Monday, June 24, 2013

Un pedazo de tu corazón

My wonderful family and loved ones :)

Oh the joy of missionary work. The love I have for these people is unlike anything I have ever felt. The hours we've spent praying for them, fasting for them, serving them, and teaching them goes by all too fast, and the only thing I wish I had was more time to spend with each of them. When I left my old area and into my new one, I cried for the investigators I had to leave behind. I find myself praying, still praying for them and their salvation even though they are now in the hands of others. Because of the way things are in the mission world, with Elders and Hermanas quickly moving from one area to the next and taking the place of others, I couldn't help but feel slightly discouraged. I felt that I was just a body in the Lords hands and any Hermana could easily take my place, baptize the same people, and have the same experiences. It wasn't until last night that I was reminded of my individual worth in this 65,000 plus sea of missionaries. I received a text message from my #1 favorite investigator from my 1st area who I had worried had forgotten me which read:

'Existen personas que por mas que quieras jamas podrás olvidar... son parte de tu vida, son 1 pedazo de tu corazón, 1 capitulo de tu historia, y por mas que a tu lado dejen de estar de tu memoria y de tus recuerdos nunca desaparecerán. En mi vida, en mi corazón, 'USTED' Hermana Nielson es 1 de esas personas. Gracias por TODO. ' 

I'm not just a body. The Lord needed and picked specifically me to be here at this time, in this place and with these people. For that I am now certain.

Until next time :)

Hermana Nielson
aka Hermanita Sonrisa

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with Paula

Monday, June 17, 2013

in LOVE

Dearest family and loved ones,

The people of Nicaragua are so beautiful it just astounds me. They live their lives on dirt floors without nice things (cars, makeup, washing machines, clean clothes, hair straighteners, etc) and live a plain, simple and pure way of life I had never known until coming here. They live with the bare necessities, and that's all you really need :) But the one thing they absolutely can not live without, is the company of each other. There will be more than 20 of them, all in a one room shack no bigger than my room at home, relaxing in a comfortable silence, simply enjoying each others presence. Besides being in the celestial room in the temple, I think being in the home with the family is the closest thing we have to heaven. My testimony has been strengthened so much this week.

While living here and being stripped of all the luxuries and things of the world, I have not only become more like the Nicaraguans, but more like the Savior. As missionaries we are literal representatives of Jesus Christ. Serving them, loving them, and teaching them the most important thing in the world that can change their lives forever. When I think my testimony couldn't get any stronger, it does, and grows more and more every day. It has nothing to do BUT grow while serving a mission, and I think that's why people call it “the best two years”. Being here is such a blessing, and so necessary for me to learn everything I need to in this life.

While teaching a lesson on the Atonement yesterday, I received a beautiful compliment. The woman we were teaching said to me 'Hermana Nielson, there is a difference between you and the other missionaries. The others believe that what they're saying is true, but you KNOW that what your saying is true. There isn't a shadow of doubt behind your eyes, and I want to know as well as you do the truthfulness of these things. I am jealous of you Hermana Nielson, and I pray I will be able to receive that knowledge someday.'

In my patriarchal blessing, there is a lovely line that reads, 'Sarah, you are a beautiful daughter of God because of the love of God abiding in your heart.' While serving my mission, I have fully come to understand the meaning of that sentence, and couldn't be more happy and at peace with who I am, and who I am becoming. When I someday walk up to the gates of heaven, I'm going in my worn out missionary shoes with gratitude in my heart for the opportunity I had to live on this earth and fulfill the full purpose of my creation as a woman of Christ. I am in LOVE with these people, this gospel and being a missionary.

With Love,
Hermana Nielson

p.s. Could you please send my Lonely Planets Latin American Spanish Phrasebook 4th edition? Its a little tiny purple book I've borrowed that is SAVING my life and I need my own copy before I have to return it. Thank you!
p.p.s sorry about my spelling and grammatical errors! I cant type on these Spanish keyboards :)


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Walking the dirt roads of Granada

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#sistermissionaryselfie  

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with Hermana A.

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Home sweet home

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Con las Hermanas

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❤ Hermana Nielson

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The language of the Spirit

My dearest family and loved ones-

I have been away from home for officially 3 months now! The amount I have learned in these 3 months is so immense I can hardly believe it. I feel like I say this every email but it couldn't be more true. I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity I have to be here. It is the greatest blessing I have received in my life thus far. I just completed my first week in Granada with Hermana A and wow... what a difference. My last companion and my new one are polar opposites. Hermana A has been out for 10 months, doesn't speak the language very well, and doesn't talk above a whisper. I can hardly hear her standing right beside her, so I say the words que dice and como at least 100 times a day. The people here can’t hear or understand her either, but this has only strengthened my testimony of the convincing power of the Holy Ghost. The language of the spirit speaks stronger to our investigators than any Spanish words we could ever say. The Spirit works directly through us and makes up the difference for our lack of communication skills. While tracting in the street, almost every family accepts our invitation to hear more about our message and I know its 100% the spirit convincing them to let us in. Without the power of the Holy Ghost, we wouldn't be able to teach a single person. Being an instrument in the Lords hands is such an honor, and I couldn't feel more humbled Heavenly Father picked me to use :) My last companion would scare people into teaching them and treat them as numbers, so I couldn't feel more at peace and happy with the new companionship I have been blessed with. I can fully be myself around Hermana A, and I love her and the people in my new area with all of my heart.  I am helping her learn how to use her voice to speak louder (she's struggled with it her entire life) and her lack of Spanish is forcing me to learn more. We couldn't be a more perfect match.

Unlike my last area, Granada is dangerous. A man was following us home last night, and I couldn't have been more terrified. We took twists and turns through the dark streets and finally lost him, but I know we have special sister missionary protection. Heavenly Father reassured me in my setting apart blessing, not a hair on my head will be harmed while serving him. I believe.

It has rained HARD every single day this week. Our poor little house floods so we spend a lot a time sweeping and mopping out all of the water. Because of this, and trudging through the mud day in and day out, I have developed a foot fungus. Its super painful and sooo gross but we've been putting medicine on it so hopefully it will clear up with time.

I love this gospel more than anything on this green earth. The love I have for my Savior Jesus Christ is a love that defies all description, and I couldn't be more grateful for his atoning sacrifice so I can live with my Heavenly Father again. When I stand at the judgment bar of God, I will be able to say I did everything I possibly could to help build up Zion because I dedicate my entire life to serving him. I am so grateful I was born and raised in the Church and able to serve a mission so I can have the training I need to be the mother of soldiers who with the priesthood, will fight in the army of God to defeat Satan.

Until next time,

Hermana Nielson :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Adios Nindiri

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 with Hermana Vasquez

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 with Hermana Mercades

I just got transferred this morning to a new area called Granada! I am now with the beautiful Hermana A.! Shes a tall farm girl from Arizona with stringy hair and the sweetest spirit I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I can't wait to get to know her more and experience with her new adventures in this sweet little town. My new area is right next to the lake so its twice as hot, and I am more sunburned than I have ever been in my life. I look like a little tomato bouncing around these streets with my giant of a companion haha. She's 5'8''! Our house is so much nicer than the other I can hardly believe it! It even has a flushable toilet! I just have to remember to lather on the sunscreen and I'm good to go.
I cried for all the investigators I loved so much in Nindiri. I miss them already, but I know there are only more amazing people to meet here in Granada as well. I'm sure I'll have a monton of stories for you next week while serving here in Granada. So until next time!
Sending all my love,
Hermana Nielson