Thursday, September 5, 2013

Things I Have Learned

I've been on my mission over two months now! Crazy!!!  But this last week, I've been reflecting a lot on what I've learned so far on my mission. Here are just some:
-you can never have enough Reese's Puffs in the house
-always have hope for people, hope is a big word!
-never believe what you hear about people
-involve members in missionary work
-share miracles a lot (with companion, members, ward council, family, etc)...I'm going to work on this with my emails
-don't be afraid to pray ever
-this is the Lord's work, He will not let us mess up too much
-don't let the mission president scare you (story below)
-always have post it notes and use them (thank you mom for sending some, they ARE getting used!)
-have fun every day (and many times a day)
-it's only awkard if you make it awkard
-it's fun to role play and practice awkard moments with your missionary companion!
-spiritual exhaustion is so much different from physical exhaustion (working with 14 two year olds, I thought was tiring, I was wrong)
The list keeps going, but this is enough for now.
Right now, we are in the middle of exchanges. This time I went to a new area...Broomfield about 15 minutes away. Once every transfer (6 weeks), we do a 24 hour exchange to help us learn from other missionaries and we take turns who stays and who goes between Sis Woessner and I. This time I left. It's weird being in a new area. But love working with Hermanna Jarvis (she's spanish speaking instead of sister, it's Hermanna).  One of our service projects is at a place called Bead for Life in Boulder. On Thursday, having a rough day, and it ended up being just Sis W and I and Nicole (one of the employees at Bead for Life). They always have music playing, but we don't request anything because we aren't supposed to listen to music anyways. But about 3 weeks ago, we were talking about different kinds of  music that we liked between Sis W and I. I guess Nicole heard this conversation, because about half way through our service when the other volunteers left, she went to the computer and played a new station on pandora. It was Idina Menzel. After the first song started, I laughed and thanked her...she said she remembered it was my favorite! It was so great to listen to good music again. The song Brave came on...reminded me of moving to Rexburg and playing that song while driving out with Katie. The words still fit pretty well for a mission.  Tender mercy!
Last Tuesday we had a correlation meeting with Sis W and I, the two elders in the ward, and our ward mission leader. About 20 minutes before the meeting, the elders text us and say President Brown is coming as well. Freak out moment! WHAT"S HAPPENING? Usually a mission president has so many things to do, they don't just "pop in" on little meetings! We meet him there and all is well.  President Brown is a great guy! But the fact that we don't know what he is doing is kinda scaring us. Then on Wednesday, it's our first Book of Mormon reading group. We decided to do this and just trying it out....with a group of whoever is interested reading the Book of Mormon together. We are in the Chapel in the church building. About 35 minutes into our lesson, President Brown comes in the back door and walks up to where we are sitting on the stand. We are both terrified (can't think of a better term)....two days in a row!!! He sits down as if it's nothing. One investigator we had there kinda asked, so we introduced President and explain who he was.  That evening he left at the end and we had no idea why he keeps showing up. We are thinkning maybe he is going to transfer one of us or something extreme. It wasn't until late that night that we got a call.  The elders were getting ETed (emergency transfered....being transfered in the middle of the normal 6 weeks). So we are back to being by ourselves in the ward. On September 30th is the next transfer, and I think they are going to try having two sets of missionaries again in Louisville.
On Friday, we had our last trainer's meeting when we get to see everyone from the MTC all together for the last time. We may cross paths again as we serve in the same areas, but for everyone that was in the MTC, it was our last time together. We started the two hour meeting with spending about 50 minutes going around and each person sharing a miracle that they have seen. It's not just in the Ensign that miracles really is all around us!
Funny/annoying moment of the week is when my red pen exploded in my purse! Leaked through all the layers on onto me! Not fun to clean up! My finger nails are still dyed red. Wallet, chapstick, planner, everything now has a tint of red to it. Don't know what happened. I think it came untwisted, the little tube the ink is in came out and then it snapped in half. Oh well. Have a new purse that I'm borrowing from the Relief Society president with a perfect pocket outside for my planner, keys, etc.
Spiritual thought for this week is more focused on other missionaries...since there are so many missionaries serving right now! In Alma 8 in the Book of Mormon, it talks about Alma the Younger teaching the gospel. Some things that stood out to me when I read that last week is that when times do get hard and we think we need to turn around and 'go back' that we should keep trying. That's when the Lord can open up the windows of heaven and bless those around us. It wasn't until Alma the Younger did leave and was told to go back that the miracles started. So missionaries, even when it is hard, keep working! Also members are so important in missionary work!!!! Can't emphasize it enough!!! Offer to help the missionaries whenever....go on lessons, whatever! It is appreciated!
Love ya all!
Sister Nielsen

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