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! 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Me Worried? 😳 Why Would I Be Worried? 😳 Why.....



Hey mom! I got special permission to email you today because someone broke into our car and stole my GPS that you had just got me.... they also stole my sunglasses which sucked. 
I'm just letting you know if there is any way I could get a new GPS, it doesn't even have to be nice just enough to continue to do the work.
I'm super super sorry. I'm super sad someone stole all our stuff.
If you could get back to me in the next like 10 mins I can respond. After that I will have to respond on Monday! 
Love ya!! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

These are the moments your ♥heart♥ skips a beat. I am sitting at dinner with one of my good friends and fellow missionary Moms with my phone on silent, obviously (for manners purposes). We are heading out to leave and I look down to check my phone to see if maybe the kids have called and on the home screen the ONLY thing I see is that title from my son! 
Of course I PANIC!😨
I read the email only to see I am 3 hours late to email him back so I am devastated. I was a sigh of relief to know that it was just stuff and not him and Elder Crowther robbed at gun point or something like that. 
I feel bad for the set back that I am sure this has given them emotionally, but if I were to go off of past issues they have had to deal with, I would bet they are doing all they can to not let these difficult bumps in the road bring them down and hinder the work. 
Can't wait for Monday's email to get the details of what actually happened! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When You Get Drop Kicked By The Spirit

Time is going wayyy fast...
This is going to be a nice short and sweet group email. 
Me and Elder Crowther are staying nice and busy.We have been running all over the place this week which is good!

I want to talk about Louise. She is one of our investigators from Taiwan who knows her stuff quite well. She read the whole Book of Mormon in like 3 weeks which is insane... We just met with her on Saturday and she said she knows it's the word of God. She is hoping to be baptized this Saturday!! We only have one more lesson to teach her and her interview, so keep her in your prayers!

I am almost at 10 months on the mission now which is still young but not. Time is going at a very very fast rate and it's freaking me out! When you stay busy you don't even know how fast time goes! 

My Chinese is doing quite well. Well, granted it is Chinese... But I can communicate with just about everyone now so that is awesome! We have been working a lot with our members more to find whose is prepared. We are hoping to meet with a few families so that will be very exciting!!

Hope you all have a great week!
1. Pic right before we came to email.
2. Pic with me and Elder Gulbranson while we are emailing! Because I procrastinate on pictures! 
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Elder Crowther, Elder Gulbranson & Ben

This week Ben went into more detail about his teachings with Shanon. 
In Ben's words, "I have been teaching Shanon since I got to Eastvale, maybe even before that-ya since May. She knows literally EVERYTHING about the gospel-EVERYTHING! She has a son serving a mission in Boston right now and she 100% knows this church is true, but she is just scared to be baptized. We met with her and taught her the first lesson again and she knew EVERYTHING! So I asked her, Shanon do you know that Joseph Smith is a prophet? She says, "Well ya, of course!" Then we start going on this crazy train and start talking about baptism again. She says to us, "Guys, don't worry. I am going to China for a month. When I get back I will be baptized, I promise."  I think to myself, Oh that is only a month, so no problem. Then...I can't express this to you because it is impossible to express the spirit, I pretty much got gut punched by the spirit that said, "You need to tell her right now that she needs to be baptized before she leaves for China or she will never be baptized."  I have argued with her on her baptism a lot and I thought I do not want to say that. But I get another very distinct feeling again that if I don't tell her and she doesn't get baptized then it will be my fault not hers. So I tell her. I say it to her. She looks at me for a long time and says, "Hmm...Thank you Elder Nelson, I appreciate that. I will pray about that and get back to you." Then Elder Crowther jumps in and says, "No! I just got the same prompting as Elder Nelson at the same time. You need to be baptized before you go or I promise you may never get baptized." Now this is why it is so important that there are 2 of us. 
She sits there for a few minutes and her eyes start to tear up and I think, "Hey, we got through to her." She says to us, "Thank you guys. I really will pray about it and get back to you."
I love how Ben goes on to talk about how strong that prompting was from the spirit. He says he could not lie and that it was one of the strongest prompting he has had so far in the mission field and the fact that it came to both him and Elder Crowther at the same time is just a testament of how God speaks through the spirit. 

Annie is another investigator they have been teaching. She has been baptized, but she doesn't really know much. She has a huge desire and that is all Ben needs. He talks about Alma 32 saying that all someone needs is a desire and that is enough for him to help get her started. So they have been reteaching her and in Ben's words she is a "BEEAST!! (insert burly voice) She keeps inviting all her non-member friends to English class and church and then keeps inviting all of them to be baptized. 

Ben and Elder Crowther have stayed so busy lately teaching recent converts and they absolutely ♥LOVE♥ it! Hearing his excitement for all these people they are teaching and their progression makes my whole heart happy! 😊 

Luau BBQ-Elder Porazzo, Ben, 
Elder Crowther, Elder Gulbranson

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