"And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

Monday, December 28, 2015

Late Birthday news and a great Christmas!

Hi everyone, sorry that I wasn't able to get an email out last week, we had a lot of stuff to do so it wasn't like "tafa" but I am getting one out this week so here we go!

Probably the biggest thing from last week would be the suprise that Elder Sweeten did for me on my birthday. We stop by a members house after work as the wanted us to stop by really fast. We get there and surprisingly the husband was home so we were able to go right inside. We start talking/ chatting while the wife (it was Lolona by the way) got up to do something on the other side of the room. As we were talking I either hear or see something so I turn my head and I get a great big handful of flour right in my face followed my an egg soon after. Apparently Elder Sweeten had set up that visit while on a split earlier that week. It was a big suprise and it was way good.

So I am going to have to shorten this letter and focus on only a few of our investigators. First Rivo and Ivonne's family are doing great; we are now in the middle of learning about the "Gospel of Jesus Christ". This falily is just so great to teach, we can literally see them growing. This past Sunday their entire family came to church except for Rivo, he says that he is still thinking about it and also about baptism. We know that he can find an answer and as soon as it comes he can literally lead his family to progress to baptism and beyond, they are all waiting for him, we are hoping that he may recive a witness soon.

The final family  would be Claude and Haingo's family. We have been teaching them for a rather long time and none had ever come to church and we had to start thinking about dropping them which we did not want to do. We end up giving them a "drop talk"; reminding them of our purpose and if they were not willing to progress we would eventually not be able to come back. We stop by on another time and Claude straight up told us that he was comoing to church which suprised us a bit and we hoped that it would be true but the past didn't make me that hopeful.

This past Sunday we are talking with some members at church, waiting for the meeting to start and up pulls a white scooter, it enters the gate and stops right in front of us. I look at the driver, a bit confused, but it was Claude with one of his daughters! I was so stunned that he actually came but then me and Elder Sweeten got so excited, we did a little victory dance.

Then finally it was Christmas and that means... Skype call! It was great to talk with my family and it is a bit weird to think that it was my last Christmas on mission, such a weird thought.

I think that is about what I have time. Elder Sweeten and I are just having a great time here and our area is going great, I can't wait to see what will happen as we come into this new year! Have a great week everyone and Happy New Years!

Elder Nelson

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hmmm, no titles come to mind

Hey everybody! so this is going to be quick as I am about out of time but the work is just going great here and I love it!

Tuesday we met with one of our less actives named Rene. He has been less active for a very long time and so many amazing missionaries have tried working with him but he hasn't yet come back. We know that he still has a testimony but has fallen on hard times. We then met with an older couple named David and Gertrude and honestly I really enjoy meeting and teahing them. We reviewed the Story of Joseph Smith with them and tried our hardest to help them to understand that they must ask for themselves so that they can know if it is true or not. They are still struggling with praying to know but we are still working with them and they are still making great progress.

Wednesday we had a return lesson with a man named Misa. We met him about two weeks ago and we have finally been able to meet with him now. He was very kind and listened as we mostly focused on our missionary purpose and the reason that we preach the gospel; to help everyone come closer to Christ and recieve eternal life. It was a good little short lesson as he needed to get back to work but we will see how it goes in later visits. Finally were able to meet with Claude and his family again, they have so busy with work that it was very hard to catch them. We reviewed parts of the Plan of Salvation, especially about our purpose here on earth and the things that we need to do here. We related that to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, we told them that everything that they do in this life and that at this time this small book has the greatest importance for them. It was good that we did as Rojo, Claudes daughter, had not really been reading to praying but passively listening.

So Friday was a great day, a day of trial and conquest, contacting day! Nah but really we had a great time contacting for a good part of our day and we were rewarded with a new potentially great investigator named Faly. We had a great short lesson with him as he still had stuff to do but he responded well and told us to visit anytime we could. Then that evening we met with Rakotoarimandimby and Meline, chatted a bit, checked how they are doing on their Word of Wisdom commitment (they are doing very good, slowly getting of chewing tobacco) and then went into a review about Joseph Smith as we both felt that they didn't really grasp the importance of Joseph. So we review and end by discussing about the Book of Mormon and we dig, and dig, and dig where we end up finding that while they have techniqualy been reading they have not been praying at all to know if it was true and so they had no idea what to do about their decisions to come to church or not. So we bear the biggest testimonies that we could, we bear, and bear, and bear our testimonies. The Spirit was so strong, it is just so amazing to feel its prescence so stongly every now and then.

Then Saturday Elder Sweeten got sick. Actually he had been sick for a few days but had not been getting better so we stayed in for most of the day but we were able to go out in the evening to teach some people that were progressing very well, Elder Sweeten is such a stud, he is so fun to work with.

That is pretty much it, sorry that it is a bit haphazard but we are just about out of time so good luck everyone and have a great week, Mazoto E!

Elder Nelson

Monday, December 7, 2015

Longest bike ride and Baptisimal Interviews

Here is our week, it was great and a blast, enjoy!

Monday we sorta goofed around and wet to a lot of places so that Elder Sweeten can get a good welcome from Antsirabe. Then that evening we tried to catch our times but unfortunetely all of our normal times couldn't so in the end we ended up visiting a member family, giving them strength and encouragment.

Tuesday morning we played basketball as a zone which was way fun and we all had a great time. After we got home I started to feel a bit off, like I was getting sick but I thought I was just tired from basketball so we still went out and I am so glad that we did. Our first time was with a referal that some members had given us named Ramarolahy or Lila for a nickname. Apparently Ramarolahy learned with the missionaries years ago but nothing really came of it. But he tells us that inbetween the time that he hadn't learned he had still been reading the Book of Mormon and was trying to find a place to worship. You could say that we were very astonished at this and maybe a bit afraid that we might blow this potential golden investigator. Fortunetally we stay calm and I am pretty sure that we had some spiritual guidance during that as the lesson went rather well.

Thursday we met with David and Gertrude again which is always great as they love to listen. We reviewed a bit about the Apostacy and Priesthood and then we began teaching about the Joseph Smith Story. One piece of advice from my brother in law Tanner who said "The bigger the section in Preach my Gospel the longer you spend teaching about it". So we focused very hard on the the story and what it means; 1. Joseph had a question, on where the true church of Christ was 2. He studied and used all of the resources about him to try to answer that question, he searched 3. After he studied he applied what he learned from the scriptures (James 1:5) and after that he got his answer. We then linked that to the Restoration of the Priesthood keys for if Joseph had not recieved those keys he could not have possibly restored anything.

We felt that for the most part that David and Gertrude understood what we were tellng them for the most part. But they may still worry as the story is strange and new but we promised them that if they truly went to God and truly asked in faith then they would know for themselves if what we were telling them was true.

Saturday I went on a split with Elder Iata in Mahazoarivo as they needed some baptisimal interviews done. They had told me that it was just way out in Ambanivohitra but when we got there it took an hour by bike to get there . We get there and I manage to finish one interview but we needed to leave as it was getting very dark. We go and ohhh it was so sketchy; it had been raining, all the roads were slick with mud, and there were no light, period. So we are just slidding every where and I was literally praying so hard that we would not get stuck or anything like that because we were still very far out. Eventually we get back to the main city and boy I was so happy to see an actual road. We get home and we reviewed the day and I told the elders that I really did not want them working out that far as so many things could happy that far out.

Then that SUnday I finished the interviews and the two young adult children passed but unfortunetely I would prefer that the parents wait a bit longer as there were some things that they needed to still work on.

That was pretty much the week, I am so sorry everyone but I am just about out of time but thank you all for the letters that you sent and I look forward to hearing from all of you again, Merry Christmas (haha it is that time of year again!)
Elder Nelson