Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Be of good cheer the Elders are here

G'day Everyone!

How ya goin? I hope everyone is doin alright. Elder Stringam and I had a pretty interesting week. First of all, Johnathan isnt getting baptized on this next weekend....AWwwww....yup...BUT the story is pretty good. So we went to teach him this week and LAST week when we committed him to be baptized we left him 2 Nephi 31 to read and ponder about. Its all about baptism. Go figure. Good news was he read it! We left him a homework assignment so that he could focus on key doctrine and recieve his own personal revelation from the scriptures. The bad news was thats exactly what happened!! haha jk...sorta. He read and he answered the questions perfectly and we were so excited! And they we asked him if he learned anything else. He said well I read and I noticed this scripture that said "After you are baptized you must keep the commandments(quoting Johnathan)." He said he wasnt ready to be baptized yet because him and his friends like to go to the pub and have social drink while they go watch the horse races. Gotta love Australia. Serious Buzz kill but at the same time we were very excited that he recieved that revelation and felt that it was important for him to keep the commandments. After he told us why he wasnt ready we taught him the rest of the Plan of Salvation so he completely understood the purpose of life and then we taught him the Word of Wisdom. We followed it up with: When are you going to quit drinking? He was like Ah well II've been thinking about it and I really want to get baptized but I'm thinking that......in a couple years I'll be ready. ha...ha....yeeeeaaah. In my head I was like ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??! But calmly I taught about SATAN. haha. I will say that one of the strongest times in my mission where I've felt the spirit speaking through me was while I was teaching Johnathan about the reality of the Adversary. I spoke from the bottom of my heart(It almost made water come out of my face!) and I testified to Johnathan that we loved him. Heavenly Father loves him. The commandments are there to bring us happiness. When we keep them we will be ready to be recieved into a state of NEVER ENDING happiness. I told him that satan is real. And that He will do EVERYTHING in his power to keep Johnathan from truly being happy and from keeping the commandments. I told him straight up that sometimes satan will decieve us and say to us "Hey....you could probably keep that commandment but isnt it so much for fun to just go drink with your friends. Just wait a couple years. Then you'll be ready." He got the point. He came to Stake Conference with us which was great and we're going to see him in a couple of days to see what conclusion he's come to. We told him to pray about it.

On another note we've got a mean new investigator Nathan. I'll have to tell you his whole story another time but we had a powerful Restoration lesson with him just yesterday. By the way we're emailing today because we went to the temple today. We are going to Zone Conference tomorrow. I'm so excited!

Another awesome experience we had this week is we met up with a Less active member of the church who has been meeting with the Jehovah's Witness'. yeah. We taught her the Restoration and the spirit just smashed her...with love :). It was sweet as. Long story short at the end of our lesson she said "I need to call the Jehovah's Witness' and tell them to not come anymore. I want to come back to church so that I can take the Sacrament again." SO AWESOME! One point for the Mormons!! haha.

Well I love you all heaps. We are seeing a lot of miracles lately. Pray for Johnathan. I think he knows that if he gets baptized he'll have to make a lot of changes in his life and that scares him. He even asked me about tattoos at Stake Conference. Have a good week. "Be of good cheer!"

Elder Nelson

(Note: You better proofread my emails before you forward them)

Mum, The house looks great. I wish they celebrated Halloween here. So lame they dont. Well some people do. Not really though. We should just go trick or treating as mormon missionaries. haha. Good on Bryce for finishing strong. He'll do great in wrestling. Take it easy though Bryce dont get too big of a head. You'll be great though. What a stud. Yeah it wouldve been awesome to have done Football but thats alright. Remember when I almost did it for Senior year? That wouldve been good I shouldve stuck to it. Its all good though I love my music and I still love to play basketball. I like Rugby too. Sounds like Dinner with Katie and Cassie was good. Man sounds like Cassie was trying to be Miss Impress haha. Dont let her know I said that!!! Her letters are always awesome but to be completely honest I cant really see myself ever marrying her. She's cool as but yeah I dont know. She's a good friend. Katie said she's scared? She'd be a gun missionary. Its true you get over the talking to people way quick you just gotta get really submerged in the work. Its a great feeling to be able to just talk to anyone and not worry about getting offended even though they might cuss at you. By the way I hate to say this but my clothes are falling apart. One of the pairs that I bought with the money that I got from Trudy and Don is still alright but the other ones...weeeelll....lets just say....my butt is huge. haha a massive hole ripped in the butt. yeah....i know. So I was thinking you should send me a pair of black blue dickies because they are cheap. What do you think? Also my right proselyting shoe of my Eccos is ripping on the right side because I'm such a hard worker. Its not looking too good clothes wise at the moment. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I havent heard from Sophia for months. I heard from Denisa again and she always sends me gum haha. explain your dream about the mountain again? I remember some of it but what was the meaning behind it? By the way I used one of your dreams for a lesson the other day. Remember the dream you had where you were driving down the highway and all those accidents were happening around you but you felt safe? Yeah that one. Good luck with the job! Well I better go. Catch ya lata.

Work, Work, Work

G'day Everyone!

Thanks heaps for your thoughts and prayers towards me and Elder Stringam's work this week. And every week! It paid off :). WE HAVE A BAPTISMAL DATE WITH JOHNATHAN VARLOW!!!!! Wooooo! So awesome. He has committed to be baptized on the 30th of December. But we just found out that another baptism in the ward is happening for an eight year old child so we might have to change it. dangit. BUT WE ARE SO EXCITED!! We're feeling really blessed too because we've been on a serious roller coaster lately with our investigators. Let me tell you how it all went down. So we've taught Johnathan a lot on the Restoration and we've helped him to read the Book of Mormon and pray to ask God if it is His word. He's told us that he's been doing that and in past lessons he said he was "starting to believe that it is true." I told you he loved General Conference right? Good ol Henry haha. Well we started teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and we had prayed beforehand in our companionship study if we should commit him to be baptized and when? Well we felt like he was ready so we taught him about what the purpose of life is from Alma 34:32 and we explained to him that the "labors" that we need to do to prepare to meet God is: Have FAITH in Jesus Christ; REPENT of our sins; BE BAPTIZED for the remission of our sins; recieve the GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST; and ENDURE TO THE END. We taught that this was OUR purpose as missionaries to help people to come unto christ and to follow His gospel. We asked him "Do you feel that your faith has been strengthened as you've met with us? He said yes, definitely. Do you believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God? "yes" again. We asked "why do you believe that he is a prophet?" He answered "because I read the Book of Mormon and I believe that its true." We were really excited by this point and we knew that the spirit was strong so we testified boldly that it IS true and God has witnessed to him through the Holy Ghost that it is. We also testified that the Authority to Baptize was restored to the earth when Peter, James and John visited Joseph Smith and laid their hands upon his head. We taught that Baptism is for the washing away of sins and that it is the "gateway" to enter into the kingdom of God. Then we asked the question: "Johnathan will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" He said yes!! He was very confident in his answer too. Man I was so excited I just promised blessings like mad and told him that this was the greatest and one of the most important decisions he will ever make in his life. That was on Saturday. Man saturday was a great day because the beginning of our week was pretty rough. Another cool thought I had was, Johnathan is 18. What if he decides to go on a mission? That would be awesome.

We also found another great investigator on saturday too, Renee. Elder Stringam taught her in the past but then they lost contact with her for awhile. Her partner is a Less Active member and he's a famous Rugby player. He plays for the Rabbitohs. Cool Guy. If you want to look him up his name is Junior VaiVai. We're having dinner with him on thursday. Cool fun fact: Russel Crowe owns the Rabbitohs team so he works really close with the teammates. cool eh? Maybe I can get a Russel Crowe meeting and just baptize him on the spot haha wouldnt that be awesome??

Well what can I say? I'm a happy as missionary. I love this work. Its hard sometimes of course but I have a testimony that when we are diligent, faithful and obedient and that we make sure that we do "ALL THAT WE CAN DO" the Lord will handle the rest. I cant emphasize that enough. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. There is great power in that Book. It truly is the keystone of our religion. I know that God hears our prayers. He answers them. He loves us. We cant comprehend His love for us. We are His Children. He wants us to be obedient so that we can enjoy the blessings that He enjoys. He wants us to have Eternal Life. To live with Him again. He's given us temples so that as our families are sealed we can have the peace and joy knowing that our families, whom we love dearly, can truly be together forever. I thank my Heavenly Father for the knowledge that he has given me of the Restored Gospel. To Be apart of His Church. We have a living prophet today Thomas S. Monson. He is my hero. "I know that My Redeemer lives what comfort this sweet sentence gives." There is nothing that gives me more joy that these truths. I love you all heaps AS haha. Catch ya latas.

Elder Nelson

Mum, Thanks for the pics and the email. I know it takes a lot of your time but it so refreshing to get emails like you sent this week. Thanks for being a good missionary mum. I'm so proud of you for accepting that opprotunity to speak to those Young Women! I'm not gonna lie at the beginning of my mission I wouldve expected you to turn that down. But its SOOOO envigorating to hear how my family is growing as I am learning to grow as well. You'll be great and I think that it will be a good wrap up to all these changes and happenings that you've been having in your life lately. The fact that you've already had a lot of thoughts come to you too tells me that the Holy Ghost is really pushing you to do it too. I know for a fact that Dad is really happy that your doing this too. If he hasnt told you that already. Tell Stephen that I'm so thankful for his service, for focusing on "the things that matter most." He's a better man than I was at his age. Thanks for setting a good example for Bryce too. Cheers as. I hope Dad finds a job. I know he will soon. I've been praying everyday that both of you do. Good luck getting this job you want. Tell Grandma and Grandpa thanks for the letter and I wrote them back. Have fun with Cassie and Katie tell them I said hi! They are so funny. Well I better go. Talk to ya next week! FA!

Elder Nelson

Monday, October 11, 2010


G'day Mateys!

General Conference was awesome eh? I felt like President Monson was heaps more intense than he usually is. Especially during Priesthood Session. Maybe you noticed a different theme but the main theme I noticed during most of conference was Moral Agency. The gift to choose but not the choice of consequences. I loved President Monson's opening remarks as well. Do you remember? " I want to mention something very near and dear to my heart....MISSIONARY WORK." He encouraged all young men to prepare and to DECIDE to serve a full time mission. I hope you heard that part Stephen and Bryce. I felt the spirit so strong during the Conference. There were many talks where I felt the Lord speaking straight to me through his servants. They truly are chosen of God

Our investigators are doing okay. We really need to find some more. Johnathan came to church though! Did I tell you about him? We found him street contacting in town awhile back and we've been really trying to get him to come to church but he's been called into work the past couple of weeks so thats been a problem. But, he finally got a week off and he was able to come. He came to the Sunday morning session and he really liked President Eyrings talk. He's looking for an answer to his prayer right now if Jospeh Smith is a prophet of God or not. We're doing all we can to help him to get that answer. He's been reading from the Book of Mormon lately. Maybe he's already received it I dont know. We'll find out soon I hope. Our other investigators right now are mainly Majit, Donna, and Jackie. We're a bit on the fence about them. They are up and down and we're not sure if they are really as solid as they seem. I just hope and pray that we can do "all that we can do" so that the Lord can do the rest. I'm grateful for these struggles though because I know that the Lord is trying to teach me something and I just need to figure out what it is. Maybe its patience again. Man I thought I learned that lesson already!! haha just kidding.

We had some great training this week in Sydney. It was a time of a great revelation and I was also able to understand how I can improve my teaching skills.

I had an experience during the couple days of training when I misplaced my badge. I found out later that another missionary friend of mine had pick pocketed me and decided to hide it for awhile. But after I got my badge back I noticed how I felt when I thought I had lost it. I was very worried, anxious and upset. I love my badge and I love wearing the name of the Saviour of the World upon my chest. I dont even want to think about the day that I will have to take it off. After I found out who took my badge I proceded to beat the living day lights out of him haha jk.

I'm working hard and doing my best. I know that if I am diligent in all things then the Lord will show me what to do. But I'm thankful for your insight, Dad, on priesthood session. I love hearing about the spiritual experiences that my family is having at home. I think that I need to follow the example more of President Eyring when he shared how he always says "what would thou have me do?" in his prayers. I know that I need to work on praying more fervently. Or as Moroni explains it "with all the energy of heart"(Moroni 7:48). The promises in that scripture are massive. If we pray with all the energy of heart we will be filled with his love and WE WILL BE LIKE HIM. I paraphrased heaps but I love that scripture. I'm so grateful to have a living prophet today and 12 apostles. They are great examples of disciples of christ and people who "submit their will to the Father." I know that they would never say or teach anything that wasnt what our Father in Heaven wants us to hear. I also know that if we do our best to repent and apply what they taught then we will be protected from the chaos around us, our faith will be strengthened and we will have more peace and joy. Let us all be examples of the believers. Love ya all heaps! Cheers as.

Elder Nelson

Dad, Thanks heaps for giving me your feedback on Priesthood session. I really enjoyed your words. I loved priesthood session and I realized that I have a lot to improve on. I also felt pretty guilty from past experiences that you and I had. I think it was Larry R. Lawrence's talk that hit me the hardest. Remember the story he told when he told his son not to take the trip he wanted to take? Sound familiar? Yeah except I wasnt as humble as his son was. Lets just say I've been doing a lot of repenting on my mission. I hope Stephen and Bryce heed to you and Mum's words more than I did. I'm sorry for my pride and arrogance. I'll do my best to be a good example when I get home. Its interesting you've been praying for my companion and I to work well together. We havent been fighting or anything and we actually get along great personality wise but I guess there are a few ways that I'd like to be a little more unified. But, she'll be alright mate( as the Aussies say). We havent had any dramas. By the way when Elder Nelson asked all the missionaries to stand in Priesthood session I was standing tall and proud especially with the thought in mind that you and stephen and Bryce were there.

Mum, you asked me about souvenirs. Well there is this member guy who sells a lot of souvenirs to missionaries and he has a website: http://stores.ebay.com.au/TheOutpost.Giftshop Go here and tell me what you like. He'll be gone till March but you could still email him and stuff. I have his email. I hope you find the job you want. I'm excited to hear the family's new goals. I started to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning again too. Thanks for you love and prayers. I've been thinking about Tabbatha lately. How is she? I love you mum but I think I'm gonna have stephen pick out the shirt for Elder Modlik. NO OFFENSE!!! hahaha but Stephen knows whats cool. So stephen can you pick out a shirt? I know we dont live in California anymore but a simple California shirt would be sweet as. Just one idea: isnt In N out in Utah now? Dont they have shirts? I'm sad to hear that Michael Smith is home already. That would be so hard. Especially since he wasnt out that long. How long was he out? He must be gutted as. Poor guy. Good on em for serving honorably though.

WOOOOOHOOOOO THATS AWESOME THAT SPRINGVILLE IS #1!!!! Elder Sermersheim is gonna freak hahaha. He's from SF. He'll probabaly cry. We've been talking crap all week.....and placing bets hahahaha he owes me lunch!!! haha. I'm so proud of my brothers!! SKUX AS! You two are animals. I'm proud that you decided to stick with Football Bryce. Your a legend. Keep up being studly. Well I better go. ttyl

Sunday, October 3, 2010

General Conference Saturday

G'day Mi Familia!

YA ever heard of an Mexican Australian? yeah me neither. So I'm really excited for General Conference. My companion put it brilliantly "General Conference is the Superbowl for Missionaries." True as. I gotta wait till the end of the week though. I'll look out for President Utchdorf's and Elder Hollands. I think my favorite speakers are Elder Bednar, Holland and of course all of the first presidency but I really like when Elder Bednar speaks.

Well we had a great and marvelous week in this great and marvelous work. Let me tell you a story( Tell Stephen and Bryce they better read this one): Our investigator Donna is a middle aged woman with 4 kids and one is old enough to live on his own.  We went to Donna's to set up another appointment with her on monday and see how she was going. We found out that her 9 year old son Darren was really sick and thats why she couldnt come to church last sunday. He's had a lot of problems with his asthma and on the day we saw them he got a case of tonsilitis. He was curled up on the couch with a big warm blanket wrapped around him. He was coughing and moaning while he was trying to get some sleep. While we talked to Donna about Darren's condition I felt the Holy Ghost speak to me and say "ummm you have the priesthood....use it!" (the holy ghost is pretty cheeky man). So I esplained to these Non members that we have been given authority from God to give blessings to the sick just as Jesus Christ and his Apostles did when He was on the earth and that we would love to give Darren a blessing. She happily agreed. Elder Stringam anointed and I sealed the blessing. We left the house with a prayer in our hearts that Darren would recover quickly. The next day I called Donna to confirm our appointment that we had set up and she said " You two must've worked a miracle last night because Darren woke up this morning perfectly fine! He's running around the house and driving me crazy!" HHHHAAAAAAA(Angles singing). I cant tell you how excited I was!! Elder Stringam and I took part in a miracle!! They expected Darren to be sick for weeks since Tonsilitis usually gets in your system and makes you even more sick. Donna recognized it as a miracle and her partner( who claims he's an atheist) was spooked out of his mind haha. When we met with Donna later she told us that Darren said " I felt their hands on my head and they felt so big and warm." Yeah I dont know about you but I dont think those were our hands. President Utchdorf's talk on "You are my hands" comes to mind. I'm so overwhelmed by the thought of how much Heavenly Fathers loves each of his children. I'm so grateful to be apart of this great work and to be able to witness so many great and marvelous things here in Australia. I'm so blessed to be a bearer of His Holy Priesthood and I hope that I will never take it for granted and always be worthy to hold it. I know that the Priesthood was restored through the prophet joseph smith and that worthy men of our time are able to use it to serve our family, friends, and brothers sisters around us whether they are members of the church or not. I love the feeling of serving others and I that It is true when King Benjamin declared " when ye are in the service of your fellow men ye are only in the service of your God". Love ya all heaps. Keep up the missionary work. Catch ya!

Elder Nelson

Dad, so first question. what are you thoughts on priesthood session? I havent seen it yet but I'd like to hear your thoughts next week. I'm so excited to hear that Stephen and Bryce will be going with you. How cool will it be when we can all go together?! Also my District Leader is from Spanish Fork. His name is Colton Semersheim. His mum's name is Jane Johnson. Did you know any Johnsons? Just curious. Well I better go. We're going to Zone Leader Council today and then we have two more days of Leadership Training. Leadership training is always awesome. Its like the MTC again! Did you have to send a pic of you and mum kissing?? I mean cmon! I dont need to see that okay?! jeez. Oh my gosh there is this guy that is talking to one of your missionaries right now and complaining that he cant get a wife. He told him to pray about it haha. what a bogen dude. Our Footie team here, St. George Illawarra Dragons won the Grand Final so everyone is pretty stoked (and drunk). ITS AWESOME! Okay well I better go. Cu