Monday, December 31, 2012


Firstly, we're moving! The lady we live with wanted us to be out by the end of the transfer (Jan13), but the mission office decided we needed to be out tomorrow. So that's the plan!
Secondly, Christmas week is the worst; everybody goes out of town T_T.  But there are a lot of investigators that are SO CLOSE! A few even really really want to be baptized, but due to circumstances outside their control they can't :( So we're praying for them and putting their names on the temple roll. We'll manage.
I did get to see the corner of the mission today, too. Cross the street and you're done for! *dundundunnn* I took a picture haha.
Cool story though! One of our investigators, Sean, just got married to a member, Debbie, in November. (She's the one who helped me find a bassoon.) We've been going over to their house periodically and having a lot of contact with each other, which has been great. This week we asked if we could come over, and she said sure! Unbeknownst to us, her two daughters and their non-member hubbys were also there. We visited, played a scripture game (and one not.... *brick'd*), said a prayer, and left. The next day after sacrament, Debbie came up to us and told us about how one of her NM son-in-laws had visited with the missionaries in his area before (they're in Kansas normally) and he'd been turned off before by the missionaries. Too much pushing, he claims. So when Sean told him that we were coming over, he was understandably nervous and said he'd leave and come back later. But Sean stuck up for us and said that we were nice, friendly, and not forceful. Hurrah! So he really likes us and we are really excited! I think he knows the church is a good thing and he doesn't have any qualms with it, but it's one of those things where I think he'll be friendshipped into the church better than convinced into it. Kinda what Elder Oaks said in stake conference way back in May - "No one is ever threatened, forced, or blackmailed into the church - but they are all loved into it." I think that'll be key with Sean, and it's obviously working :) Plus, bringing that added measure of the spirit with us doesn't hurt either ;D
Other than that, it was a quiet week. We only had one to sacrament this week cos the rest were out of town :C so that was sad. Next week should be awesome though!
In terms of New Years, we need to be in by 6 tonight, unless we have a dinner appointment or a lesson, in which case we can be out 'til 7. Muhar! XD
I think that's about it. I'm frequently hitting the Panic Button every day... :) best present ever! hehe. I'll be sending a box home full of stuff, soon. And a letter. :D
I love you all! Thank you SOO much for your prayers for me, my companion, and our investigators! We really can feel them working in our behalf, and there is a lot of good things forthcoming! Thank you thank you ^_^
Sister Nelson


here's the new address for the next two weeks:
5953 Mareta Ln
Loomis, CA 95650

Monday, December 24, 2012


Hurrah, Eagle Scout! *pompoms* Yeah, we did a service project after our missionary conference on Friday. We did service after that and it was raining :D I forgot my gym shoes though so I did my best in my church shoes haha! We mulched. I did my best with a rake, but it didn't work super great. There were a lot of us though so we got everything finished quickly :)

Tell the Stradlings hello! I saw pictures of them in the ward box (yes, I know, I opened it already. I'm a terrible person. I LOVED the scriptures on the presents though! That was super cute and clever and awesome!). Also the top picture was of Bro. Halliday and Larsen. That cracked me up. XD I got your box too, but that remains unopened under our tree :)

Speaking of presents, the ward spoils us SO BAD. It's funny and humbling and holy moses I can't even. *brick'd* I have a particular present I have to tell you about on skype tomorrow, XD be sure to ask me about a necklace lol.

Did you get my Christmas card??

I did get Paca and Granna's card! <_< 

Anyway, we have a half p-day today so I gotta head. But this week has been super happy and great! We've been so busy I haven't been able to think about even missing home or anything. I still do miss our nerdiness and card games though. *brick'd*

But hey, I'll talk to you tomorrow! Literally :D

Sister Nelson

Monday, December 17, 2012

Seasons greetings! :D
Good luck on the Christmas program this week, mom! You'll be great :D We met the ASL sisters from Sacramento a few weeks back, that was really fun. I tried my ASL skills and then remembered I have none. Too bad, haha. (Tell Holly Merry Christmas for me!)
@Craig telling the difference between fudge and cupcakes: that cracked me up. I'm looking forward for my possiblity of fudge in my box too :o yum.
YAY! Christmas boxes! Thank you :3 Are they both to be saved 'til Christmas? This'll be the longest week ever.
We had our ward Christmas party last weekend and I was able to acquire a bassoon to play! So I played "Far Far Away On Judea's Plains" in the shepard scene we had (it was really cute - they played out the Christmas story in several rooms. One of them had Samuel the Lamanite, and they had all the kids make paper airplanes and throw them at him. Hilarious! Especially cos none of the non-members that came [there were 23 of them] had any idea what it was about, cos the ones we're teaching haven't read that far in the Book of Mormon yet, haha). Super fun and cute! It was a really great program :) I'm also playing the same bassoon in our Christmas mission program on Friday, and then again for sacrament on Sunday. Busy busy! But it gives us a good excuse to invite people to church to see what a bassoon is... and have a spiritual experience, but you know. Missionaries aren't ALWAYS sneaky.... just sometimes. Haha!
I was also going to ask if there's any possibility I could change my mission scripture on my plaque? I think 3N 5:13 works a little bit better :)
On Saturday, we met the Meteer family, and we discovered that the mum (Mary Ellen) knows Dan Brown! And I go, "Hmm, I think I know him..." :P Apparently she sent a message to Tressy and she said she'd pass it along to you. Small world :)
Have you seen the "Forget-me-not" book by President Uctdorf? It is a cute little book! I think you'd like it. I like the pictures of the flowers in it; do forget-me-nots grow in Illinois? I can't even remember.
As far as this week goes... well, there are some weeks that Satan just tries really hard to just get us down. Other weeks he goes crazy and tries to get everyone else to fall off and get sick or whatever, so this week has been a really humbling week for us. Everything outside of our control went against us, so we weren't able to teach a lot of lessons this week.... We've been staying as optimistic as we can, and by the end of it we've been laughing a lot at the bad things that've happened. For example, Friday we were supposed to have a lesson with our sweet investigator Jacqueline, and when we called to confirm our appointment she said her youngest son [he's 2] started throwing up everywhere. ¯\[°_O]/¯ Not much you can do at that point. We laughed, we cried a little, and then we went to a meeting with the Elders. When a lot of bad things happen in a row, you start to really see the tender mercies of the Lord in everything - for me, it was getting to places on time, getting a lot of touching mail this week, and having people stand up for me when I wasn't even aware they were watching or paying attention. The Lord is ever mindful of us, and we just have to remember that the trials and things we go through are specifically for us and our refinement. Elder Anderson's talk this last conference talks a lot about that, and I've found strength in that this week.
Hm, I think that's everything. I love you all! Thank you for your prayers, they have strengthened me especially this week when I felt nothing was going right. It helps to know that people love you and pray for you always, and know that I do for all of you :)
Sister Nelson

Monday, December 10, 2012

Well, the saying goes that when it rains in California, it pours. It's true! And instead of snow for Christmas, we'll likely get rain. Oh well, I don't really mind so much. Aside from the fact that I'm the junior companion so I get to stand in the rain and back my companion out of the driveway.
Yay, daffodils! Did I tell you there's a huge amount of hydrangeas here? except they're all blue. it's weird.
Yesterday we had a meeting about the new curriculum for Sunday School next year. Have you had much time to look at it or hear much about it? It's really cool! The comparison we've all made was it's like the flip-chart missionary discussions way back in the day to Preach My Gospel. Much more like teaching people, not just lessons. It's going to be awesome! Something the Bishop said yesterday was the new outlines for the lessons in church is designed to give the youth of the church as many spiritual experiences as possible. I'm excited for it, and I think it'll be a really great change. The transit will be strange, of course, but we'll all get the hang of it soon :)
Another Christmas idea, if you haven't sealed it shut yet, is to send me a copy of your testimonies! I would really enjoy that. Also (this doesn't have to be done for Christmas; it can be sent later if you don't have a whole lot of time) - Mom, I'd really like a copy of your conversion story! As many dates and names and events as you can remember. I don't know I could accurately put it together if you'd asked me; I just know the part about you wanting to go to a school that had values, and then the search for a Book of Mormon in regular bookstores... haha. That'd be fun to read, especially on my mission :)
Is it selfish to ask for more mail for Christmas? Ward, friends, all you peepsicles out there reading this? My companion gets a lot so I'm honestly a little jealous <_< but, y'know. There's that. (Thank you, Sister Flinders & Sarah! Your card made my week!)
Final random thought - have you asked the missionaries what they're doing for Christmas??? You could have them over in place of me and Craig! CHRISTMAS! Our ward out here spoils us rotten, and I hope that the Sisters out there are doing good too. Have you found anyone for them to teach?? I want them to be taken care of!
COOL STORY! *brick'd* This week there was an investigator we went to go visit to see if she was still progressing, had prayed about being baptized, etc. We went in and talked to her, and she said she got a bad feeling about being baptized (and she was being pretty stubborn about it). We realized we needed to stop seeing her since if she wasn't progressing, we weren't fulfilling our purpose. We left a short message and when we eventually were walking to the car, Sister Ripplinger looked at me and said, "Well, I guess we have to trust that the Lord will put someone else in our path who's prepared." He always does, y'know? But not even five minutes later we got a phone call from Elders in another area with a referral! We called her and she was almost jumping out of her seat to get to church, and she was reading the Book of Mormon and was loving it! We were both blown away that Heavenly Father blessed us that quickly with another person to teach!
Another great thing this week was I finished the Book of Mormon! Again! :D The challenge for the mission was to finish it in 85 days, but I just love the Book of Mormon so I read it faster. (In 21, to be precise.) It's been a really great experience and I'd recommend it. That morning before studies, I prayed and told Heavenly Father that I was planning on finishing it that day, and that I expected and experience from the Holy Ghost to know if it was true. (I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?) When I finished the last few pages I had, I knelt down and prayed, "Okay Heavenly Father, I finished. I already know it's true - I've always known it is, but help me to know again, just for myself, that it's true. Help me experience something." I waited for a moment before President Weston's voice floated across my mind, saying "Pay very close attention to how you feel." So I did - I felt the presence of the Spirit deep in my heart, a comfortable, light pressure almost. It started small, and as I focused on it the feeling grew bigger and bigger until it seemed to flow throughout my whole body. It was like the feeling you get when you drink hot chocolate after coming straight inside on a blustery winter day - Mmm! And then the spirit seemed to keep going, emulating through the whole apartment and leaving me feeling giddy and like I couldn't stop smiling. The Book of Mormon is TRUE! And I have such a testimony that if we ask Heavenly Father for the truth with the real intent we're going to do something with it, the heavens won't be constrained from helping us experience something!
It's been a great week! There are TONS of opportunities waiting around us, but we have to be the best we can to be able to be trusted by our Father in Heaven to take those chances when they come to us. Don't be afraid of sharing the gospel!! What's the worst that could happen??
I love you all and I'm so grateful for your prayers! I feel their influence in my life and I know that He is blessing you for blessing me! <3
Sister Nelson

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hello! <3
Yay pictures!  We went out to eat with the Johnsons, and that's ice cream! It's some kind of Italian kind; pistachio, cherry, and chocolate. It was delish. :3 They were mission presidents in Connecticut before, so it's always a pleasure to be with them. ^_^
I laughed about moving the snowblower from the shed to the garage. That's always how it works, isn't it? Haha! Also, funny story about the rain we've been having! Yesterday was the worst of the storm (in the morning at least) and we had to go out driving in it to get to church. Oh, the sacrifices we make. Anyway, we woke up and the power was out, but luckily the water heater was powered by propane, so I still got a warm shower. Phew. But we went out and the rain is nearly going sideways it's coming down so hard - and it's crazy windy so everything is just flying around. So we drive down the street and splash through some puddles before we find that the only road we know of to get out of the subdivision has a big ol' pine tree across the street! I gave up pretty fast and suggested to Sister Ripplinger that we go home and study and wait for the tree to be taken care of, and she says, "No no, it's okay! We'll park the car somewhere, climb over the tree and stand on the corner until we can call a member to come pick us up and take us to church!" She's enthusiastic, y'see. I was not happy at this solution though, so we call another member who lives by us and had left earlier, and he gave us alternate directions to get out. Phew. Except, this way was over a dirt road, so we went off-roading to get to church! There was a gate in the middle too, so I had to get out and open and shut it, so by the time I got back into the car I was drenched and dripping and my companion was perfectly dry. Typical. XD But we made it to church! And, despite the rain, we had five investigators there! Yahoo! So it turned out okay in the end. XD
@Transfers: we're both staying! thank you for not sending things to the mission home, they're holding things hostage to deliver it all at once for Christmas. Haha! So basically nobody gets mail for the next three weeks. Yay. *brick'd*
Oh! So yesterday was the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, and when we were watching it I saw Bro. Smith! On bassoon! So I was really happy about that :) We watched it with Rose, the lady we live with, and when I told her that he was my teacher, her eyes got kinda big and said, "You must be really good then!" It was funny. You should write him and tell him I said hi! And that I saw him! And also our non-member landlady! :) It was really good though. n_n
Okay, so hysterical story. As missionaries we're not allowed to hold children, which is totally fine cos I don't really like children anyway. But my companion LOVES children, so she's been struggling every time we go to someone's house and there's a baby around. XD This week we were helping Mama Rose and her sons (they're older; like 23 & 26 or something) decorate the house for Christmas! So we went through boxes and sifted through stuff we needed to take upstairs (side story: we found a dead rat in one of the boxes. It was just a skeleton left. Creepy and gross! Sorry Lindsay. *brick'd*). In one we found this old baby doll that one of her sons used to play with when he was young, maybe 5 years old or something like that. Somehow it ended up in Sister Ripplinger's arms, and she cradled it and took care of it like it was real. In a second we thought about what would happen if we took it to district meeting with us and see all the Elder's reaction. So we do. :) We walk in and Sister Ripplinger has baby Jerry (that's his name) in her arm, and all the Elders start looking at it and each other like, "... ummm.... why's she have a baby....?" But we continue, regardless, until the middle of the meeting one blurts out, "Why do you have a baby?" My companion smiles and says, "I can't tell you yet!" Truthfully we just didn't have a reason, other than wanting to see how they do. Haha! So they drop it for a little while until we have to practice teach, and Sister Ripplinger says to the person who's evaluating, "I have to teach now. Will you take care of him for a second?" He's all, "Oh, yeah, sure!" So she carefully hands him over and he carefully takes it in his hands and sits with this baby doll while we teach about the birth of the Savior. Too hilarious :D Eventually all of them got to hold it, and it was really obvious which ones were comfortable with children XD So yeah. That's our exciting lives when we're around other missionaries. Haha!
On a more spiritual note, this week we had a really solid lesson with an investigator Lola. We were talking about the Plan of Salvation; where we came from, why we're on Earth, and where we go after we die. It was a really deep lesson, but since she's come to understand more about the Priesthood from our first lesson, she really seemed to take it to heart and really think about the message we were sharing. At the end we asked her to pray, and she said something like this: "Father, I'm glad the Sisters came over. I ask that you will protect them, for I know they have a supreme purpose in spreading your word and in coming to me. Help me to be more faithful, cos I know I need to be." And then it was like a bombshell of spirit :D It was so cool! We had no idea she'd thought that much about it, if at all, since we'd been there last (it'd been a while cos of Thanksgiving). But we were really excited about that!
Hum, I think that's about it. Thanks for your love and support! I'd ask y'all to send me letters since I'm jealous of all my companion's mail (*brick'd*), but even if you did write it wouldn't get to me cos it's being HELD HOSTAGE!!1 Very sad. But I'll get it eventually! <_<
Anyway, I love you all! Thanks always for your prayers, I know good things are on the way :)
Sister Nelson