Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pizza With A Side Of Training

Another Grindy Week!
This week was pretty good. Elder Willes and I have been hitting the pavement every single day! 
Being a Zone Leader can be kind of crazy, especially with how young I still am in the mission. You need to set the example for your whole Zone, so we are working super hard trying to do that LOL.

I had my first MLC ( Missionary Leadership Council) this week, its for Zone Leaders and what we can do to become better. It was quite fun and I'm glad I have the opportunity to be a leader in the mission even if it is crazy! 
We taught some great people this week, one being a family. The Dad's name is Jeff and the wives is Sunny. Pretty much every single Chinese woman is named Sunny, so that is pretty cool! We kind of just knocked their door and asked them if they had time right then! We had a really good lesson and I'm excited for them! They also tried to feed us dinner. Chinese people are super polite and try to give you everything they have when you walk in their home! 
I also taught a 10 year old this week by the name of Angela. Her mother has already been baptized and wants her daughter to do the same. It was probably one of the most difficult lessons I'v'e ever taught LOL. She had legit questions about every single part of the lesson. She is a fireball and I will keep you posted! 
Lastly ,church was great, we had a family come. The Dad's name is Xun and the Mom's is Sara. They are a great couple and very energetic. I will drop a picture with them down below!

Well hope you all have a great week, Wo Ai Nimen! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

 Elder Willes & Ben @ MLC
Ben & Xun- he wanted a selfie with just him😀
Ben, Xun & Sarah

Jon has a saying when the kids tell him how much they want to be the "BOSS". 
"The higher up the ladder you go, the more your butt shows"
Ben compared being a Zone Leader to that quote. Being in a leadership position means eyes are always on you. It's important to be a good example and do the very best you can to succeed at what you are doing. 
As stressful as it can seem at times, Ben is really enjoying what he is learning from this new experience. He knows the skills he learns out in the Mission will benefit him in every aspect of his life, and when life gets hard he has a way of looking on the bright side and just rolling up his sleeves and pushing forward.  It is one of the things I admire most about Ben! 
One of Ben's FAVORITE parts of the MLC...THE PIZZAS! 
(And you were thinking it was the Sisters😏)LOL

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Come Listen To A Prophets Voice

Alright I don't have much crazy stuff to talk about this week I'M SORRY! Also sorry I'm emailing on a Tuesday, we had interviews with President yesterday.
This week pretty much consisted of us seeking with faith a whole ton. We have some great people were working with but we want to continue to build our teaching pool! Please keep us in your prayers as we are on the hunt for the elect.

We did have General Conference this week! I'm not going to lie... at home I just wanted to sleep through all of it, but out here it is like Christmas! The spirit is constantly prompting you on what you need to work on and how to help others! 
I would like to share two very true statements that I liked in Conference:
1. "God doesn't work by coincidence, but by divine design". 
-Elder Rasband.
2. "Never doubt your divine potential". 
-W.Christopher Wadell 

I love both of these, they really show what we can become and how important it is that we rely on the Lord.
Have a great week guys! Sorry don't have any pictures, I'll be better next week! 

Elder Nelson 孙长老

I remember when Ben was wrapped up on the couch with a blanket over his head fighting to stay awake for General Conference. To hear him now say how much he LOVES it and compares it to Christmas...that makes this Mom ♥heart♥ very happy! 

**In full disclosure, I felt the exact same way about Conference as a teenager. Wrapped up trying not to fall asleep!😏

Ben, Elder Willes, Elder Porazzo, & Elder Hale

I love when I get random texts from AMAZING people that feed, take care of and think to send this Momma a pic of her son! 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

6:40am Saturday Morning

Transfer day was on Saturday (23rd) and Ben had a prediction...
Elder Crowther was going to stay with him, they would do 1 more transfer together and then Elder Willes would come back. 
Bens words: "The way transfers work is President Hammon will call you really early on Saturday morning if you are receiving leadership or training. We are feeling pretty confident when the phone rings at 6:40am. I am still out of it, still tired, still eating Fruit Loops and he asks if Elder Nelson is there and I am like OH NO! I get on the phone and President asks me how I am. I told him I was great and he says, "I just wanted to tell you we are going to be changing your calling." I said wait...WHAT? Am I going English? He says."We would like to make you a Zone Leader. Now it's a little early for you to be a Zone Leader but you are an exceptional missionary that I have a lot of trust in and I know you will do a great job. You will be staying Chinese and I expect great things from you." 
I told him I was really grateful for the opportunity and that I would work really hard to do a good job. So Me and Elder Willes will be Zone Leaders over Jurupa and Elder Crowther and Elder Yang will be going to UCR. I am really excited for what is to come."

Bored during planning
Honestly I have watched this over and over and laughed harder every single time! This IS my Ben. Always trying to lighten a mood and make people laugh. 😁

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Even Miracles Take A Little Time

The Miracle of Shanon!
This week was one of the most amazing weeks I've had on the mission!
I'm going to attempt to write out the full story of Shanon in this email so you can know how amazing she is.

So before any of us met Shanon, she was on her way to China to see her husband and the flight got re-routed to another airport. She called up anUber and couldn't find a ride out there.  She met a gentleman who offered to give her a ride out there since he was in the same situation! She accepted and they were on their way. This man expressed he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Shanon was shocked by this. She has a son who was recently converted to the church in college and left on his mission to Boston! This man (who we still don't know who it is) said "We have a Chinese group out in Eastvale very close to were you live. They would love to have you if you would like to learn more!" 
When Shanon got back from China she in fact went to the first sacrament meeting from being back. There she met Elder Willes and Elder Crowther. They began to teach her the following week.
Shanon expressed that these things were all fake. All the scriptures were just stories. I came in quickly after that. We had started teaching Shanon at the start of  May. We met consistently every week teaching her all the lessons. Shanon would come to church every single week! However she had one problem and that was baptism! We had taught her just about everything and she would not accept a date. No matter what way we took it or how we taught it we would get rejected. At this point Elder Willes had left the area and me and Elder Crowther continued to teach her.
We go to the point where we began to reteach her everything and started with the Restoration. I asked her if she knew that Joseph Smith was a true prophet? We began to discuss that a lot and tangent after tangent we were discussing baptism again! 
Shanon says to us "Guys...I'm leaving to China in the next 3 weeks. Don't worry I will be baptized when I get back". Then the spirit sucker punches me and Elder Crowther! We were prompted to tell her if she wasn't baptized before she left she never would be! I said it first and she said "Thanks Elder Nelson, I appreciate the concern and I will pray about it". Then Elder Crowther said the same exact things! This time I noticed it clicked a little more. She thought for awhile and said she would pray about it. We finished the lesson and left a little discouraged. We came back the next week and followed up on her prayer. This time she asks what the process is? I get all giddy and explain the process. She then  says and I quote, "I can't be baptized this week but I can next week!" Me and Elder Crowther were in AWE!!!! I had been rejected more time's than I could count! For her to say that- blew me away! We testified of the importance of these things and figured out details.

Yesterday was the baptism. WOOOW it was so amazing! The spirit was so strong and she was crying the whole way through the baptism! Elder Crowther baptized her and she had the biggest grin entering the water! After the baptism she walked up to us and said she knew that prompting was from God and she couldn't deny it! She said "Thank you guys so much. I love you all very dearly and I will continue on with the Gift of the Holy Ghost". This is the same Shanon that said this is all fake and the scriptures are just stories.

God performed a miracle and I couldn't be any more grateful to have a part in it. 
This church is true and I know it! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Also kind of important- I got all caught up in Shanon! 
Elder Crowther headed out to UCR today so me and Elder Willes are companions again! We both are Zone Leaders out in Jurupa so I'm super excited for the Leadership opportunity! 
Thought I might need to throw that in there LOL😀
Elder Nelson 孙长老

 Baptism of Shanon & a Beautiful Email to Ben and his Companions

I was so excited when I saw Ben's recording was 33 minutes long! YAY!! They have been really, really short because he is so crazy busy, but this week I got more "Vitamin B" so I was THRILLED!

Ben took the time to teach us about the principles and importance of listening to the spirit and forgiveness. He started out talking about Louise. Awhile back she had prayed and received an answer of baptism, but she let fear creep in and told them she was no longer interested in learning and being baptized. 

Then they get a call that Louise wants to meet and she wanted to talk specifically on "How the Spirit communicates with her". Ben and Elder Crowther were thrilled because they thought maybe the spirit had been working on her and she realized that she had received an answer about the church and now was feeling bad. 
A side note and one of my favorite things from the recording He says: "Every missionary can testify to the fact that you plan out your lessons and what your going to discuss and you frisbee your plan out the window, it goes completely sideways and you start talking about something else. At least 1/2 the lessons I prepare never end up being taught because the spirit is throwing up out your mouth. It's crazy how it works, but the spirit knows these people better than we do." 😁😁 
For an hour and 1/2 they listened to Louise talk about her frustration about her family. Issues that happened when she was young that had a big impact on her younger years and into today. As Louise was talking Ben could see that they needed to talk with her about forgiveness. 
Most of us know how those discussions go when you are SO UPSET! This was no different. Hearing Ben go into detail of her trials and life brought me to tears for a couple of reasons.  1- his testimony of these principles has been strengthened so much in these months on his mission and 2- having our own struggles in our family reminded me of the promises that the Lord gives to those of us that will put their faith and trust in the Lord and remembering he knows YOU  best and loves YOU more than anything. 
At the end of the story of Louise Ben shared that they (the spirit) were able to reach her soul and help her understand what she needs to do to become closer to her Father in Heaven. ♥♥♥

Favorite Quote: "The spirit was just throwing up out of my mouth!" LOL

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Fortune Cookie Message That Actually Came True

Handwritten Letters will NEVER go out of style

We live in a day and age where technology makes everything so easily accessible and instant.  I love that I am able to receive a weekly email from Ben and to have him respond, even for a moment makes my heart leap. But I must admit, I turn into a giddy school girl when I open up the mail and I see a handwritten letter from him.

I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the smell of the paper, or sometimes his smell that comes through. It could be seeing HIS handwriting on those pages. I do know I see Ben. I can hear him in the words. It is indescribable the feeling of comfort those letters give to me. To know in his busy schedule he took the the time to sit down and share his words and thoughts makes me feel so cared about. 
It's weird to think that with such instant gratification in most things I genuinely miss the anomaly that handwritten letters have become. I truly hope that it doesn't disappear all together for what a sad day that would be. 

In this recent letter- Ben shares a funny story:

"Yesterday being Friday the 15th, we were eating at Panda before English class. The lady asked if I wanted to donate to Hurricane Harvey. At first I said no, but then felt bad and put a dollar in, Elder Crowther ended up putting no money in. I was giving him crap about not donating, just messing around. Then he opened his fortune cookie and it said something around the lines of "You will lend a hand to someone in need." I LOST IT! I was laughing so hard. So he went and put a dollar in and I said, "Watch...because you donated that dollar we will find 4 new people to teach tonight." 
We headed off to teach a recent convert lesson to our AWESOME member Annie. She has helped us so much. We taught her right before English class started. We then ended up teaching 4 new people...3 of her friends and her daughter! So that was awesome and it all started with a fortune cookie! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Brothers From Other Mothers

I did not serve a mission, so I cannot speak from experience about the day to day, week to week and month to month emotional roller coaster I can only imagine serving can be at times. Where else can you go from feeling the spirit of the Lord so strong one moment to being spit on and yelled at the next and still have the strength and excitement to get up the next day and do it all over again?
That is why when Ben tells me funny stories of the Elders he has the opportunity to have met and hopefully become life long friends with, and shares great pics like the one below, it helps this Momma's ♥heart♥ to know he has them there to go through this journey with him.  
I am in AWE of these boys for being willing to sacrifice 2 years of their lives, giving up school, family, social life and sometimes girlfriends to go preach the Gospel and influence my son in ways only living a Mission Life can. 
I will forever be grateful to each of them! ♥♥♥   

A friendly game of Risk😏

"You 2 Are One In A Minion" package
I wanted to send these 2 Elders a BIG THANK YOU from us for helping and "loving" on my Ben while they are all out serving.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sorry Guys...All We Have Is A BOM & Pics Of Jesus

More than just a Miracle!!
Well to start off this week I would like to talk about something that wasn't exactly a miracle!
Me and Elder Crowther got robbed on Tuesday which was supppppper cool! We came out to our car in the morning and we noticed that Elder Crowther's door was open. We look inside the car and it was torn to shreds. Little did he know missionaries are way poor and all we have is Book of Mormons and pictures of JESUS! 😁 However, he did nab my GPS, USB's and our gas cards! Then to make it even better he took our garage clicker. They proceeded to get in the garage and steal Elder Crowthers bike!!! Great way to start the week! However we endured our trials with patience and moved on!

This is when the miracle happened for the week. We have been meeting with our investigator by the name of Shanon for a very long time. I have mentioned her in some of my emails as she has progressed over the months. We have been meeting with her every single week since the start of May! We had already taught her everything and were trying to resolve her concerns about baptism.
She had informed me at the end of one her lessons recently that she will be heading to China soon and will get baptized when she gets back...
"Then the spirit smacked me and Elder Crowther upside the face and told us to say. You need to be baptized before you leave for China or you never will be." I couldn't deny the prompting so I told her what I was feeling and she shrugged it off a little and said, "I think I will be OK, but thank you." Then Elder Crowther said "I'm getting the same impression he is! You need to be baptized before you leave or you never will." Then it kind of hit her since both of us had said it. She thought for a moment and said, "I need to pray about it."
We left quite worried and hoped all would work out for Shanon.
So jumping to the most recent time we met with her, we followed up on her prayer and were in fact ready to counter her saying she didn't get an answer, but instead she was different. She asked what the process to be baptized was. We explained everything that needed to be done, then she said quote-"I can't get baptized this week but I can next week." I about lost my mind! I had been rejected by her more times than I can count. We both were so excited and frankly super surprised with her statement! Shanon is very excited for her baptism this week, maybe almost as excited as us! We know that was only God that could've changed her mind and we're so excited for her!!

Thank you for all the prayers. There are miracles if you truly look for them!
1. Picture with a stud.
2. Multi zone pictures! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Ben, Elder Crowther
Multi Zone Pic (Elder Gulbranson's face is my personal favorite 😉)

Ben talked a little more about their car being robbed and it is HILARIOUS when it is in his own words. Pretty much the same as the email that he sent out except adding in that being robbed was "SUPER DOPE"😠(insert sarcastic tone), and he was "SUPER PISSED"😡 but they felt like it was a test to see if it would affect their attitudes and all the good things that are taking place so they decided to not let it get them down. 

Ben's whole focus right now is on Shanon, who they have been working with FOREVER, and he is just so excited for her baptism this next Sunday! Woo Hoo!😁

Funny story of the week: "So I am helping one of the ladies at English class role play and all of a sudden she opens up her shirt and whips out her breast and starts feeding her baby in front of me. Kinda tripped me sideways. I was just talking to her and I was not ready for that. I kinda turned into a 5 yr old, so that was great!"😂😂

I ♥LOVED♥ putting this package together for him! 

I was DYING of laughter over that story!