Monday, March 31, 2014

61st Week, March 31, 2014

Aqui estoy!

Here we are again! Transfer 2 in Edinburg A Pie! :P I love the bikes! :P I've been challenged by my district leader to be optimistic this transfer.... ?! What?! I don't remember being pessimistic but whatevs! This Transfer is all sunshine :)  Literally. Because its about to get REAL hot down here in South Texas!
Sooo adventures from the week....
We've been perfecting the art of "Preach My Pamphlet". Its been super interesting! On Friday night we had the coolest experience!! so one of the sisters in my apartment started her mission in Ecuador but got sick and came home and is now here and still feeling some of the effects from the stomach sickness she got... so sometimes she can't got out to work. So to help the sisters we did a mini exchange and I went out to work with her companion and my compy stayed home to take care of the sick sister :)
I was a little nervous about this because I've never worked with this sister but I figured, "hey whatevs! we are both missionaries! It'll be fine!"
 So we went out to work! we did and hour in my area and one her in hers. Well in the hour in my area we got a bunch of referrals! so that was good! then we went to her area and nothing was working! so we stopped and prayed... you know that missionary thing we always do...
and started driving and still nothing... But then I remembered that I had a referral in her area that I hadn't given the sisters yet! So we tracked down this house of a cute little older couple Sister Perez and I had talked to once when they were visiting their daughter who lives in my area. The couple let us in right way and sat down talking to us about religion. We started to teach them the Restoration and the whole time the lady just kept saying "I know this is true..." It was amazing! and at the end of the lesson she said the closing prayer and just expressed the most heart felt desire to know of the message was true. When she finished she told us a story about when she had felt the spirit of the Lord. so I asked her "sister, do you feel that spirit now?" and she started tearing up and she told us "yes! I know he's here!" and she gave us big hugs. It was so amazing! I've never felt the spirit so strong with these new lessons we are teaching but I definitely am developing a testimony that this is the Lord's plan for our mission right now!

Unfortunately I won't be able to keep teaching this couple because they don't live in my area :( but I know the other sisters will take good care of them and I'll be at that baptism! :)

One more fun story! Man I love General Conference!!! We went to the Women's Meeting on Saturday and man!! That was powerful!!! I literally just started crying as they opened the meeting with everyone singing and then when the little girls stood up and sang...  I was done for! The member I was sitting by just laughed at me and I tried to explain to her how much I love conference! I'm so excited for this weekend!!! Ahhhh!!!
8 Hours of listening to servants of the Lord tell us what God has for us to focus on right now?! Heck yeah! I think if we all pray really hard and maybe fast, this will be the conference that sister missions get changed to 2 years!!! :)
Ok so maybe not! But we are supposed to pray about the desires of our hearts right? :) This week I am going to pray and come up with my three specific questions for conference and get those answers! if you haven't done this before, do it now! Come up with questions you want the Lord to answer. They can be simple, complicated, whatever! About anything! and listen for your answers at conference! I have a strong testimony that the answers come! Its like magic :) Except not because its just God at work! and He LOVES us! He wants us to have the answers to the questions of our souls but we gotta be willing to ask first just as Joseph Smith did! Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you!
I promise you the Lord will answer whatever question you bring if you bring it prayerfully and with a humble heart :) And then write me a letter about it... :) Because missionaries love letters and that mail box has been pretty empty lately! Haha!
But really, I know the powerful of a good question :) Its what restored the gospel and has brought us all so much joy! So I invite you to give it a shot and let the Lord do His part. He loves us and desires that we have all that we need in life! I know this the true church of Jesus Christ and God! They are directing this missionary work and we gotta get in line and strengthen ourselves so that we might strengthen others! I testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!
Love you!!!

Hermana Nielson

60th Week, March 24, 2014

Vive A Pie!!!

Long live the sister biking area of A Pie!!!! :)
We had a slight scare this last week. Well. we had a few actually! First off, i almost got hit by a car. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this. But it was actually pretty funny. so here it goes!
We were biking down this street and we knew this big dog lived there... but he's always been chained up right? well... we are biking along when suddenly i look over and realize he is not chained! and suddenly this GIANT black dog is next to me about to snap at me!!!! So... like every good missionary, I SCREAM and bike faster! as fast as i can to get away from the dog! Unfortunately, this street ends in a T with a very busy street at the top, so I realized it just in time to hit my break and the dog had ran off in the other direction, i slid into traffic. Luckily, the two cars coming at me were paying attention and slowed down so i could get out of the way. This was the first moment in my mission i thought, "GET ME A CAR NOW!!!" It was pretty scary. But we made it to the church for coordination after that and all was well and I'm still alive and in one piece! So no worries :) The elders just laughed as we told them the story :P darn elders dont realize its a little harder to kick at dogs when wearing flats!
Next scare.... so transfers are this tuesday! and all week we kept joking that one of us would be training or be called to be an STL. so we pranked each other all week :) we kept changing the numbers in the phones to say Presidente Maluenda and kept calling to freak people out :) it was funny. Then saturday morning.... we hear the phone of one of the sisters ringing.... and she answers... AND ITS PRESIDENT CALLING!!! AHHH!! So we are all freaking out when we realized " oh he's just calling about their health" then he asks to talk to all of us! hands down funniest moment ever happens now. we all gather around the table to talk to president and he tells us he will be coming by in an hour to talk to us... so we tell him thats fine and hang up. as soon as the phone hangs up, we ALL yell "GO!" "CLEAN!" and the race begins to clean our little house of 6 sisters :) That house has never been so clean the whole time I've been here! So then president comes over and we talk for a little while about how we are all doing with the set up and lets us know that the mission wont be having 6 missionaries in one apartment again. EVER. AGAIN. :) He said it lovingly though. So then we waited and anticipated transfer calls to figure out what would happen!
I am happy to announce! We get to keep our sister biking area for at least one more transfer!!! I'm so excited!! i love biking!!! But one of the companionships moved out of our apartment and is off in an apartment by themselves now :( sad because they are the ones that always drove us everywhere. But its ok because the other sisters are fine to drive us :) ah the adventures and madness of transfers!! Transfers will be this tuesday and Sister Perez and I are staying together! Yay! We have a lot of plans on how to improve these next six weeks and have a love of success so it will definitley be fun! I'm excited!
As for people we are teaching, we have some really great people who are LOVING reading the book of mormon! I've gotten to use my skills of making it interesting and helping them see that these are real people! So they are all fired up! we have a less active member as well who is super jazzed about reading with us. We go over 2 times a week to read with her and she is loving it:) so thats great! I love the Book of Mormon!
I'm hoping to finish it for the 2nd time in spanish this next week and i can't decide which language i will read it in next... :)
Well friends and family! These are some of my adventures this last week! I hope yours have been just as exciting and hopefully filled with the spirit! I know that the Lord is directing his missionaries where ever they be! But we must look for that guidance and protection and be worthy to receive it always! I love the gospel and I know this is the true Church of God!! Be strong ! Love you all!
Hermana Nie

59 th Week, March 17, 2014

 One year ago.

lright ladies and gentlemen..
We have hit another big mark! One year ago... I was in Laredo!!! What in the world?! On the 12th of March I hit my one year mark of being in the field as a missionary! Last year at this time, I had just had my little break down freak out and wasn't sure if I could do this whole missionary thing! Well I'm very happy to report at this time, that I can do it! I have been doing it for a year now :)

This week was an interesting one... it has seriously passed sooo fast! I feel like just yesterday I was emailing you! But ah well! lets go over some adventures of the week:
We had exchanges this week! Yay! I went to work in the Sister Train Leaders area in McAllen and Sister Garry came to Edinburg to work with Sister Perez in our area :) It was definitely interesting haha! I think that sometimes we think of our leaders working sooo differently than us and that exchanges will be this huge enlightening of learning and such! Nah... it was just a normal missionary day :) We did have a couple people accept the baptismal invite though! Convenient they actually live in Sister Diaz area! :) YUP! We set BD's with people who live in my babys area! we got to call her and sister diaz was sooo happy to talk to me and so excited when I told her she had two new investigators :)

Another adventure of the week... we had a ton of set appointments the last couple of days! It was so cool! we literally had five set appointments in one day! and so we worked like crazy to get members to come with us... then literally, the members first canceled on us, then the people weren't home :( that was a major bummer! But we found other really cool people to fill the time with and teach so it all works out in the end.

Then on sunday! One of the bishopric members called us Wednesday night and asked if all the sisters would speak in church and tell our stories of how we decided to serve missions and the blessings we have seen as we have served. That was fun :) 6 sister missionaries speaking in sacrament meeting sounds crazy right? it actually went super great! I was 2nd to speak... so the first sister got up and just gave her testimony really fast and sat down after 2 minutes... so I got up and talked about when the age change happened. I still remember sitting on the couch as mom and dad were making breakfast. and that moment when everything just froze as we realized that I could go on a mission. Remember how mom was bragging the week before that she was so happy I was girl turning 19 so she didn't have to worry about a mission for me yet? ;) The whole congregation got a kick out of that. and then I bore my testimony in the end about how the Lord truly does bless us for going on missions.

I know that the Lord loves us so much. He loves us so much to give us the opportunity to go out into the world and proclaim the truth to His lost sheep. He has a lot of trust and confidence in the youth of the church as well to send out crazy 18 year old boys and 19 year old girls! You can definitely see a difference between the elders and sisters that left at a young age ;) sometimes its a maturity difference. But to be honest, the testimonies of the 18 year old missionaries are some of the strongest that have truly brought me to tears.

This gospel is such a wonderful blessing for all of us! We should never be afraid to share what we know to be true and help others come closer to their Savior! Everyone needs to know the peace that living faithfully brings! I love being a missionary! I love sharing my testimony and I love helping my brothers and sister come unto Christ! Be safe and strong this week and if anyone asks, don't be afraid to share the truth with them!

Love you all!

Hermana Nielson
ps. I got to hold chickens this week :)

58th Week, March 10, 2014

: Meetings!!

his week was literally the week of never ending meetings..... we had zone conference, a sisters meeting, zone meeting, and a bunch of companionship studies with the elders to help us learn the new lessons are we teaching! it was insane!!! Literally i felt like i was in the church all day every day! But its ok! we eventually got to go out and work and that was glorious!!

We seriously had the strangest week ever though! Our sisters meeting, they talked a lot about how we need to be confident in what we are doing and remember that Sisters are NOT elders. This is a very important fact that some people forget... we are different! We teach different! we do things differently over all! So that was nice to have our mission president tell us personally that its ok to not be the exact same as the elders!!

Our big miracle of the week!

We have a new investigator!! She is this sweet tiny only mexican lady :) I just adore her soo much! In her home we speak a good healthy mix of texmex :) meaning that her native language is spanish but she speaks english fairly well. so she will go back and forth between the two languages.. and i don't mean every other story... i mean every other word! It almost makes your head hurt when she says "ok... entonces vamos a go to la iglesia a las two por los services?" " Yes Hermana." Its hilarious! I am so not learning spanish. I'm learning Tex-Mex. and I love every minute of it!

So we were teaching her and she is currently committed to baptism on the 23 of March!! Yay! her two daughters actually got baptized last year and she has been wondering if she should be baptized too! why of course she should :) and we are there to help! I love it!


as for bikes.... I love biking :) I just don't really like to be cold when i bike. I'd rather be sweating.. because at least then we can bike and get a breeze to cool off. thats nice! We biked to the church from our house this last week and that was a little bit painful... its 4 miles. which isn't that far... but when you have to do it in less than 30 minutes with a compy that is a little bit sick... well that just complicates things a little haha! but we did it in the rain! so its all good :)


The picture I've included is Sister Diaz and i! I got to see my baby at the sisters meeting! I love her!! It was great! Her family sent me a super cute backpack from guatemala.


I learned a lot of cool stuff this week as well but i don't have time to write it all! I'll just leave you with this quick thought.


We are sons and daughters of God. Just let that thought penetrate deeply into your mind for a second...

Just as we become like our earthly parents, i know I look like my mom and my companions might say I act like my dad these days(yikes!), we are meant to become like our Father in Heaven. That is our divine goal! To do all we can in this life to become like him and be able to see him once again. I love this gospel so much! They Lord has showed us the way and we need only follow him to find lasting joy and happiness! I'm grateful to my earthly parents that taught me the path so that I can share it with my brothers and sisters here in south Texas! The church is true! God loves you! He is your Father!


Hermana Nielson


ps. I made tamales this week! Yup we can do that when i get home!

57th Week, March 3, 2014

 Out with the Old!

Well my friends.... This week truly is a new week! We are beginning all sorts of new things out here in the TMM! Well... its more like a blast from the past! The leaders of the mission had a surprise meeting this last Friday... which was followed by a surprise zone meeting on Saturday! Yikes!
To begin the meeting the elders told us to forget everything we new about teaching the gospel.... ?! what!? Because we are changing it all! The meeting they had was this some of the high up leaders of the church. So now for teaching... we are basically going back to teaching discussions! My understanding of it is that Preach my Gospel and the old Discussions just had a baby! And that's what we will be teaching! We now have set 1 discussions, 2, 3, 4 etc. everything ! But it still has some of the flexibility and versatility of preach my gospel.. it will definitely be a huge adventure relearning EVERYTHING! We tried roleplaying in Spanish this morning and man... I am definitely gonna need to learn even MORE Spanish words to be able to do this ! its crazy! but awesome! We are all super excited. One of the biggest changes is we are no longer allowed to use visual aides or analogies... what?? we need to teach the lessons direct and straight forward. Which makes sense right?  So sadly I don't get to use my cups to teach the restoration... or my little people things from Aunt Carole to teach the plan of salvation or gospel island :( No worries! I will send them home and they will make great family home evening for my future family! :D
So that's our biggest news!
In other awesome news....
WE FOUND A FAMILY TO TEACH!!! Not just any family though.... This family has 3 daughters... Ages 8-16... and they all want to hear about the gospel! Wanna know the best part? They only speak Spanish :) Yes!!!! I love spanish sooo much! Its insane!!! Since I've been back in the valley I can feel my abilities to speak just sky rocketing! because I could already understand most everything I read and hear. but speaking is where I was lacking because I didn't have the opportunity! now I am seeking out those opportunities so I can be completely fluent before I come home! Just five months to bust it out and it is happening!
Another cool adventure this week.... Sister Perez got her first flat tire! ha! Yup.... so we were biking home from this super weird lesson late at night... and we knew we were gonna be late if we didn't hurry... so we are biking a long when I hear my compy yell "sister! I think I have a flat!!" and so we stop.. yup. that thing was flat as texas. D: noooo! and we were 2 miles from home and it was 9pm..... so we started walking and called our district leader. Well we aren't allowed in the car at all with any elders... so they just laughed and said "well sisters... better start planning while you walk! we will pray for you!" :( sad day! but no worries! next we called the zone leaders who have a truck :) So they came to pick up the bikes and the other sisters came and picked us up in their car :) Then I got to teach sister perez how to change a bike tire! how grateful I am that it wasn't my first! but actually my 5th.... haha! practice makes perfect right? The Lord prepared me for this!
On the note of the Lord preparing things.... :) I know He sure does have some crazy plans. This transfer has just been one huge change after another but I know I am growing and learning sooo much! I am truly grateful for this opportunity I have to come to know my Savior better and feel His love as I am tried and tested here in Texas! Honestly there is no place I would rather be! The Lord knows us all so well I love it! The church is true! I know that with all my heart. The more I pray, the more I know that God is listening and answering the prayers of His servants when they humble themselves and put all their might mind and strength into the work! :D I love being a missionary! Have a wonderful week! The Lord loves you!
Hermana Nielson