Wednesday, December 27, 2017

AHHHH!


WHAT!!! How did I miss this email??? I wasn't even checking for an email! Ben told me that they probably wouldn't email with Skyping on Christmas, so I didn't even check. Jon asks me right before bed, "Hey did you see that Ben emailed today?" I shot up in bed, frantic and grab my Ipad. "No, I didn't know he emailed!"
I open my Gmail and there it is... an email from Ben. My heart sank. I have NEVER missed his emails before and felt HORRIBLE! All of a sudden I was "Mom" worried about everything. What if he felt we didn't care? Was he looking for an email from us and there was nothing there? Was he waiting for a reply and just silence? AHHHH, I am the worst Mother ever!! 
The worst part of all of this is having to wait until next Monday to talk to my son and explain why there was not an email. I sure hope he is OK and his feelings are not hurt. 😬😕 

Mom!
Hi mom! We don't get a large amount of time to email today. I don't even know if I will have time to respond.
I was so glad to see you and the family yesterday! Everyone has grown so much it is crazy!!

This week was great and we are working with so many people. Thank you for all the amazing presents you gave me I appreciate it so much! It isn't letting me upload pictures... but I have pictures of all the presents.. Hank and Tina came up and gave Elder Willes and I presents! We got some google socks (he will be working there) and other cool stuff. They said they plan to be Sealed in April!!! So many amazing miracles.

Love you so much mom!
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Monday, December 25, 2017

Seeing Isn't Believing. Believing Is Seeing!


This quote DOES NOT apply today! LOL😁
I cannot begin to express how excited I get to talk to Ben. Not just talk to him, but to see his face, read his body language and to REALLY communicate face to face. 

I got a text from Brother and Sister White that they were going to let Ben and Elder Willes come to their home on Christmas to Skype. I am always so grateful to those people that open their homes to these boys. 

I get a text on Christmas morning that said, "He's going to call you. Our computer broke." 
My heart dropped a little, but I was still so excited to be able to hear his voice. Then immediately I get a text that said, "Just kidding! It's in 40 min."
AHHHH! 
Then the call comes in and there is no picture on the screen. We can hear Ben's voice saying, "Mom, are you there? Sorry, their camera broke so we can just talk here on the computer."
I have to admit, I was almost in tears. I told him that it was just fine and that we were just excited to hear his voice. Then he pops up on the screen and yells, "JUST KIDDING! Hi everyone!"
Honestly...that kid! He knows me so well and knows that I was heartbroken but would put on a good face. Maybe I shouldn't have been such a jokester with him when he was young! 😏

This year was total CHAOS, which is pretty normal for us. All the kids wanted to talk to him and of course all at the same time. We made sure to let Sam go first because he was so excited to show Ben his pump. Ben said, "Sam, does that make you a SUPER HERO?" Sam said, "No. It keeps me alive." Hahaha! So funny!
As soon as they were done Ben say, "OK! Have you guys seen Star Wars?" LOL He then proceeded to show us a list of all the movies he has written down in his book that he wants to see when he gets home. I'm so excited to just sit for like 2 weeks and do nothing but hang and catch up on all the cinema he has missed. 
We talked about his mission, filled him in on things at home a little, he shared his testimony with us in Chinese and we said a prayer together! 
He looked and sounded AMAZING! He has a spirit and light about him that is so bright it felt like you could touch it through the screen. 
I am so proud of that boy and the sacrifice he is giving. The tender mercies that we receive as a family and the journey that we get to have through him and this experience is a blessing on a whole new level. I will forever be grateful to Ben for the example that he is being to all of us. 
I will admit-as spiritual and as radiant as his testimony is, he is still the witty, funny, spirited and down to earth Ben we all know and love. 
This Mama's heart is filled to it's fullest today!♥♥♥ 


We had the blessing on Christmas Eve to spend some time with one of Ben's first Companions, Elder David Zeng who brought along Elder Merriman from the Riverside California Mission too. What a treat it was to get to talk to them and know them a little better. 



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Christmas Mice WERE Stirring


Almost CHRISTMAS / TRANSFERS!!!
One week to Christmas! 

I can't believe how fast time is zipping by! We're one week to Christmas and I just hit my 13 months on the 16th!!

This week was super lit! I would like to start with a very interesting Service Project we had on Wednesday.
Every year Jurupa Valley (my area) does a service project. They give out gifts to 1000 under privilege  kids. Our job on Wednesday was to go get the gifts from various storage units and put them at the church. Our last storage unit was super tightly packed and had mouse poop everywhere! But we just loaded it and dropped them off at the church. As we were unloading it into the church, a mouse flew out of the box!!!😨 Everyone in our Zone was chasing this mouse throughout the church. We finally caught it and put him outside. So we then proceeded to pull apart all the packaging to find more mice! As we opened many boxes, mice began to run all over the place. We were running all over the parking lot catching these little dudes! It was super fun and very tedious.🐭

Moving to Thursday, Elder Willes and I were SOOOOOO busy. We had hour to hour appts from 3-9. We taught 4 new people that were all so amazing. One in particular was name Pius, we taught Pius along with his son Arthur the Restoration. They were eating it up, they love the Book of Mormon and committed to read every day! We also taught a man around 8:30 by the name of Cliff Yang. The last time we went over to teach, he was super suppppper drunk. He was preoccupied with the ant crawling on his hand during the lesson. So we set an appt for Thursday when he was a little more sober! His lesson on Thursday was great! He loved everything about it. He took a baptismal date for 1/21. He truly wants to follow his Savior and we're excited for him!

This week was full of many miracles, were super hyped for this upcoming transfer!!! 
We are now in a 4 man, which means 2 more Elders live in our apt so we will see how that goes! 
I probs won't be emailing next week due to we will be Skyping! 
WO AI NIMEN! 

Elder Nelson 孙长老

Aileen & Linda gave Ben & Willes some American chocolate-YUM!
Ben & Willes with Crystal

EVERYTHING about these 2 boys makes me HAPPY! 💗😍

One of our Christmas traditions is we buy the kids an ornament that represents something about them that year. Ben's ended up being Lego Missionaries with hearts leading from Utah to California. ♥♥♥

We sent Ben and Elder Willes the 12 days of Christmas this year! One of the first things in Ben's email this week was his excitement for the presents (which of course makes this Mama happy!)
"I have been loving the package you sent. The 12 days of . Christmas has been great! It's the first thing I open right when we get back from the gym in the morning!"

 



Ben's recording:
This week Ben let me know that he is ENGAGED! 😨 WHAAAAT!
Annie is determined to have him marry a Chinese girl and is ALWAYS trying to marry him off. When he went to Annie's house to teach her daughter, there were A LOT of people in her house. All of them , except Annie were drinking, hanging out and having a good time. 
Annie grabbed Ben said to Dave, "Dave, can Ben marry his daughter?" He said, "Ya, of course! And then I will buy you 3 houses in China!"
Ben said, "Ya, so that was super dope!" 
It makes me chuckle because I'm pretty sure he gets engaged about every 3 months! Hahaha! 

Elder Casper and Elder Hale are the new missionaries that will be living with Ben and Elder Willes. Elder Porazzo was moved to La Sierra which is really close to where they are now which is great so Ben will still him on Mondays! 

On Thursday they went to meet a guy named Pias and his son Arthur who was a referral from the Corona Elders. Pias has been here for 30 years so his English is really good, but when Ben and Willes started to speak Chinese to him, he flipped out! They had a really good lesson with him and he's excited to read the BOM. I can't wait to hear about the progress with him and his son. 😁

Obviously referrals are really common in missions but this is the first time Ben has had a "Ring" referral. They went to meet with a man by the name of Brian Chen who they spoke to and scheduled another meeting through the "Ring" Doorbell. LOL They are really common in California so I wouldn't be surprised to hear Ben speak of more meetings this way. 

My favorite part of the recording was to hear Elder Willes get on at the end and speak to us in Chinese. He said: "Hello Nelson Family. I love your son and he is great missionary."
I am always in awe when I hear either of them speak. It seems like such a difficult language and to speak it and have the accent down is just an absolute testament to me that God has a hand in their work and the success that they are having! 



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sometimes The Smallest Things Take Up The Most Room In Your Heart


One of my FAVORITE things about Ben's Mission is the little random texts or emails I receive every now and then with pictures and stories of my handsome son. 
This AWESOME picture of these 2 came from Elder Willes Mom, Marianne. 
Just look at this picture!! 😍😍

I know the Lord looks out for His missionaries, but to receive images where I can see the light, the happiness and their funny characters and personalities always puts my worried heart at ease and brings a smile to my face and warmth to my soul. 💗
We are on a mission from God😁

Jurupa Zone Christmas Devotionals

Ben, Medearis, Crowther, Herald, Shurtleff, (Williams in the background & Elder Clark peeking😊)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Winter Of Palm Trees And Sunsets


Nimenhao!!
Sorry I'm sending this out on a Tuesday. We were so busy yesterday we had no time to email...

This week was honestly not that crazy. Elder Willes and I went seeking alot this week we have been trying to find more prepared people to teach!

We are working with some great people at the moment. Xun and Sara are one of those couples we are really hoping will be baptized soon! We started teaching them about 4 months ago. They have come to church almost every single week! They are going to go to Utah this week and see the Temple lights with some of our members. We really hope that they will have a spiritual experience while they are there. We hope that they will take a baptismal date soon and partake of those blessings! 

We had a good amount of people at church this week too! We had 6 investigators there. They all loved it and are all willing to continue to meet! We taught Crystal before church, she is super shy and looks like she is on the border of crying every time I talk to her lol😀. However she is doing great and is progressing quite a bit, We have her paired up with a member who LOVES to talk so they are a good mix lol.😀

Other than that it is still in the 80's and there are still tons of Palm trees. I got some sweet pics for you this week, hope all is well with all of y'all!!

Elder Nelson 孙长老


Exchanges with Porazzo

♥LOVE♥ my tag pics


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Week Of Walking And Miracles



Hello Everyone!!!
This week was very grindy and full of walking. However, many great things happened this week!
We have seen lots of many amazing miracles from working our butts off! This week consisted of about 5 hours or more walking around to find the prepared. We have lots of potentials and met a lot of great people.
On Tuesday, Elder Willes and I went into the AP's area. I was with Elder Dew who is a Spanish speaking missionary. So now I know how it feels to not understand a foreign language, but I got him back by taking him to a Chinese dinner!! 😁
On Saturday, I went on another exchange with Elder Lowry. He is a very new missionary, but is awesome! I love going English every now and then because you meet the most interesting people! One of the last guys we contacted was fairly old. I was yelling at him from pretty far since he was in a awkward spot. He walked up to us and said, "You are one of the lucky ones". I replied with " What do you mean by that". He said "It's because your happy in this doo-doo of a world". Then he jumped right into politics LOL. He told me that Obama was the Anti-Christ and led our Country to destruction. Then told me that Mitt Romney was wayyyyy too Mormon so that wouldn't have worked out either. LOL I love talking to people...😁

Then we had a miracle with a couple we met by the name of Brother Yang and Sister Yang. We were walking down the street and saw a couple working on their car. We found them trying to  communicate with a Hispanic man who knew no English. So it was very interesting to see two Chinese people who don't know English talk to a Hispanic man who didn't know English either! We showed up and they were amazed we knew Chinese. We helped them find the trunk lever they were looking for. We talked to them a little bit after about our purpose and what we do as missionaries. We exchanged contact info with them and called them on Sunday. They didn't answer us so we decided to stop by. They are still in the process of building their front yard porch so it was kind of hectic. We asked her if we could come by later that day and they agreed. We came over around 7:30 and taught them the Restoration in their new home. We got to prayer and began explaining the role of prayer and how the Book of Mormon can help them receive an answer to their questions. Sister Yang (the wife) chimed in and said "We have attended many churches and never really found happiness or satisfaction in any of them. However the message you bring has brought a new peace into my heart I have never felt before". She continued, "We bought this new home hoping to find new happiness (at this point she is crying), but we haven't. You have brought a new peace and comfort in my life that I want". Then Brother Yang agreed and talked about how they are feeling such great warmth on the inside!! The lesson was amazing! We taught them prayer and that they can know these things are true. They accepted a baptismal date for 1/14. They are excited to read and can't wait to meet again. Miracles come from hard work... it's as simple as that. 
Great week on the mission!
Elder Nelson 孙长老

Exchanges-Ben and Elder Lowry


 Happy Birthday Jesus

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




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. 

Love,
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

HUMP DAY!👔😁♥️

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:
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

This picture popped up on my phone with a text that read:
"They've been fed and watered"
Hahaha! 😁I absolutely LOVE getting these type of  texts from members with pictures of these handsome Elders! It makes my whole heart💗 happy!