Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Things That Make You Go HMMM???

California doesn't do winter....
Hello everyone from all over the place!
This week has been awesome and full of many miracles as usual! However California refuses to accept that it is almost December. It has been in the high 90's all week and I am going insane! 

This week we met with a super awesome woman by the name of April! We had only briefly met her in the park the week before but got her number to meet. We met with her at the same park the following week. She is sooo cool, she also is super prepared. We began teaching her the Restoration and the spirit was very strong. We invited her to be baptized and she was so excited! She said "I have always wanted to be baptized but I didn't have anyone to guide me!" She also said "You truly are the Lord representative's". We're very excited to continue to work with her this week!

Now skipping all the way to Thanksgiving! We had a football game in the morning which was fun and super competitive. I trucked a sister because she was so small and out of my eye sight!😀 But she is doing all good now so we're good! Then we had dinner at the Bodicas. She is so awesome and loves missionaries, plus the food was good! After that we headed over to the church to have a Zone activity. We played glow in the dark trashket ball. Then we played Ghost in the Graveyard which was supppper funnn! Thanksgiving was super awesome, it was very fun and I can't believe I will be home for the next one! 

Then on Friday we met probably the most insane Chinese lady I have ever met! She was a referral from her neighbors who were members. We went over and she immediately requested our help. She demanded that these crows be taken off the power lines. She said "The crows represent an Evil Cult from China that have been sent to persecute her"! Then it gets WAYYY better! She explains how the moon is following her every where she goes! She said "No matter where I go the moon is always following me, so it must be fake"!! THENNN... she explains how she can't drive because the devil puts stuff in her food and car so when she drives so goes blind!!!
THENN... to put the icing on the cake, we ask her if we could share a msg with her about Jesus Christ. She then says the following: "Christ has already come down and personally put his crown upon my head, so I don't think I'm in need of any help"!! 😨
So that was super cool and I only shared half the stuff she said! 
Sunday was great also. We had 2 investigators at church (Crystal and Li feng). We also taught a guy by the name of Bill at 5:00! He was super hyper and was trying to understand everything in the lesson in less than 30 seconds! 

Great week full of just your normal missionary stuff!! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Zone Activity-Ben & Elder Porazzo

Elder Willes, Investigators, Shanon and Ben having dinner

Crocodile Hunter Ben

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Grateful, Thankful, Blessed

Wow, we're busy!
Hey guys!!
This week was great, we saw so many miracles and we have stayed very very busy! 

First thing I would like to talk about is a woman by the name of Jenny Jackson. So all the way back in June we taught Jenny through a member referral. At that time her husband had just recently passed and she was very depressed. We came over and taught her the Plan of Salvation. It was hands down my most spiritual lesson on the mission. She called us her little angels and wanted to meet every day! However, after that lesson we could never get in again. We were confused and sad, but we moved on and had little contact through out time. 
About 2 months ago Jenny came to church with one of her friends. She had another very spiritual experience at church, but again we could never get in with her! We recently knocked her door and she ignored us. So we decided we were done with her. We sent a text and asked if she really was interested in our message. She never replied so we decided to focus on our other investigators. Then about 5 days after that she asked us to come over! We came over and sat down with her for the first time since June!! She had been cold shouldered by her friends because she listened to us and attended our church. She missed her friends so she started going to their church and cut us off. We began to resolve her concerns, she had ALOTTT. In the end she realized what God had for her was much better than her friends. We read 3 Nephi 11 with her- it was very spiritual lesson. We are now meeting with her again!  God has a plan for her!  I will keep you posted. 

Second Miracle: We taught Crystal again this week. We brought along Shanon who just got baptized in September. The lesson was super good and Shanon testified of the importance of baptism. Crystal is hoping to baptized on Christmas Eve. It is so cool to see someone you worked with for so long turn around and begin to testify of the importance of the Gospel! Shanon has been an amazing tool in the Lords work- we worked with her for a hot minute. But she knows her stuff and loves sharing the Gospel! 

Great week out in the mission! Time will teleport and it will be Monday super soon! 
Have a great week; 我爱你们!!
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Ben with some great members of the ward

I try to send pictures or videos of the family once a month to Ben-just to keep him in the loop of what is going on here in the family. I sent him a funny video of Eli running around flying like Buzz Lightyear. I have the EXACT same video of Ben doing that when he was that little and thought he would LOVE seeing how grown up his brother is and more alike than he thinks, even with the age difference. (17 yrs)
In Ben's email to me he commented on the video and said how cute it was that "Sam" was running around. LOL
I had to clarify to him that it was Eli which I could feel his chin drop even through the email. Eli was barley crawling when Ben left on his mission and is now running around and active as ever! Just one of the MANY changes I'm sure we will see when he comes home. 

This same week I received the cutest email from one of the sisters in Ben's Zone. I LOVED getting the random pic of my son, but what I LOVED more was that she was being ever so diligent in following the rules of the mission. It made my heart happy!

Hi Elder Nelson's Mom,

I am Sister Harris. I am in Elder Nelson's Zone and he is super cool!!! We had service the other week and we were taking random pictures and we happened to snap this picture. He thought that it was pretty cool and wanted it, buuuut we can't email other missionaries in the mission. He gave me your email so that I could email it to you so you can email it to him. 
He is a great missionary and is a great example to us missionaries in the Riverside mission. 

Sister Harris
Service 11-21-17

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hey Nelson...What Day Is It???

Woo Hoo...It's HUMP Day!

Hey guys! 
Time flies fast when you're having fun! I hit my year on Thursday! Time is flying, but I still got a bit to go! This week was full of so many miracles I don't even know where to start! 
We had the opportunity to teach some great people this week. We have been finding a ton of women in there 20's recently. LOL 
The first one we found was Sharon. She is super cool even when we had to teach her in her garage.😏 She loved the message and is excited for more.
Then later in the week we went to a Chinese Cooking Comp! All of our Chinese members were there, along with some of our investigators! I will drop a video down of the craziness that was happening, it was very fun! Our investigators Winnie and Jing won money, so they for sure had a good experience! 
The pinnacle of the weekend was Diana's Baptism! Diana is one of the most animated Chinese people I have met. However, she loves the Gospel, her testimony is an amazing example to me and helps me to become better. I could see light coming off of her at her baptism, she never stopped smiling and was bouncing around everywhere! She gave a 10 minute testimony at her baptism and it was amazing. President Hammon attended and Elder Crowther translated to Pres, (bless his soul). Amazing experience!! On the mission you truly get a taste of the love Heavenly Father has for his children. I for sure felt that at her baptism. I know she is going to do amazing things and help many people! 
Yesterday, we had a visit from Elder Keech of the Seventy. It was such an amazing experience. He told us he had nothing planned and he would just follow the spirit... He was an amazing example to me and I wrote a ton of notes! He told us the magnitude of our callings and how much trust Heavenly Father has put into us. He was completely correct when he said how great our calling was. I love this work and helping Chinese people understand that:
1.There is a God
2.That he in fact loves them perfectly. 
3.That he wants them to come home.
Is something I wouldn't change for anything else. The light that I see come into them as they grow that faith and start on their path is indescribable. Miracles have not ceased, in fact I'm pretty sure they have doubled. I love this work and don't want to be anywhere else.
Love you guys have a great week! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老​

Elder Crowther, Ben, Diana & Elder Willes at her baptism

"Partying" with some Chinese friends😉

Elder Willes, Elder Keech & his wife & Ben


1 year ago today, I held this handsome son of mine for the last time as he was prepared to embark in the service of the Lord for 2 years.😥

I remember my heart aching to the point I thought it would burst and many moments since where I was sure I could not cry any more tears.
While this has been one of the hardest years for me it has also been one of the best. I must admit I NEVER in a million years thought that I would ❤️LOVE being a Missionary Mom. I have never missed someone the way I miss Ben, but to my surprise I am ❤️LOVING this journey.
I 📩LOVE Mondays (P-day) because I get to read his emails and draw from their spiritual strength. I 😍LOVE hearing how he is changing and growing in ways that only parts of a mission can do. I ♥️LOVE to see the pictures of laughter and joy with those people and companions that will become lifelong friends. I 👫LOVE connecting and gaining new friendships with other Moms/Dads that I never would have otherwise. I 👀LOVE seeing the Gospel in a different light and through his eyes. I 😉LOVE how it keeps me on my toes because I picture how hard he is working and how strong he has been, and I want him to be proud of me for doing the same. I ♥️LOVE, LOVE, LOVE putting together packages that hopefully brighten those frustrating days and I get excited to see and hear through pictures and words the man he is becoming. 
It has been a blessing and a rare gift to witness the generosity of those around him and us that want to help and see him succeed. 
Some days it seems like he just left, most days it feels like he will never return but I do whatever I can to enjoy every moment of this journey “WE” are on.😃I will never be able to adequately express how proud I am of him and the AMAZING example he has set for so many. 
365 days down…365 days to go! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Miracles All Around Us

Well October is gone!
Hello everyone!!

Weeks are just getting faster and faster on the mission! I'm hitting my year mark in like a week and a half. It's starting to freak me out that this whole missionary thing actually ends.
This week was great! Elder Willes and I have been working super hard to find those who are prepared. But first, I had my first Halloween on the mission. We watched "The Other Side of Heaven". It was a great movie. Our whole zone dressed up in black so we looked pretty sweet (pics below).

We came into the week with a good amount of potentials so we're excited to teach some peeps! However, not one wanted to meet😢but that's missionary life for ya. We prayed very hard that the Lord would prepare some people we could teach that week. We got to about Friday and went to a referral of a Chinese home. Normally a referral consists of a name, address and what they are interested in. However in our case since no one knows Chinese, we pretty much get sent address's of where Chinese people live! So it's kind of going in blind but we do our best. We contact a home just like that, we talk to some lady at the door who said the owner isn't home. So then we see a van pull up into the driveway right as that happened. We walk over to the garage with only the name Jewel to go off of. A van of like 8 Asians just starting flying out of the van. We're asking every one of them if they are Jewel. They all ignore us until the driver comes out like 8 minutes later (super awkward). She said "Yes I'm Jewel". We explained our purpose as missionaries and what we do. She said she had been going to her other Christian Church for like 10 years and had been baptized there. We testified of the restoration and how our message could bless her. For some miracle she said we could come over Sunday! We went over Sunday at the time we had set ready for any arguments she would present during the lesson. We taught her the whole lesson without one argument, just honest questions. She said she was willing to read the Book of Mormon too! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! 

I also had my 2nd MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) this week, I love them. They are so fun and very spiritually edifying! We talked about/ prepared for the visit from the 70 next week. Elder Keetch will be visiting our mission next Monday! So my p-day will be moved to a Tuesday, since I will be in meetings from 7:00am-8:00pm! However I'm very hyped and will let you know how it went! 

It's finally getting cooler out here, its only in like the 60's and I'm freezing. I officially have become a Californian, anything below 80 I think is the Arctic...I'm still grateful to be out of the 100's! 

Elder Nelson 孙长老

Pics of some good friends, since they are finishing their missions :(

Elder Willes, Elder Pennington and Ben at Multi Zones

Ben with Elder Olsen & Elder Anderson. 
Some good friends from the mission, preparing to go home

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

万圣节快乐!!! (Happy Halloween)

Hello everyone!
I can't believe it is already the end of October! Time is teleporting and it's freaking me out! 
This week went really well. We're super busy all week and got to teach a good amount of new investigators! 
We taught a guy by the name of Duan Dixiong. He is super cool and very interested in hearing more about our message. He asked us if we wanted to smoke with him but we said were good lol. He made me feel like I was back in the MTC with how hard he was to understand. He was talking about super random stuff and he had a gnarly accent! 
Then, we taught some people at the end of the week by the name of Leo and Eric. We were just about to leave the neighborhood we were in when we ran into Leo. He was in AWE we spoke Chinese and asked if we could go sit down with him. We followed him over to his "Tea Table" and he started pouring us tea. We weaseled our way out of it and ended up with bottled water! 
We taught him and another guy in the house the Restoration. He was very interested and we hope to meet with him again soon!
On Sunday, we had 4 investigators come to church, Deng, Jing, Diana and Anglea. It was a great day and super stressful, as usual! We had a less active member also come by the name of Tony Ding, that was a miracle in itself. He fed us on Friday and gave us cow tail!!! Just another weird thing Iv'e eaten that I can add to the list.
However he came to church so I'll eat cow tail all day if he will come to church! 😁 After church we taught Diana the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom with no problems! She is planning on being baptized on the 12th! She asked us if next time we can teach her everything so she can be baptized quicker lol.

All in all it was a great week and we're excited for this last week of the transfer! Bless up in the CRM! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Halloween Package 

Halloween Package from Mama Nelson

Halloween Package from Mama Willes

Ben told a funny story about having the opportunity to eat cow tail. Chinese people are so kind and love to serve and feed you A LOT! Elder Willes and Ben were eating with Tony when he served then the cow tail and Ben was already REALLY full. He tried to serve himself a plate, but Tony was so kind and did it for him. Ben was really worried and didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings so he asked to use the restroom where he prayed to Heavenly Father to PLEASE help him eat all the food. He ended up being just fine and found out cow tail isn't that bad! So in Ben's words: "Bless Up!"  
Ben told us that they are almost out of miles on their car for the month. They drive a lot because they are looking for specific people so they do tend to drive everywhere. They needed to save those miles so they figured they will try to walk a few places. They pray to Heavenly Father that He will place some people in their path because they are to be looking for Chinese people so they have to hope that they can just randomly run into them. They ended up finding some people that invited them in and were willing to hear their message. As they got teaching they realized that they had left the extra BOM's in the car which was parked about 5 minutes away. They worried about having to exit the conversation, hoping they would even let them back in to go get those books, but they took a chance. In Ben's words: "So here are me and Elder Willes, in our suits, booking it as fast as we can back to the car to get the books and then booking it back. We had people looking at us wondering what the heck was going on! LOL"  They got back and everthing worked out so hopefully we will hear more update on that encounter! 
Another wonderful blessing this week was on Sunday Ben and Elder Willes walk in and see a bunch of Chinese people sitting on the front row. They didn't recognize most of them except one. He was a man that lives with Brother Ding so they got really excited! They got even more excited when they found out that Brother Ding was there too! Brother Ding hasn't come for about a year. He struggles with the members, but he is trying. He came with his hair cut, a suit and brought all of his friends! Ben and Elder Willes could not be more excited to have him participating in the gospel again. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pigs Ear, Pregnancy & Proof

October and still hitting the 100's!
To start this super quick week off, it's still hot. I don't why California refuses to accept the winter season but its driving me insane! 

This week flew by! This transfer (6 week period), is almost over already. The mission kind of just blurs together and it freaks you out when you look at all the things that have already happened! 

We had the opportunity of teaching a hunk this week by the name of Lucas. He is currently a masters student living at one of our members homes. He actually lives in Germany and is taking a break from school because they will have their first child soon! We came over and he was sitting there with a bowl of grapes for us and a notepad to take notes lol. He loved the lesson and wants to keep learning more. We also hope to teach his SUPER pregnant wife soon too! 😁

Then later this week I had my first Multi Zone as a Zone Leader! We had to give a training on, The Importance of Planning and Relying on the Lord. It's kind of crazy giving a training to 50+ missionaries and the whole Mission Presidency! But I think it went well, and I love this opportunity I have for leadership!

Lastly,  this week we had the opportunity of going and teaching a couple at a members home. The members are the Archibalds and both actually speak Spanish. The wife is from Mexico and has some friends from China! We went over to the Archibalds home, aka mansion, beautiful home at the top of the mountain! We taught an older couple by the name of Joe and Tina! 
They were so thrown at the fact we knew Chinese, one perk of being white and knowing a random language! They said our Chinese is better than their sons and we need to teach him how to speak it lol. 
The lesson itself went really well! They loved it and again were in AWE we could teach in Chinese (not us, its God😀). We are looking forward to continue teaching them. They are a great couple that also live in a mansion, but we are trying to get them a mansion in heaven ;).

Love you guys have a great week! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Got some pics with some hunks I love from Multi-Zones!
The one random pic of that funky looking object, is pig ear! The stuff that you can't see really well behind it is pig intestine! I was super lucky to have to eat a ton of that the other night!!  😏 

Ben, Elder Dunn, Elder Willes and the Sisters at 
Multi Zone Conference

Pigs Ear and Intestine

When Ben and Elder Willes met with Lucas he told them that he couldn't get baptized just yet because his wife is pregnant. For Ben, this was confusing. He was picturing when I was pregnant, which is a HORRIBLE example because I don't stop for anything. I HATE laying down or not being able to get up and do anything I want, so I don't usually rest much. 
Lucas explained that in their culture it's standard for the woman to do NOTHING except use the restroom for 1 month  after having the baby. This is to help the woman's breasts fill up with milk. The man will make sure she has 5 meals a day, wash her with a rag and tend to every need she has outside of the restroom. 
For me, when I heard this, I was like, "Wait...WHAT! That would be AWESOME!" But...I also didn't have a problem having my milk come in PAINFULLY at times. Haha! 
It's always fun to me to hear about different cultures and how they do things. So more to come on Lucas as we hear how he, Momma and baby are doing! 

Something Ben talked about this week that is heartbreaking when it happens anytime, but he said they seem to be having a problem with it in the Chinese Mission, is when the Elders fall away from the church. He talked about how hard it is for the members who were taught by those that stray to not question their own testimonies. They have spent some time on reminding those families that it is Christ and the spirit that has confirmed the truthfulness of the Gospel and that all men are subject to temptations and trials. 
It's hard when things like this happen for people not to use it as "proof" that the things they have learned are false and make them wonder if they have been deceived in some way. It's also a good opportunity for those of us that have had this happen to, to pray and reaffirm our testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel and the blessings we can receive when we trust in and do the best we can to obey our Father in Heaven and His commandments.  Hopefully Ben and Elder Willes will be successful in their efforts to remind those people that are struggling with these exact things. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Let Them Eat Cake

Woah... 11 months???
It's kind of scary to think that I have been away from home for 11 months now... Time goes so dang fast on the mission- it's kind of freaky. I'm just praying that my language catches up one of these days LOL😁. I'm just kidding! The Lord has blessed me so much already and I couldn't ask for anymore.

This week was pretty good. Elder Willes and I have been working our butts off to find the prepared. We taught some good lessons to some great people. 
We had an interesting lesson with a women by the name of Sue. She thought our message was evil. She was scared we would bring her eternal happiness or something weird like that LOL😁. I'm just playing around! She just wasn't ready to change churches but we hope she finds missionaries in the future! 

We have also still been working with Xun and Sara, an amazing couple who have a great desire to learn. They invited us over to a party for their daughters this week. We went to the party and it was a blast, Elder Willes and I were the "life of the party". We met so many great people, who were all in AWE that we spoke Chinese. They made us eat so much food I was in pain! They also gave us a whole Costco sheet cake! 😲 They said,  "Us Americans love sweets, so we need to take this cake". It was a great party, and I have a very bad selfie to go with it! 

Hope you all had a great week, Wo Ai Nimen! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Ben, Elder Willes, Xun & Sara celebrating their 
daughters 100 days on this earth

Poor Ben! This week when he was talking to us he must've yawned 6 or 7 times in the 5 minute recording. As his Mom, it makes me feel bad to know he is so tired. But also to know he is tired doing "good things" makes me happy! 
This week, like all weeks, him and Elder Willes are working hard to find those that the Lord has prepared. He was able to go on splits to "English Land" as he always calls it, which makes me chuckle. I think it's a good opportunity for him to see a different side of the mission and to learn from and help teach other Elders too.   

This week was a hard one to email Ben. One of Ben's dear friends and fellow Missionary Mom's passed away. She has been a friend of mine since we were in HS and our boys have grown up together. She lost her battle with cancer at the young age of 42. This news broke my heart and I was nervous to tell Ben, but I knew he needed to know so he could provide comfort to his friend who is serving in Samoa. 
Her son Joseph decided to stay out on his mission and honestly it is the BEST place he can be. So close to the spirit and submerged in the Lord's work is what is going to help him endure the sadness that will come from losing her. 
When Ben read my email he was overcome with sadness and a little bit of helplessness, but his response back to me didn't surprise me at all. 
"First off wow... that is so sad to hear. I thought she was doing good and had fought it back. However she is where she needs to be right now. Joseph is an amazing missionary with a faith and testimony I could only hope to have. I know he is in a good spot and is doing the right thing. I will be reaching out to him this week. Please tell Shawn I love him very much and he is in my prayers. It's very sad to think that he won't have his mother when she gets back. But she is always going to be by his side throughout the rest of his mission."
They have been receiving each others emails all throughout their missions but Ben reached out on a more personal level to offer comfort and love through this difficult time. It's hard to not be there to comfort my son or Joseph. I can only pray that the Lord will bring them peace and wrap his arms around them as they work through one of life's most devastating heartaches.

Ben & Joseph