Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Use Your Hands To Serve

My P-day is still on Monday, I promise.

Hey everyone!!!
So first off we couldn't email Monday because of Labor day. Then on Tuesday we had to go to another missionaries area for the whole day! So now I'm coming to you guys on a Wednesday.

However this week nothing too crazy has been happening. Crazy that you can actually have a normal week every now and then LOL.😊
I do want to talk about Louise, one of our super smart investigators. She has been pounding the Book of Mormon. We met with her on Saturday and she had read over 100 pages in such a small time frame. She said that she would be moving on the 21st.... so she asked what the process to be baptized is. We explained all that we need to teach and what needs to be done. She is now planning on being baptized on Saturday the 16th! 
We met again with her on Sunday since we need to teach her a lot. She read from like Alma 30 through the end of 3rd Nephi- In one day! That is a lot to read! She said she knows it's the word of God and will bless her!! We are very excited for her and expect great things from her!

Other than that, we are still working with many others. We have lots of people to work with and are staying very busy! 

Time goes fast when you are learning CHINESE!!
Elder Nelson 孙长老

 "My mom has been asking for Tag pics so... here you go" 😉

Service with the Jurupa Zone

I realize that when most people hold up a camera and say, "Smile everyone", that is what most people do and you can look happy. The difference between those quick fake smiles and the ones I see here on these kids, is that they look genuinely happy to be serving. You can see a glow in their faces and their countenances that shines through in these pictures. How grateful I am for these smiles and these valiant young men and young women to remind us that service to our fellow men really is the only way to bring "true" happiness.💗  

Whenever I see a letter from Ben it makes my ♥heart♥ leap for joy, but it is even better when it is one for my BIRTHDAY! 😁The sweetest words were said to me, tears were shed before I even started reading and many more when I was finished. One of my FAVORITE presents this year for sure! 

One of my FAVORITE things that Ben says at the end of every recording is:
"Don't worry Mom, I am loving the mission. Please keep in your prayers. You are all definitely in mine."
That's my boy! He knows I need the reassurance that he is OK and happy. And I LOVE that my kids can hear that he is praying for them everyday. 

Favorite Quote for the week: "Mom, my Chinese is doing AMAZING! I can pretty much communicate with anyone now. I mean obviously I can't talk about Donald Trump all day, but if it's anything church related, I definitely can!" 😂

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I ♥ To See The Temple

We have been called to proselyte on the SUN!!
This week has been very busy and way WAYYYY too hot...
Just to give you an idea at least for this week, it will be 109° every single day! Today however we got lucky and its only 111!! So I'll keep you posted on how my heat stroke turns out! 😁

This week was very exciting and its finally settling in that I'm coming up on a year!! We got to go on our second Temple trip for the mission! I love getting to go as a missionary and feeling the Lords love for me. I will drop some sweet pics of me and Elder Crowther! 

We got to go meet with Evangel our Recent Convert. She is so amazing and I ended up helping translate/ helping with paperwork. She took us out to McDonald's and she whipped out a ton of stuff she needed help with. So everyone was pretty much confused why 2 white guys were in the middle of McD's screaming out Chinese trying to file paperwork! It was pretty fun and we were glad to see her! 

Skipping to Saturday: 
We got to go and teach Louise. She is so amazing and has fallen in love with the Book of Mormon. We were planning on finishing teaching her the Plan of Salvation, then we asked her how her reading was going? She said "Very good. Can I share some scriptures with you?" We very quickly realized she had read from the start of 2 Nephi through half of Alma in like less than a week.😲 We were there for more than an hour while she shared all of her scriptures she had marked and loved and had questions about! Super excited to see how she continues. We are so grateful for her!

We had our Chinese Sacrament meeting were everything is in Chinese. We had over 50 members there which was a new record. They are really hoping to make them a branch very very soon! We had 5 investigators come to church- Louise, Shanon, Julia, Jenny and Ada. 95% of our teaching pool is women lol! But it was a great experience! 

We then rushed out to a pizza shop to teach a lady by the name of Sunny. She demanded we speak English, but if she didn't understand we could use Chinese. We taught her how she can know God exists! She was very excited to read the Book of Mormon and ask God about it! 
Very exciting week full of our FAVORITE.... Asians!! 
Elder Nelson

Ben-Elder Crowther Redlands Temple Trip

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Livin' The Thug Life

Short & Sweet
Hey GUYS! 
This week it's back to me and Elder Crowther hitting the wild streets of California. I'd like to simply share some awesome things that happened with some amazing people. 

First- was a family me and Elder Willes had knocked a door a long time ago. A family of 3 answered and we got to know them a little bit. They said they're looking for a church and would love to try ours out. We gave them the info and prayed they would come! They didn't come... So the next week we stopped by and asked if they had 10 mins we could help them understand more about our Church. They said not right now. But don't worry we are more than willing to come we will see you Sunday! Of course they didn't come. So me and Elder Willes stopped trying with them and moved on. Then, this last Sunday they randomly show up way in the back! I was planning on talking to them after Sacrament to help them understand what is happening, but then 30 mins in they left!!! I was quite sad. I didn't get to talk to them. Then yesterday me and Elder Crowther were in their neighborhood setting up fliers for English class. I felt very, veryyyy prompted to knock their door. Now this would be the 3rd time so I was extremely apprehensive to do so. We prayed for like 25 mins on the plan of action. I just kept getting the feeling-GO FOR IT! I ask Elder Crowther what he is thinking and he says the same thing! So we just go for it! I'm greeted by Lily (the wife) who was very very nice to me. They explained that their headsets were broken so they had no translation and wanted to be in better clothing for church than what they were wearing. I begin to explain and solve concerns. We tell them our purpose is to help you understand these things better and how they will bless you. With a big grin on her face she says, "Here is my number. Please call me tomorrow to see when we can meet!" Tender mercy right there! I will keep you updated on their progress!  
2nd Experience (sorry very long) 
A long time back we had taught a mother by the name of Echo. She seemed quite uncomfortable during the lesson and when we got to giving her a Book of Mormon she rejected it. She said she didn't really believe what we were teaching her and would pray about it... She said, "I will let you know in the future if I am interested." So not a very good lesson, however as we were leaving a park one day after contacting some Chinese families, we spotted Echo! I was not exactly excited to turn the car around to go talk to her, yet I felt quite a strong prompting to do so. We flip around and go talk to her. I simply asked how she had been an reinvited her to English class. She said, "Thank you. If I have time I will be there." I didn't expect to see her, but on Friday she actually attended our English Class again for the first time in over a month! She seemed different and very excited to be there. We then shared our spiritual message at the end announcing a Church Tour. She asked very nicely if she could come? This about blew me over because last time she rejected us pretty hard core. We said of course we would love to see you there! The time for the Church Tour came and she called to cancel... however announced she would come to church the following day! On Sunday we see Echo walk in with her little daughter and they sat right next to us! They loved church and were planning on meeting with us later this week to learn once more! 
Amazing things really do happen when you follow the spirit! Hope all of you had a great week, LOVE YA 

Elder Nelson 孙长老 

Back With This Thug😉

I love hearing in Ben's voice how much he loves serving with each of the companions he has had. I worried so much about that knowing he was only probably ever going to have 2 maybe 3 companions his whole mission. You pray as a Mother that they like each other...LOL Gratefully it has!😀

When Ben was first out on his mission and ran into the never ending trial of "pausing" people, (that is when they have investigators tell them they are no longer interested in hearing the gospel)😕 he would feel pretty bumbed out. But he explained that their first night together back as a companionship, they had 6 families pause on them. Usually he would feel deflated, but he talks about how he knows that it's OK and that just means that there are other people out there being prepared to hear the gospel.  

Ben bore his testimony about having the experience again with Echo this week and how it has been a true testament that Heavenly Father has as plan for each of us and how important it is to follow the spirit no matter how awkward it may seem at the time. 

He ended with sharing how these AMAZING experiences happen daily for them and how each one of them has taught him to trust in the Lord and just follow His promptings and great things can happen!♥♥♥

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

So....That Just Happened

Change Ups!
Another super hot week out in Riverside!
This week has been pretty regular up until the weekend which was quite crazy! 
We started Saturday off by dropping off Sister Bao's Baptism certificate right before she left for China. We are going to miss her so much! We then headed over and taught a new family. The husbands name is Johnson and the wife is Susie. They are both super super nice and we are very excited for them! After that we went through out the rest of the day and finished off with transfer calls.
Transfer calls are to tell us what changes are happening in the District and where everyone is going!
Elder Willes (my companion) will actually be going English and becoming a Zone Leader in Hemet! We didn't expect that at all! I also got the call to be a District Leader. I'm very excited for the opportunity to have a leadership position! 

Then on Sunday we had Apple, Jacky and Shanon at church. They are all such amazing people. Jacky is planned to be baptized this upcoming Sunday so please keep him in your prayers! 
This week wasn't too crazy but lots of upcoming changes. Me and Elder Crowther are going to continue to work super hard out here!!

Love you all!! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Sister Bai Jie Mei Baptism Certificate

Ben with "Donkey" from Shrek! 😉

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Best Things Happen Unexpectedly

As a missionary Mom there isn't a moment that goes by that I don't miss my son. Some weeks are a little easier while some days it's all you can do to try not to cry all day long.
Then...a little tender mercy comes in the form of a text. A pic with your son and some of his homies! (as Ben calls them😁)

Elder Crowther, Ben, Elder Porrazzo, Elder Gulbranson
Jurupa Zone

I have NO IDEA who this person is, but they send me random pictures of them having my son and some of the Elders over to their home. The message is this:
"We had your son for dinner and I just wanted to let you know he is a fabulous missionary and we love having him in our area! Thank you for sharing him with us!" 

What a blessing it is to have such good people to look out for your son while he is away serving the Lord.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Speechless Miracles

Hello my wonderful people mostly from Utah!
I'm going to attempt to summarize one of the most amazing and stressful weeks I've ever had on my mission!
We are going to start with last Sunday. Sister Bao told us she would be returning to China this Wednesday. We were so sad to see her go, but had full faith in her to stay on the path to her Father in Heaven.

We receive a call from Sister Bao around 7:00am informing us that she will be leaving on Aug 13 now (Saturday)! We continue to talk to her and get on the subject of Baptism. We ask her directly, "Sister Bao, would you like to be baptized"? She pauses for a moment (longest seconds of my life).  She says, "Yes, Yes I would like that very much". Me and Elder Willes are frozen with joy! We begin to explain how excited we are for her, and explain what it will take for her to be baptized on Sunday Aug 6th. She fully agrees to meet with us everyday and said she will do whatever it takes!

Then NOT 20 MINS LATER! Jacky calls us to say he wants to be baptized on Aug 20th!! We got hit with those 2 things in rapid succession! Me and Elder Willes are losing are minds! What an amazing Monday! 

As for the rest of the week, we met with Sister Bao every single day to catch her up and help her be ready for baptism! We found a group for her to go out to when she gets back to China! So she was all set and ready to go! Every lesson we taught her, she loved and understood very quickly she was so prepared for everything!

We went and saw Jacky on Wednesday to talk to him about his date and he made us both HUGE sushi rolls, since he is a sushi chef! He is very committed to his date and is also willing to progress towards it! Love that guy so much! 

Then jumping to Sunday the big day! I wake up as sick as I have ever been! I got one of my terrible migraines that put me over and I was throwing up sooo much. I was so frustrated that this had to happen on the day of her Baptism. I laid down accepting I was going to miss it, and just prayed til I finally fell asleep. I woke up at 3:00p (time of the baptism) and felt completely fine! I rushed up and got ready still quite sick however and went to the baptism! I got there just in time to see Sister Bao smiling as she was baptized! 
Yet another amazing miracle I was able to go. She came up to me after and said, "I have been praying for you over and over you could come!" 
What an amazing week! I'm going to miss her so much and thank you for all the prayers! 

The pics with Sister Bao. I came late so I took a pic after her baptism and I'm super pale lol! 

Elder Nelson 孙长老

Ben, Jacky and Elder Willes

When Ben gives us more detail from his week on his recording it always makes me smile because he gives us those details from his journal. He was pretty adamant that he wouldn't use his journal since he didn't really write in one before he left, so it makes me sooo happy to hear that he will have memories to read and look back on later on in his life.

This week Ben had the AMAZING opportunity to try something called "Bowl of Stinky Tofu". Brother Miao loves to give them really good food and then likes to have them try some questionable food, just to watch them squirm. His description of this entree is hilarious. 😂
"It smells and tastes just like you spread someone's butt cheeks and rubbed your face in it!" Hahahaha
Right after that they went and met with Jacky who made them TONS of sushi. He shared a dream that he saw his dog and that he ended up abandoning it. The 2nd part of the dream was that he was fighting an animal and he didn't know what that was about. When he woke he explained to Ben and Elder Willes that he believes that the dream meant that he was going to abandon his sins and be baptized. That was Jacky's "conversion" to be baptized. So more on that to come. 
Ben had the opportunity to go "seeking with faith" in the English part of the mission. He is now being able to help train and teach the new missionaries that come out on how to talk to people and invite people to hear the lessons. 
They felt prompted to stop and talk to this family, which they thought was someone else, but asked if they could share a message. The Dad has named himself "Jo-rel", the father of Superman, which is hilarious. LOL They ended up having a really good lesson with this family but realized they were at the wrong house. When they finished they went to where they were suppose to be and the man there said he was no longer interested. Ben shared with us how listening to the spirit has really helped him on his mission find those people that the Lord has prepared, like the family they "accidentally" went and taught.

Listening to my son share his experience of being sick the day of Sister Bao's baptism is heartbreaking and inspiring. He shares how deathly ill he was. In his words:
"Sunday morning comes. I don't get sick very often but when I's bad! I woke up with a little headache that turned into a full blown migraine. It gave me a terrible stomachache too. I thought to myself, This cannot happen today, please not today on Sister Bao's baptism day. I am hosed, I get annihilated I am so sick. I get in the shower, I am so weak, I am losing depth perception, I am losing feeling in my hands and I start to tear up and think, Please, Please, Please not today. I cannot miss this miracle baptism. 
I had the Elders come over and give me a blessing and I am just getting worse. I start throwing up and I'm like dang it, you've got to be kidding me. So I decide to stay home from sacrament meeting but I am determined to go to that baptism no matter how sick I am . Elder Peraz stayed back with me while Elder Willes and Elder Gulbranson went to church. Elder Peraz is super sweet, just getting me anything and everything I could need. I am throwing up like crazy. I threw up over 10 times in 1 hour. I am dying. We get on the phone with the nurse who tells us, "I don't care about companionship's right now. I want you to go by yourself and get him some Excedrin." He comes back with it and she tells me to suck on it. I do and throw it up. She asks me to do it again, I throw it up again. We are 30 minutes away from the baptism and I have nearly given up about being able to go. I had been praying for 3 hours, please let me go to this baptism. I cannot miss this. I want to be there to support Sister Bao before she goes back to China. I fall asleep and I wake up about 2:55p and my stomach is just fine. I sipped a little coke and get ready to go. I am far from feeling OK, but I bolt to the church and I get there just in time to see her smile as she is going into get baptized. The Lord healed me JUST ENOUGH to be able to watch her be baptized and confirmed. I was able to hear her bear her testimony on the gospel and how she is going to endure to the end no matter what and how me and Elder Willes are true representatives of the Lord. It was AMAZING! 
I was lucky enough to take a picture with her even though I look like Casper the Friendly Ghost and blessed just enough to do the Lords work for that day!"

Sister Bao Ji Lei Baptism

"Stinky Tofu"


Monday, July 31, 2017

🎶 Happy Happy 🎂Birthday🎂 From All Of Us To You...🎶

Crikey Asians (Crocodile Hunters voice)
This week was very fun, full of Chinese people doing what Chinese people.
To start this email off I'm going to give you a run down of what we do for seeking, in California. We are in a unique situation being that the majority of the population is Caucasian. So we're pretty much bound to driving to parks and "Racial Profiling". We know where ever park is in our area and we drive to all of them to see if we can find anyone. So picture this...2 dudes driving a silver Corolla very slowly through a park. We both proceed to lift up our sunglasses for better vision obviously, aggressively staring at everyone in the park to see if they are Chinese or not.
Now there are few things to knowing if they are Chinese:
1. Are the parents exercising (Swinging arms side to side), or stretching?
2. There tends to be a large pack of them.
3. The parents are having more fun on the swings than their children are.
These are all things that help us find those Chinese people we love so much. I thought you guys would be curious as to how we find Chinese people in Southern California. 

This week however was quite fun. I had my Birthday on Tuesday! I received many great gifts and I'm thankful for all the love that was sent my way. Mission Birthdays are quite different but still quite exciting! 
We taught 2 new people on my Birthday with both very sweet names! 
First was Rono she is about our age and was very curious about our church since another member family took her to church. She had tons of questions and was very fun to teach. We hope that we will be able to teach her again since she will be going to college very quick!
Then we taught later in the evening, a lady by the name of "Apple", (I love the names that Chinese people come up with), always entertaining.  She had a very good lesson except her son "Thunder"( Yes Thunder) was quite crazy so it was a little hard to teach her.
Skipping all the way to Friday after English Class, I had a good conversation with Sister Bao, one of our investigators. She randomly said to me that she wants to be baptized, because she has felt the spirit so much! 
Then at Church on Sunday she said she will be leaving for China in a week... So we kindof panicked and the lesson was one Baptism. She expressed she feels ready to be baptized but her daughter keeps talking her out of it... So she may or may not be baptized this Sunday we will all know soon enough! Keep her in your prayers she is amazing and has such a pure heart! 

That's enough for you guys! Hope you all had a great week, 我愛你們!!!!!

Elder Nelson 孙长老

Birthday Package

Love these 2 and their smiles 😀

The sticker that made Ben's Day!