Monday, August 20, 2012

Brunswick, Georgia- Week 5

Hello Everyone!

This week has been kind of crazy. We had a family of 4 who was preparing to be baptized this coming Saturday and on Friday we got a text from the mother saying that she needed to take a "break" and pray to see if this was actually the right path to take. We were devastated but will continue to look forward and pray for her and others to find and teach.

We actually have found quite a few people to teach and it seems to be going well.

A Hispanic family who are members fed us homemade taquitoes one night when we stopped by- and tomorrow they told us to come back- and they will have some more food for us. They are a great family and very eager to grow in the church together.

My talk yesterday went well. I talked a little fast, but that's just what I always do. (But I did remember not to speak with the paper in front of my face- mom) The 3 others Elders in the area and I also sang a hymn in front of the congregation and they loved it!

It continues to rain multiple times a week- and now supposedly there is a West Nile problem near the border of Floria/Georgia... so we are encouraged to wear the mosquito repellent and basically be smart about what we're doing.

Honestly- I really don't remember much of what happened this week- it just flew by. 

Elder Crosby continues to be crazy and keep me sane. Elder Reid continues to train me well and also be crazy.

Hope all is well with everyone- love ya'll!!!

Elder Nielson  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week Four in the mission

Dear Everyone-

The Brunswick area is quickly catching fire... (don't worry mom, not LITERALLY). But we are finding more and more people that are just willing to learn and accept our message.

Yesterday was Stake Conference. For the number of congregations that were in attendance (at least 7 wards/branches) it was still smaller than what I am used to when I think of stake conference. We told an investigator that stake conference was great: we all get together and just lather some A-1 on some steaks and have a great time eating tons of food. The first 150 people would get the nice T-bone steaks, and so on. The look on her face was both confused and skeptical. We told her we were joking and she said "I thought so- Mormons aren't that weird)

Anyways! On Thursday we got to go down to "the island" (St. Simon's) where President Barry and his wife, 8 kids, their spouses, and 21 grandchildren were gathered to welcome President's youngest son of a mission. They rented this huge 3 story house/cottage/mansion and we ate dinner there and taught a little lesson. It was almost like our family get-togethers except more little kids and mom and her sisters weren't in the corner making all the noise (haha!)

I have noticed more and more that come 6:15 every morning, when our alarm goes off, I have to really think about throwing myself out of bed. I get tired for sure but I keep going on. I've actually started to convince myself that my hairline is beginning to recede. If my hair turns out anything like my trainer's does- I might just bury my head in a tree and cry. (it's not THAT bad, but he certainly doesn't look 21) 

Again, the weather here in just crazy- on Thursday we were walking around talking about how terribly hot it was, and then about 7 hours later the most torrential downpour I've seen in a long time happened- it stayed for about an hour and a half and was warm-ish again for the rest of the evening.

We sure are crazy down here- in the apartment, the car, members' home, Elder Reid keeps me on my toes with his lovable weirdness. We only have a small selection of CDs in our car... and we'll listen to them all the time, over and over again... there's about 3 Christmas ones that I have been tempted to pull out just for some change, but it's August, so I'll wait for now.

Hope all is well with everyone in the "outside world".... haha

Love and miss y'all!

Elder Nielson

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week Tres ("Three" for those who need translatio​n)

Ok all- Here's week 3!

Last night we had a baptism/confirmation- her name is Linda and she is a great woman! Normally, converts to the church are confirmed on Sunday during church- but since next week is Stake Conference here, and the week after that Linda will be moving her daughter- we got special permission to do it "fontside" (i.e. right after the baptism). I was given the opportunity to confirm her (my first on the mission)
and it was an amazing experience. I also gave a talk on baptism. In 2 weeks I am being "volun-told" (?) to give a talk in Sacrament meeting (....yea....!?!?) Elder Reid says I am lucky- he didn't get to see a baptism between him and his companion for the first 6 months of his mission. The Lord is working miracles here in the FJM (Florida, Jacksonville mission) and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

I am eating well (mainly for you mom). Lots of chicken tacos with salsa and cheese (and that's it 'cause it's cheap!) and plenty of peanut butter/honey sandwiches. Cereal for breakfast, sometimes a bagel with cream cheese and ham (YUM!- for real). That's about it- but we get along just fine. Oh yes- Vienna sausages too- about 3 cans between us a week!

We had quite an interesting experience Saturday night. We went to visit a man who we had taught the first lesson to last week- and he said he'd read the Book of Mormon and call us. When we went to see him he said: "We must have had a communication problem- I told you I'd call you when I wanted to talk- yet here you are." He went back inside, came out with the copy of the Book of Mormon we gave him, and frisbee'd it about 20 yards; said "Don't ever come back!" and went inside. Needless to say we were both sad and confused, but we moved on. I guess that moment was supposed to teach me something, but right now I'm not really sure what that is...

Other than that- the work is slowing down in our area a bit- very few investigators but it will pick up soon as we find more people to teach. I continue to have some amazing experiences - and am so excited to see what is in store.

Lots of rain still- some really great thunder/lightning to go with it. Haven't gotten too wet yet- but hurricane season isn't over! :)

Honestly- It's just great down here. I love the people and the work. Right now though- I haven't ridden a bike in over 6 weeks- and it's killing me inside. Of course- when it gets up to 105 degrees... not so much with wanting to bike. When it rains, however, I wish that's all we did. (I might be the only one who thinks so....)

I got to go up (or down?) to a little town called Darien (Google Map it- 'cause I have no idea where it is.. haha) I went on exchanges with the Elders there. While we were at a member's house doing service, he left for an appointment (we were still in the house- finishing up) and his car hit ours. (Don't worry mom- no one was hurt) The car will need a new bumper and a realignment (good thing the Church has insurance) but filling out all the paperwork for that was not fun... anyways...!

Hope all is well with everyone that read this! I am loving my mission and can't wait for the great things the next 2 years has in store!

Love and miss y'all

Elder Nielson