Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wello Hello from Provo! (yes I just realized that rhymed and I am very pleased with the outcome)

Well, I want to start with some funny stuff from the Provo MTC.

1) Whenever anyone from my district is lost in the cafeteria and we can't find them, we do that call that they did in the Hunger Games and we are able to find them.

2) Yesterday our teacher made us practice door approaches on each other and someone answered the door while another elder acted like he was an angry dog at the feet of the elder that answered the door.

3) Now, besides teaching our teachers, we are now investigators as well! My investigator's name is Guillermo.

4) We had to practice the Law of Chastity lesson yesterday...nough said.

Well, everyone, I have some bad news. I am no longer the district leader. But...my companion Elder Davis and I were called to be zone leaders on Sunday! It is such a great feeling to know that the Lord trusts that we will be able to lead the zone and offer help to those missionaries that are struggling. I just feel very blessed and honored. I'll keep you updated on how it goes! I guess I should tell all of you about my Branch President. His name is President Bradley. He is probably the most spiritual man I know but also the most intimidating. He is literally a Nazi when it comes to appearance and missionaries. During branch council on Sunday he reamed everyone in there for practicing bad habbits (tapping feet, touching hands to the face, biting nails, blinking too much, not keeping eye contact, etc.). He said he makes no apologies for it because he knows that when people see us, there should be nothing distracting them from the name of Jesucristo on our chests. We are meant to be literal representatives of him. At first he was very intimidating, but I've grown to love him. I know what he's saying is true and because of it I've worked my hardest to get rid of bad habbits and be exactly obedient to all the rules. I think because of that, I've been able to qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I think I'm finally moving to the point where I'm being obedient because I want to be, because I love my Savior and Heavenly Father and I trust that their will is the best for me. I know that by following them exactly, I can give back just a little for everything the Savior sacrificed for me in Gethsemane and on the Cross.

So, every Friday we teach something called TRC which is basically teaching a family-home-evening style lesson to members from the area that volunteer to come in and be taught (in Spanish of course). On Friday we taught a student at BYU named Mariana. As we were teaching I felt prompted to ask her to bear her testimony to us. She did and started crying heavily. Even though I couldn't understand everything she was saying, I could feel the power of her words. After she was finished, I felt impressed to share about my experiences with the Savior, the love I have for him, and my feelings about the Atonement. The Spirit was so strong...everyone in the room, her, myself, and my companion were all emotional. Afterwards, she wrote a little review and said this "I felt the spirit stronger than I have felt it in the past several years." And also, "The power and spirit that was felt in this room allowed me to feel his presence (Savior)." Our teacher, Hermana Castillo said she was sitting outside the room and said that she felt such a strong and sweet spirit coming from the room that it almost made her cry. This experience was such a testimony builder to me. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying to speak Spanish perfectly that I forget that if I just trust, like I did then, and let the Spirit work through me, the Spanish will come and people can be moved to change by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Anyway, it's crazy to think that the end is nearing for me and my district in the MTC. We have about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks left. This week I was stressing out so much and felt bad even because a lot of the Elders in my district were expressing how excited they were to be out in the field. I wasn't having the same feelings. I was feeling very nervous and scared and inadequate because I can't speak the language fluently and I'm not a perfect teacher. It was always my goal to be an effective missionary the moment I got to Mexico and I could see that goal slipping away. I was so confused because I can honestly say that I work my hardest everyday. Once again, my Heavenly Father lifted me up and brought peace into my life. I was talking to Hermana Arroyo and she said she wasn't surprised at all that I was experiencing this. She said that I was an amazing missionary, that my Spanish was great, and that I was doing so much good for the elders in my district. She said that the adversary knows this, and he was working through discouragement to try to shut me down. She reminded me that missionary work is a battle. And that we as missionaries are called to the front lines. She said if Satan can take out the missionaries, the whole battle is lost. I know this is true. I know that there are brothers and sisters of mine in Mexico that I am meant to find and that he doesn't want me to find. This was such a great reminder to me of what I'm involved in. She also told me something that I really love and that is applicable to all of us, "God is not sending you out there to fail. You will succeed, just remember who you are and in whom you trust."

So, for your reading assignment this week, read Mosiah Chapter 4. If you have time, read all of King Benjamin's words. They are so powerful and they have spoken to my soul this week.

I want all of you to know that I love you all and that I pray about you. I am so excited to go to Mexico. This work is so difficult but it has also made me so happy. I’m happier than I've ever been. I know in whom I trust. I trust in my God, my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ and my comforter the Holy Ghost. I have never been more reliant on them. I feel so blessed and so happy. I hope all of you are happy as well. I hope you're looking to God for answers. Pour out your souls in prayer to him. I know and testify that he is there and that he is listening. There's so much that I want to say but I don't have enough time. Just know that I love you. That I am fine and happy. And that I know Jesus Christ lives. I know my Savior died for me. I have such a deep love for my Savior because he went through so much to save me. He's given me this gospel so that I can be happy and find joy in this life. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I've had to serve the other elders in my district and the opportunity I've had to impart whatever wisdom and experience I've had to them. God be with you all.


Elder Nielsen

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