th Week April 22, 2013

No more whining!

That is my first thing I need to do! Haha I realized after I sent my email last week that I think I sound like I was dying.. which I'm not yet! haha all is well that ends well and this week ended very well! Lets do a play by play, shall we?

Lunes! My compy and I found two new future members who are SO ready for the gospel! They had a house keeper who was LDS for a while and were very open to taking her to church at 9 am so obviously that wont be a problem for them like it seems to be for a lot of people! Muchas felicidades!!!

Martes! We had district meeting! yay! the sisters had a baptism last sunday so we have begun the tradition of piƱatas at district meeting(: Best idea ever? I think yes. and they elders provided it and candy. unfortunately the stick was a hockey stick and my compy wanted to bring it home... after our district leader said she could threaten anyone with it she didn't want it any more... (pray for me!! haha jk!)
Miercoles! (not spelled write but i'm not sure!)
My compy has been sick for a while. so I got to drive! yay and take her to the elders apartment for a blessing. then they elders told us we had to find her a babysitter so I could go out and work with the sisters. that was interesting. we did have an appointment with our future member who is getting baptized next week though so she was allowed to go to that and she felt IMMENSELY better at that point in time! yay for blessings and worthy priesthood holders able to give them! I love our elders! they are wonderful!
This day was wonderful because it ended in Nutella... (: Thank you to my wonderful sister in new mexico for the awesome package! I definitely appreciated it more than words can truly describe. So much happiness. We also found a future member this day (: we were looking for some members in these apartments but found her instead and honestly we are very much ok with that(: we are going back tonight so i'll let you know how that goes next week!
Viernes! Today I received a new back pack in the mail(: it is beautiful and red and perfect because we had apartment checks and they checked our bikes. apparently you are required to have either a reflective vest or backpack. my one I've been using wasn't reflective but this one is! so I passed! haha I do love the bikes. so much fun! we also had our interviews with president this day... oh man that was intense. we got to the church and they had brought all the packages from McAllen. guess who got colored pictures from the cutest girls in ALL of stansbury?! yup! they are indeed hanging on my wall now. I've received quite a few colored pictures from adorable children and I used them to decorate my lame white wall. every day I now see a blue princess and veggie tales. how could life get ANY better?! it couldn't! We also met with another future member today and set a baptismal date for her!!! we have seen her a few times but never been able to sit down so we got to today and she is preparing for baptism on may 19! Yay!!! Im really excited for her because I know the atonement is exactly what she needs in her life and we couldn't have entered her life at a better time <3 so much happiness!
Sabado! I got a farmer tan today! yay for the sun of Laredo! and also we were on exchanges. hahahahah oh man. please picture this with me. Sister Kreis and I riding bikes through the streets of Laredo. we taught two lessons solo en espanol! that was beastly. have you ever tried teaching someone about chastity when you only really understand half the conversation?! Yep. that was fun. but its good, because the message got acrossed and she still came to church yesterday! Sister Kreis had her first bike crash as well ): she just kind of fell over when we stopped... literally.. it was very funny but sad because we were very discouraged. so she stayed on the ground and we said a prayer and a random guy drove up very concerned that she had broken her arm.. but all was well (:
I saved the day today (: just kidding. I just saved someone from their children for about 15 minutes. we brought along our childrens bag (coloring books, crayons and candy for those of little attention span like me). unfortunately we didn't have our investigator but someone else's was their with three boys all under the age of 8. they were WILD. I've never seen someone climb over a bench so many times. so I swooped in with my toys and now have more pictures for my childrens wall(: I love it!
I must say a HUGE THANK YOU to all who sent me packages this week (: The Lord truly is amazing because everything I received was exactly what I need and in the moment I needed it most(: thank you for your thoughts, prayers, letters, and stickers(: my compy and I love the stickers so much and you may receive some back as decoration for your envelope! I love you all and wish you the best this week! Life is good in Laredo!
Buenos suerte mis hermanos y hermanas!
-Sister Courtenae Nielson


Monday, April 15, 2013

11th Week April 15, 2013

Well... at least its over!

Ha sorry this week hasn't been quite as... well enthusiastic as past weeks! Its been a little trying to be honest... But I've fought through and am here to tell you all about it! :)
First of all! We had some epic bike adventures hahaha. oh man
so Tuesday was our zone meeting with just all the zone and the zone leaders in charge. that was pretty fun! we did some role plays and I actually spoke some understandable Spanish and didn't do so awful! I was excited! But then... oh the real adventure of the day began. So Sister Ninataype's bike had a flat right? and so did sister Andrade so we called the elders for help. (naturally) and we took our bikes to the church and had bike fixing time! we spent about 2-3 hours there, first we thought the tires had holes... then they told us our pump was awful. so we borrowed one from the senior couple in our area and in the end! it was the pump. it wasn't working. so all is well with the bikes now! we thought....
Wednesday my compy and I go biking right? at first all is good. we get to a members house, help them pack boxes. then on the way pack, the seat of my compy's bike that we THOUGHT was fixed, slipped.. like it wigged forward and backward in ways it shouldn't and down when my companion... yikes... which really wasn't good because she has been sick this week ): so we dusted her off, and went home to let her get some rest. falling off the bike just wasn't what we needed right then... so we spent basically the rest of the day at home..
then Thursday was about the same story... but! Sister Kreis exchanged and went with me so we could do some work!
We got to see a less active who is pretty hilarious. he cracks me up every time we talk. then we got to sit down with a potential investigator. HOWEVER! she is no longer just a potential! she has accepted to be baptized on May 12! Yay! but we need to work on her sunday work schedule.. we'll get there! Then Friday was very house bound as well... and Saturday... Satan was working hard on us this week. we tried like 6-8 houses at LEAST 2 each to visit less actives and recent converts and everyone shot us down! Then our FIVE PEOPLE who were commited to come to church didn't show ): ah well. When the going gets tough, we gotten get tougher right!
So that's my goal this week! to get tougher and take away agency! Ha just kidding(: Agency is glorious but sometimes a very difficult thing!
But I suppose I should share something spiritual now right? So here we go!
We talked with a member this week and I got to share the thought! (scary right? especially because I'd forgotten!) But I turned to my old pal Enos. I love enos so much!!! 
I love in the... I think 2 verse of enos he talks about having a mighty wrestle before God before he received a remission for his sins. Think about that mental picture for just a second. How often do we have to really wrestle our problems before we get over them? I then  love how after he receives forgiveness for his sins in verse 8 he talks about praying for his people. We can only convert others as far as we are converted and I know this to be the truth. You first have to clean your own heart and mind before you can teach others about doing the same. I challenge you to read through Enos and dig deep into it. Its not just one of the small books but it is a powerful message. I love it and have probably read it about 20 times since I started this crazy adventure!
Well that's about all I've got for you! Sorry for the complaininess of this letter! I promise you good things happen every day and next letter will be full of happiness! :D 
Love from South Texas,
Sister Nielson


Monday, April 8, 2013

10th Week April 8 2013

Todos es mas grande en Tejas!! (;

Yo se que es la verdad! Ha just kidding! I found a tshirt that said that at HEB and almost bought them all to send to people! haha but I didn't..
Because I'm a poor missionary D: just kidding! but I am the only one in my apartment who is tight enough to still have money at the end of the month (: haha that's a skill the future hubs will enjoy I think
Um speaking of hubs! anyone else notice the massive amounts of marriage, family, and purity talk in conference? No? Maybe that's just what my focus was kind of on... oops (: haha well life in Laredo esta bueno! This week I will participate in my first ENGLISH FAST! Yikes! We have decided as a companionship to improve my Spanish on Wednesday I am grounded from English and she will not respond to me unless it is in Spanish. all day she's already been telling everyone not to speak English to me... my life could be very quiet and lonely until I master this language! 
Pues! as far as miracles go this week we definitely had a few! I taught the restoration on the hood of a car! I kid you not. we use cups to make it an object lesson and the guy's wife wasn't home so we talked in his drive way and built our story on the car. It was pretty awesome! AND I taught in Spanish! I know you're probably thinking "you were called Spanish of course you teach in Spanish!" but remember this key factor: everyone in the TMM is called Spanish. You teach in both language. so when you knock a door you just have to wait and see if they say "bueno?" or "hello" to know what you gotta use. its an adventure every day for sure! So currently we only have Spanish investigators! Heck. Yes. Its hard to get Spanish investigators in Laredo because everyone speaks both and prefers English. No clue why since Spanish is so cool! But they all love to learn English and speak it with you. we have a recent convert we visited this week who insisted I say both the prayers in English SLOWLY and CLEARLY so she could listen and when I said something about being grateful for the weather (it was a chilly 70 degrees (; ) She was super surprised! haha silly Laredo people think they will catch a cold if they send their kid out in 60-70 degree weather! You're not in Utah any more Sister Nielson.

What else interesting happened this week... hmmm!
Well I've been given permission to teach piano lessons as service! Flip yeah! It'll probably be in Spanish though! guess who doesn't know musical terms in Spanish?! whoops! oh well! we will fight through this one!
I had my first companion exchange this week! No worries it really wasn't too exciting because I just went with the other sister in our apartment haha! But I got to teach this awesome gangster. He's covered in tattoos(mostly texas ones! whaat?) It was pretty awesome though! but our district leader told us we needed to find out if he'd killed anyone... you know how awkward that is to be in someones house teaching about Christ and have to find a good spot to say "so uh... have you killed anyone?" Yeah that was pretty exciting! No worries though! He hasn't! :D  
By the way! Was conference awesome or what?! We had the challenge to go into it with questions written down (which I've actually never done before) and man did I get some nice answers! one of my questions was pertaining to getting closer with the people in my mission and I definitely received the inspiration I need! Heavenly Father is pretty amazing! It was super weird watching conference dressed up at the church though! I was craving monkey bread and picturing where everyone was sitting on the couch at home ): yikes! home sick moment! On the subject of that!

I must shamefully admit I cried this week. I am officially a sister missionary. I have the tan line! We get this wicked tans because of wearing flats so your toes are white but your feet are tan! ha how funny is that?! Its pretty sick(: when it gets darker I'll send a picture!
I think that's about all the adventure I shall share this week! as always I love letters and packages are definitely accepted any time! :) Love you all! Se que la Iglesias es verdadera y tambien Thomas S Monson es un profeta de Dios!
-Sister Nielson

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

9th Week April 1, 2013

Just another hot semana!

Ok so I lied... it hasn't been that hot this past week (: Its actually been super wonderful! I've loved every second of it! But its hard not to love life when you are in the best mission in the world (; TMM! Its been a pretty interesting week over all I'd say!

So heres the highlights!

We found the most wonderful investigator ever!!!!!!!!!! She is so sweet! she only speaks spanish so that has been fun... the first lessson I just sat there terrified and didn't speak but I knew mostly what was going on. then we had a mini companion exchange and sister kreis went with sister andrade and they asked her to be baptized!! "claro que si. porque no?" SO HAPPY!!! then we went back last night and talked about el libro de mormon and she said she already knows its true. She doesn't need to read it. Joseph Smith was a prophet!!! But don't worry she is still going to read(: She is just so wonderful! I've only known her for a week and only spoken once but I already have so much love in my heart for her and her family!!!!

Another big moment! The Laredo sisters went on a road trip! We had greenie training in McAllen so we had to drive down. Alone. Just 4 sisters who had never driven there by themselves. YIKES! well we left at 5 in the morning (its like a 3-4 hour drive to McAllen) and we made it on time! Getting home was a different story but don't worry! we made it!!! and I got my first letters from Chile (: That was a super awesome suprise! and I saw Elder Bertrand! so if anyone was worried, don't be. he's alive and lovin the TMM!

We had to drop a few investigators this week ): Its basically the worst feeling in the world when you have to say to them that if they don't want to keep commitments you can't come back and they are just fine with it): I just want to cry and yell 'THIS IS YOUR ETERNAL SALVATION!!!' but conveniently God has given us agency for a reason and I know he will work things out for them later on. For now we need to find and teach the people prepared specifically for us. They are out there and its my job for now to pray for them and find them!

On a not so great note as well.. Sister Andrade was sick this week): but we still worked hard despite her dying. She got a blessing from the elders and that was wonderful!! our district leader and his companion are so awesome! We love them a whole lot!
Easter!!!! Happy Easter!!!! By the way! So here's whats different about easter here, we smash eggs on heads. Yes. Real eggs. SO you empty them, clean them, and fill them with confetti after decorating. I have pictures but unfortunately the library computers don't allow you to connect your camera): so i'll be mailing some home again this week and anyone interested should stop by my home and say hello to my sad  lonely parents(:
We had a family in the ward invite us over for dinner yesterday and they made this big gift basket of food and stuff for us and sent us home with lots of salchichas and carne asada! (sausage and steak!) it was soooo fantastic! especially since we fasted all day then had dinner (: Best. Food. Ever!!!!!!!!!!! It was amazing! and They restocked my supply of goldfish and crackers! Huzzah for nasty snack foods! I now know why they say our mission has a slight weight gain problem... (; woops! oh well! Life is good! as always I accept donations of every food variety(; just kidding! but if you wanted to send me something, we love stickers down here! any stickers! my companion calls dibs on all monster stickers however...
Thank you to all who have sent me mail!!! I love getting mail and got a letter almost every day last week! :D So much happiness! Today we have to sit at the doctor's office for one of the sisters so for sure EVERYONE will be getting a letter back and I need to see some wedding announcements sooon!!! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! :D :P
Mucho amor de Laredo!  Bueno suerte a todos en este semana! :D
-Sister Nielson de Laredo

8th week March 25, 2013

ah laredo! hace calor!

Ok first i have to tell you about saturday.
Well in our mission we are all required to ride bikes on saturdays. even sisters. oh yes. Please picture this with me... my helmet is a little large... I was in my flowery skirt that reminds me of ashtyn. I had a back pack. and was riding down the streets of laredo. it got to about 90-100 degrees. and it was breezy. so I flashed a few cars accidently.... But i loved every second!!! It was nice to be out of the car! but then i felt sick so we had to return home for a little and I took a nap to feel better.. man i felt so gross and sticky! it was awfully fun.
In other news! laredo is awesome! I've had a few doors slammed in my face. the best is when we knock and they yell "quien?!" (who?) to which we reply "somos representates de jesucristo" "SOY CATOLICO" .... what? so you don't believe in christ??? ooook! thats weird. its been kind of funny but sad. everyone time we just add them to our next prayer. also funny was knocking on a house and the lady saying "some of your people came by this morning!" and slamming the door... ouch. have to love that...
But. Despite all this. we have had some beautiful miracles!
First one that I shall mention is when we knocked and asked a lady how she was doing and she informed us she wasnt well.. so we asked if we could pray with her and she agreed. so sister andrade said a prayer and we left it at that. there was a very peaceful feeling that followed after the prayer and I hope that lady felt it as well! She was a sweet little old woman.
Another awesome miracle!!!! I asked someone to be baptized for the first time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY! AND HE SAID YES!!!! so we are preparing him for baptism on april 21! we have been teaching his sister and went by to see her but she wasn't home. so we asked if we could talk to him and he said yes! so we talked a little and addressed some of his doubts about religion and well! we will be back tonight to teach about the restoration! He is awesome and plays soccer. I'm really excited and praying that he read the pamphlet we left him and prayed about it like he promised to! yikes! that is the hardest thing! getting people to keep their commitments! They just think answers will fall out of the sky. but lets be real... two girls knocking on your door should be an answer enough! which leads me to our friend we found yesterday!
This guy is cool. he moved here about a year ago. we were going to contact a referral on the bottom apartment where he lives and he was sitting on the stairs. so of course we said hi and how are you doing and he answered. then gave me a funny look and asked "where are you from?" so  stopped and replied "utah!" he looked even more surprised and asked "what are you doing here??" my reply? "I'm preaching the gospel! Would you like to hear?" and he agreed! so we spent about an hour talking with him! he is almost 19 so that was another surprise to him when he asked me my age. Ha! the young ones got some fire my friends!
We will be seeing him again this week(: I asked him about baptisms as well but he wasn't so excited. so we will have to work on that! but he even said he feels like he could be closer to christ and there is just something missing. the whole time i was thinking "well yeah! you need to get baptized and go on a mission in a year!!!" I have high hopes for him because he honestly wants answers! But his family is very catholic... so it should be fun!
I got my first package and letters in the mission field! That was super exciting! I got a sweet rubber chicken that sits on my desk now(: and the elders have enjoyed the candy and popsicles I've shared with them.
We made a new discovery today...
sisters leave behind clothing when they go home... or extra stuff they don't want(: Why yes. I did go shopping in my own apartment this morning and acquired some very cute things! i'm excited about it(: I'm wearing a dress I got from there and I got the cutest lands end short sleeve sweater! yay for sister missionaries!!!!!!!!
One last experience to share then I am off! We talked to this lady for a little bit who is a member but stopped going to church. her son is heavy into drugs and has had lessons but just wont commit. so she asked why its always the white people that have the gospel and it takes so long for latinos to receive it... it broke my heart trying to come up with an answer and I just tried to tell her in my broken spanish that God is the only one who knows. He has a plan and a way for everything and some people just aren't meant to find those things until later in their lifes.. I hate thinking of all the people who haven't had the chance to have the gospel bless their lives! I'm glad Heavenly Father loves us so much to provide a way for everything to work out. Even if we don't always understand everything. He's got this!!! Well all! I love you and thank you for your prayers!!! I've started saying SUPER LONG prayers as I try to fit everyone I can think of into them! Just know the Church IS TRUE! God loves you and its all going to work out in the end!!!!
-Sister Nielson