Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Temple Blessings

Dear Mama! 
I miss you so much :( I'm crying as a write this because this past week has been sooo hard....  I miss music so much I almost burst into tears every time I think about it. Being in the MTC feels like a jail, but the BEST part of my whole week is going across the street to the temple. I never knew what PEACE was until I went to the temple for the first time. My body and soul feels so relaxed, beautiful, and special every time I'm in there. If I could stay in the temple all day every day I would. When I get home I want to be a temple worker for sure. Its a complete escape from the outside world, and I have never felt closer and more love from my Heavenly Father than when being there. I love you sooo much mom. I miss you and my brothers and sisters and friends more than I can being to tell you. I cant wait to get your package. I will probably cry when I open it. I love you and cant wait to see you again. Mothers day couldn't come soon enough.
I love you
Hermana Nielson

"I will be still be Sarah..."

Dear mama...

I LOVE hearing about the family! I love this gospel. I love these people. I love this mission. And I love YOU. Being on a mission is sooo hard, but I was born to do this. Everything that has happened to me in my life, has prepared me for this.  I miss you so much. I miss kids and animals and music sooo much:( I would give anything to hold a baby or pet a little kitten. I'll be sitting at my desk and get intense flash backs of home. Petting Topher, Sammy eating fruit, me getting hair extensions... Nothing will ever be the way it was. Because of this mission I will be FOREVER changed. I left a little girl, I will return a woman of Christ. I will still be Sarah, just a better version.

We have lost two sisters this week. Being here destroyed them and they took the first plane home. Hermana S. ALMOST went home and she still might. I’ll let you know for sure. Thank you for helping me grow into a woman strong enough to handle this. Thank you for praying about our shower situation, because Hermana Chase and I just moved into your own little suite with our own little bathroom. I cried with gratitude as I washed my beat red feet in our beautiful sink. Every time people say 'please bless the missionaries', I know they are praying for us. Tell the family I love them :)

Love, Hermana Nielson

p.s. If you could print out all the emails I send you and keep them in a binder for me, that would be awesome!
pps: Tell Katherine happy birthday!!
ppps: If you would like to send a package, make it out to Hermana Sarah Nielson. (There are two Hermana Nielson’s here) I would LOVE some more Crocs size 5, Maybelline super stay 24
hour lip color in constant cocoa, scripture crayons, some notebooks,
foundation, paper-mate pens, paper-mate pencils and erasers :)

Thank you soooo much! Love you and talk to you soon!

Army of Helaman

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What a joy as a mother to see my daughter among such a beautiful army of stripling warriors. I kissed my computer screen when I spotted her radiant face.

Week 2: Bobble Head

Dear everyone (:

Being here in the CCM in Guatemala is amazing. Constantly studying, learning how to be a good teacher of the word, deeper understanding the doctrine, and learning the language is hard, but I LOVE it.

All the Norte (USA) Hermana’s live in a little house next to the temple. Little Guatemalan security guards walk us to and from our house every day. They are so cute. The bathrooms are dirty, there is no where to put your clothes, and the water trickles out of the shower head freezing cold. We're not allowed to drink the water here, so we have to do everything with our water bottle. The day I get to brush my teeth in the sink will be a good day! We have zero time in the morning and zero time to get ready for bed, but I kind of like it. Spending less time on ourselves better prepares us to better love others.

No one can sing here. Not a single Norte or Latino can sing a single note, so when I sang in sacrament meeting on Sunday, EVERYONE in the CCM knows who I am. The latino elders' eyes follow me every step I take, and the little Latina Hermana’s adore me. The Latina Hermana’s make me look tall. Some are even a whole head shorter than me. They look like little dolls and wear big bows in their hair.

I have lost sooo much weight in the CCM I am sooo skinny, I look like a holocaust victim. The bread and meat here makes me sick, and I eat fruit and vegetables all day.

It is sooo humid here, that if I straighten my bangs, they curl right back up again. My hair is HUGE. Walking around with my big hair, big glasses and skinny body, I feel like a bobble head. The Latinas have been telling me that all the Latino elders think I pretty, so I guess that's what Latinos like ;)

I have the best accent out of all the Norte missionaries, and am learning Spanish very fast. The others look to me for help, and helping them helps me learn even faster.

Hermana Shoop, my best friend, had an emotional break down and is having the HARDEST time adjusting to all this, but I take better care of her, than I take care of myself. I love always having something to do and feeling busy. We exercise everyday and its the BEST. The sisters learn sooo much faster than the elders. The Hermana's are all soaring and the elders and barely keeping their head above water. Girls don't have to go on a mission, but boys MUST. Analisa and Katherine: you don't have to go on a mission, but don't EVER date someone who hasn't gone. Our teacher, Hermano Lopez, is a 22 year old Guatemalan and is TOTALLY going to be the first Latino prophet. He is so celestial its undescribable. Did I mention he's cute? I think Hermana Shoop and Hermano Lopez will make a fine couple someday. My companion, Hermana Chase is the complete opposite of me, but we couldn’t have been paired more perfectly. We play off of each other so well and the lessons for our investigators are constantly improving and successful.

Noooo! I have so much more to tell you but I'm out of time! I love you all soooo much!! This gospel is sooo true and I shall talk to you on Tuesday.

Love, Hermana Nielson

Week 1

I can't even tell you how much I miss you. Being a missionary and being here at the CCM is not what I expected, but i am completely in love with it. There is such a sweet spirit here. I am learning so much so fast with the help of the spirit. Completely diving in and giving all of myself to this gospel is something I have never experienced. It is a truly beautiful thing. I already miss home, Provo, my siblings, Chester and Topher, music, TV, and all the things of the world, but because of the separation I am able to be 100% committed to the work. I feel the spirit constantly. I am in LOVE with Spanish and in love with reading the scriptures. Studying and reading all day is my favorite thing in the whole world. I love the Hermanas I get to spend my time with. Hermana Shoop is my little shadow. We became best friends the second we met and have been inseparable ever since.She is having a really hard time, but know I am supposed to take care of her. I love her so much.The showers and bathrooms are killing me :( I get sooo sad every time I'm in there, but I will eventually get used to the differences. Getting ready and done up feels selfish, so I wear my hair 100% natural everyday and keep my glasses on my eyes. But wearing my name tag, I have never felt more beautiful. Have to run! But I love you and will talk to you on Monday!

Heading to the CCM in Guatemala

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We snapped this at the airport just before she left. The lone Elder must think he's going to greatest mission on earth! Lucky guy!

Joseph Smith's 1st Prayer

We knew we wanted to have a keepsake of Sarah singing at her farewell but we weren't sure exactly how to pull it off discretely. Katherine held the camera on video setting on her lap as it pointed to the church program. The sound quality doesn't do it justice but it is a wonderful reminder of the incredible Spirit everyone felt in the room that day. Here is her rendition of Joseph Smith's First Prayer accompanied by Michael Hicks on the piano. She is currently at the MTC (CCM) in Guatemala preparing to serve in the Nicaragua South mission.

Her plan from day one after knocking on doors and possibly being rejected was to say, "Well, do you mind if we leave you with a song?". She will be an instrument in the Lords hands. Of that I have no doubt.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Departure Day

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This photo was taken shortly after her setting apart. What a beautiful experience to witness the mantel of Missionary placed on her head with the blessings of protection, health, discernment, and the gift of tongues wrapped around her like new skin. I love this picture for many reasons. First, because she looks radiant. Something about that name tag placed over her heart makes it all okay to send our baby girl out into the world. Second, because she is surrounded by her brothers and sisters who know her and love her so much. To hear them pray for her on a daily bases is humbling. The example she is setting for each of them is greater than we can truly comprehend at this time. I feel so incredibly blessed and honored to call each one of them my own. I'm creating this blog in hopes that they, along with close friends and family, can be strengthened by her testimony and example. I will try to keep it updated weekly as letters and pictures arrive. As always, Thank you for praying for our sweet missionary as well as all of those who labor in behalf of our Lord. As I've said before, there's no way on earth I could ever have her so far away without talking to her, hearing her beautiful voice and holding her sweet face in my hands like I so often did if I didn't believe 100% in the work she is doing to bring souls unto Christ. Love to you all! ~Claudia