Monday, August 26, 2013

Fort Collins Colorado Temple Groundbrea​king

Hey all!
It's been a crazy, hectic, emotional, spiritual, insane week! So I'll start out with the story I forgot to tell last week. Sister Woessner and I went to Loveland to help transport new sisters and luggage back to this area. However, the first day is crazy long for these greenies (new missionaries); so the meeting is done around 8:30 and we leave around 9. We drive these two sisters (or they are Spanish speaking missionaries, so Hermanas) to the home they are staying at in a nearby town. I'll just leave it as a nearby town, because this is crazy! We get to the member's home, take out their bags and bring everything up to the front porch. Knock. wait. Ring the bell. wait. knock. wait. Eventually after like 7 minutes, we call the bishop of this ward and get this member's phone number so we can call her. On the porch, it's Sis W and I, our zone leaders Elder Gable and Elder Peace, and the newer Hermana's. We call and say we are on the front porch. She finally comes to the door and says "I told them I don't want missionaries anymore" (remember at this point it's 10:30 pm, one of the Hermana's has been up since 1am when she left the Mexico City CCM). So we call the WONDERFUL family that Sis W and I stay with, the Rices', and explain the situation. They graciously allowed us to bring the sisters there. But felt bad for those sisters; one first day in the field, the other the first day in this area and they are homeless.
The temple ground breaking was this past Saturday and that was really cool! I didn't realize how many political people they would have there! It was cool to listen to the talks and how they would direct their comments to both members of the church and politicians. During the dedication, he also blessed the missionary effort in this mission and area. When he said that, I got goose bumps all over. I'm so glad to be serving here! Afterwards, they invited different groups up to help turn the dirt (basically photo op). One group was all of the missionaries in the area. We say President and Sister Brown get up and also some other missionaries that I know from the MTC. But after their photo, he said it was inspiration that he was told to pray for the missionary work here. That was so cool!
This week, I've been studying a lot about faith and realized that is something I really need to work on. Something cool I was reading last week in the bible dictionary in the LDS scriptures was about conversion. It says something similar to trails is how we become converted. So remembering that during hard times, why trials are so important is to help humble us and help us remember that we can't go through life on our own, we need God's help!  Another book that I've been reading and love is the Gospel Principle's manual. It says things so simply and is organized in topics that it's easy to research and learn about one topic at a time.
A bishopric member here does something for chipotle... I think he's higher up in the company and gives us (sis w and I) free coupons for whatever in chipotle for the few times we don't have a dinner appointment
We came home on Saturday and found Emma (the dog) in our closet. There was some nasty thunder and lightning outside...she was so scared!!!! It was sad but kind of funny. It storms every day, but this is the first time I have seen Emma freaking out! Glad our messy closet can give her comfort! lol

Went to DQ on our way to transfer doctrine (last week when we find out where we were going this transfer...but we both stayed here)

First transfer-I'm staying

August 20 (posted late as I was in Juda WI last week helping with Marc and Jen's new baby William)

First off, just wanted to say, I love this ward! It really is awesome! We have only had two nights since we have been here (both last starting) that we have not had meals. Many days, we will eat with members for lunch and dinner! So as you can tell, I am staying here in Louisville and Sister Woessner is staying here as well! I'M SO EXCITED AND THRILLED!!!!  We honestly didn't think that would happen! So our prediction...we knew we were getting two new missionaries in our ward (4 total) and so we thought it would be two greeny sisters and we would separate to train them in this ward. So glad we are not training yet. At least let us get through training each other before we have to train someone new.
Someone asked me last week (forgot who) how many missionary meetings there are. Surprisingly, not as many as I thought in one aspect but more than I thought too. We had the first day we arrived (July 8th) was all day meeting informing us about all the logistical stuff (money, housing, transportation, safety, etc.). A little over a week after that, we had a follow up meeting that was like a half day. That's been it so far. Rumor has it that there is training again next Friday, but we will see. On the other hand, ward meetings are a lot more. We meet with the ward council every week, meet with the bishop every week (for about an hour), meet with the ward mission leader  weekly and contact by phone at least once a day. Our ward mission leader is Eric who is a very hard worker and enthusiastic btw which is great...he has helped unofficially train us quite a bit. They have a 19 month old son though that is hard to not play with.
We have two new elders in the ward (new to this ward, not mission). Excited to see the work that we can get done by working together. It's Elder Ameida and Elder Peterson. The ward is really excited about this opportunity to get a lot of missionary work and a lot of things accomplished! With transfers, it's exciting having the change in the environment....fresh start even though we are in the same place.
Last week I had a fun personal do something fun or spontaneous every day. Totally staying in mission rules of course. It was fun! I did accomplish it! Little things such as singing a primary song really loud with the windows rolled down. It was a lot of fun thinking of little things and doing it with Sister Woessner.
Something to look forward to next week is hearing about the temple ground breaking. The LDS Fort Collins temple ground breaking is in a few days...Saturday morning. So excited!!! This past Sunday in Sacrament, the focus was on temples. The stake presidency spoke in every ward in the stake and they had great talks! Makes me excited to be able to go to the temple again in 16 months to be able to feel of that unique peace feeling that is only there.
So glad to be on my mission and to be staying in Louisville longer!!!!
Sister Nielsen

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sister Woessner saved my life!

Spiders, spiders, spiders! Everywhere I look there are spiders! Not helping my phobia! So last Monday, I wash all of my clothes because it's P-day. Hang them out Monday night and go to sleep. Tuesday I wake up, not feeling well so tell sister Woessner that it's a maxi skirt day today. Go to the closet. Touch it. Jump and squeal onto my bed. I jumped probably 12-15 feet at once! It was huge! Sister Woessner looked to try and find it. Not there. Moved the skirts around a little then she sees it and realizes I'm not making it up. She admits it's huge and tries to go find Brother Rice (the dad in the house). No luck. So she comes back and takes the skirt carefully outside and destroys it. In Sister Woessner word's, "I am David, and I just killed Goliath!" Seriously don't know what I'd do without her! To conclude the story, I washed all my laundry again (only touching clothes with gloves) and have not worn that skirt again. Don't know if I ever will.
Gave a talk yesterday in Sacrament meeting. Topic was Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself, which can spread out to almost anything. So I talked about service, forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. Overall, happy with how the talk went. Really missed my normal situation though. Usually I will type a talk and copy/paste quotes and scriptures in it so it's just one paper. However, I don't have a computer. So go up to the pulpit with part of my farewell talk, Gospel Principle manual, scriptures, 2 ensigns, notebook paper, and my journal. Felt odd getting situated. So if you have to give a talk soon, be grateful for technology to help pull it together. But I got to the part of my talk where I was going to read a scripture about Jesus forgiving others while he was on the cross. I must have written the scripture down wrong, because when I opened to it, I luckily read it in my mind first and realized it was wrong. So blonde moment, but oh well. Just kept going and didn't read it. It was Luke 23:24 that I had written, but has nothing to do with forgiveness or anything I was talking about.
Speaking of Ensigns, if anyone has old church magazines (Ensign, New Era, or Friend) that they can part with...send it on over! Great to read talks from and the friend and new era are awesome for cutting up and making new planners.
Next Monday is transfers. Basically when I might get moved to a new area or get a new companion. Every 6 weeks on Monday is transfers. So I might not be able to email on Monday (probably won't); but Tuesday I will be able to. I have my theories on what is going to happen, but I'll wait to tell until I know.
IMG_0879.JPGThis morning, our district went on a "walk" they said so Sis W and I would come. It was not a "walk" it was very much a hike. Oh well. The view was amazing! We hiked up by the flat irons in Boulder (amazing mountians). Could see all of Boulder, CU, and felt like all of Colorado. I'll send some pictures.
During this last week, we taught a lot about the Plan of Salvation and the Doctrine of Christ. Really made me realize how simple the church is and it makes so much sense! Sometimes we joke about 'drawing out the plan of salvation', but it really is so simple and answers so many important questions of life. Knowing that we lived with God before coming here to this earth, that we are here to prepare to meet God and to become better people. The God loves us so much, that even after this life everyone can have a chance to hear about the gospel. It's amazing! Also just laying out the specific things that we need to do during this life to have more peace. I didn't realize how simple it all is. But it's so true! By having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the holy ghost and enduring to the end, we can be happy. So grateful to know this simple truth!
Sorry for the long email. Still have time to write, but out of topics. Love you all and miss you!
Sister Nielsen

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Awesome storm and exchanges


Almost out of time, but had to write something quickly to everyone. Two big events for this week is the AWESOME storm on Saturday here and exchanges we had last Wednesday.
IMG_0721.JPGIMG_0723.JPGSaturday started out beautiful, but afternoon came and it got cloudy. We came home to eat dinner quick (probably about 30 minutes). In that time, it came from just cloudy skies to clouds that don't look so good. Luckily, growing up mainly in Minnesota, I know what tornado clouds look like, although these weren't the right color (yet). We took some pictures from the drive way, then continued onto our appointment. With a no-show, we decided to head to the church building for 2 primary baptisms. As we are driving, we are singing along to Nearer My God to Thee from Vocal Point. The song finishes and I thought I heard a siren. Sure enough, turn off the music and roll down the window and there's the siren. We were pulling into the church building at that time, so just continued on inside. Everyone was safe, and haven't heard anything about any touch-downs. But someone should let me know, because I'm curious. It was just some awesome rainstorms and some sweet looking clouds. I'm LOVING that about Colorado, and forgot about that when we lived here...the thunderstorms are awesome and almost daily (but only last 20-30 minutes, then it's sunny again). But I'll be sure to add some pictures of the weather!
So exchanges were a lot of fun. Didn't know what to expect, but turned out to be great. We had a really full day planned. I stayed here and Sister Woessner went north to Longmount. Throughout the day, we had 7 lessons with different people. It was great to experience and see different ways of teaching. I really missed Sister Woessner though and glad to have her back. But here is a small world moment! The sister that came to Louisville with me is Sister Zvirzdin (or Sister Z, for me cuz I can't say Zvirzdin). Does that name sound familiar to anyone (dad or mom)? She is from upstate New York and has been in the Oneida ward (or branch) her whole life!!!! She knows right where Hamilton is that we lived. I tried remembering different people's names from there, because I'm sure that we would know people in common, but couldn't think of anyone. But it's still fun! She was born a few years after me.
Random missionary term that I don't know how long has been around. But yesterday I woke up not feeling well, so decided to visit our "investigator" Dan. Daily Afternoon Nap. Get it? LOL! It's random. I've been told, but don't think it's true (or hope not), but some lazy missionaries will schedule Dan into their calendar every day. Usually don't have time to sleep, but did yesterday briefly during our lunch break. Woke up a lot better! So glad I wouldn't be okay doing that. Had to get talked into taking a break. So that's my other random picture. Taking a visit with "DAN" in the nursery room. (Note from Lynn - I didn't get this picture).
Hope you are all doing great!
How is Grandpa Frank doing? How is everyone else in the family doing?
Sister Nielsen