Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31, 2010

Dear Family,

This week was yet again a good one :) Lol we were kind of all over the place on our new Bicycles that we bought last week! (I finally found a really good deal on a bike I liked 90€ haha it is used, but it should last 2 years :) ) Maybe I will send a picture your way. Actually definentally I will, because I have been meaning to send you guys that memory card for a long long time haha. So this week is Zone Conference, and man I cannot wait, Zone Conference is one of the most motivating things in the whole world.

This week we had a really good teach with Meg, who accepted the commitment to set a specific baptismal date! (keep her in your prayers) We finished up clarifying the word of wisdom and helped her see the blessings. She is great! I really love going to my little preach my gospel that Kyle gave me and looking for things that he highlighted, Scriptures that really help him on his mission. Man, I am learning lots, ALWAYS! haha New Vocab, New ides, new scriptures, lol it is intense/exhausting... but I love it :) wow, Fromage you tell those priest in the ward that missions are the greatest! haha I still kinda get a kick because I sent them all Chocolate for Christmas accompanied with a fine letter haha and on one of the Christmas cards that every ward member signs for christmas (the ones that sister Francom sets up) on one of those it said "thanks for the Chocolate it was bank" lol that is all....

Sounds like you guys are doing great!

This week was really great, We were able to help a man with some service, he isn't an investigator, or member. Just a friend of a less active (he is Brother Rockhills Friend's friend) anyways we had a really good discussion about families as we were working on digging steps into this hill, it was really incredible. He said pretty straight forward that he wouldn't be interested in taking the lessons, But that discussion was great. We dropped one investigator this week... after not progressing or doing anything with his testimony of the book of mormon we decided that would be best. I really do enjoy that man, but we are here to find the people that are willing to act upon the Word of God! We found 2 new investigators this week. They are great, they really know the bible, and have a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon. Their names are Andi and Cina and they are a married couple. We met cecilia on the street and she said she would love to talk more about this "Book of Mormon" :) Little miracles!

We just continue to see miracles! I learned so much from this talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley entitled Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep. It was great! Mostly about missionary work, actually no entirely about missionary work, but that is my life right now and I love it! Wow, I can't wait for Zone conference, I will give you guys the run down next week! I also studied a lot about Faith, The bible dictionary is an incredible place to start... wow! Also I always enjoy your guys little nuggets of knowledge that you share, I loved going into and studying those stories about the barak and the prophtess in the bible! Thanks dad that was great! I have been reading our heritage, and man that is powerful. Preach my Gospel is so great. I taught Elder pearson Ryans little sticky note with scriptures in Preach my Gospel, and He loves it! Wow... Sorry I always just share all the random things going through my head!

Anyways, moral of the story, I love you all! Good to hear Ryan got his battle wound checked off the list (a black eye in combat training :) ! hopefully Kyle already has his list of fourwheeler accidents all checked off! haha love you all so much! (Kyle is currently in Delta with the in-laws to be 4-wheeling.. we always double our prayers when he's at such activities :)

Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

May 24, 2010

Dearest family,

Wow, This week was pretty intense. We had one of the most incredible teaches ever with one of our investigators (Jan) about the Plan of Salvation. She just really wants to know and really wants to understand. She is a great lady and I truly believe that that true desire to know and the thirst for the truth is there, it is inspiring. We talked a lot about the purpose of life and She asked if we could have just and entire lesson about it :) She is great. She has some of the most incredible questions and I love it. This gospel is so great :) We are able to learn as we teach. I had a lot of little revelations and little Ahhh hahs.

This week has been kinda a rough one, but I can say that it has been worth it. Nothing is greater than the feeling of serving the Lord, Family, Missions are incredible :) We had another School Presentions, I didn't feel like this one went quite as well as the other one even though we had a lot more time to plan it and be prepared. It still went pretty well, but the High school aged kids didn't ever really open up and ask questions, but hey :) it was a great oppurtunity. (spelling?)

We also had some other incredible teaches :) wow, teaching is powerful because you learn so much! I love it. Our investigators are doing great, we have 3 of them progressing and attending church quite regularly. It is grrreat :) Risi came to church for the first time. Meg, we had a teach and we were really straight forward (but loving) and I think we found the problem... Word of wisdom is a tough one for, Satan has been working to get a hold on these people. Fortunatelly we know who will prevail and that just boosts me up and gives me the power and motivation everyday to keep putting forth my best, even when the results aren't always apparent.

So it sounds like all is well is america, except for the freezing cold weather. We are actually quite the opposite, the finns are saying this heat is absolutely ridiculous for spring time here. Maybe the cloud migrated over and you guys are having a nuclear winter and we get all your sunshine ( I would have given anything for sunshine when Elder Slade and I were tracting oma koti's in negative 26 haha) but it is nice here this last week finland has been warm. One day we were the warmest of all Europe nations. VERY RARE for finland. its been about 25 C so like 80 F wow... it's so lovely here, mom dad you are going to love it here if you ever come here! What texas or arizona? really?

so again I don' t have much time sorry about that, but I guess I will make time for next weeks email and so you guys can have an actual update on what is going on in my life :) Moral of this week I guess is that God is in control, and even though sometimes we feel like Joseph smith did in Jail, Like we are under a pavilion and we are just walking in the dark, just keep walking because God is a Loving God and will always restore according to our works. Justice and Mercy are so great! I love you family with all my heart :) I love this Gospel with all my heart because through it we are able to live forever together.


Elder Thomas NEAL Nielsen :)

May 17, 2010

Dearest Family,
Good to hear that you guys are doing great. Jyväskylä is the bomb! This week has had a few ups and downs (maybe after my mission I will share it all) But right now I feel like I am on top of the world! Missions are incredible!
So I told you I was going to talk more about Jyväskylä and the work that is going on here, so I had better do that first before I forget anything :) This week was a pretty great week here! We taught Meg and she is doing great. We went to set a specific date for her baptism, but she just said a month :( but she still has that goal to be baptized in August I hope that as Elder P and I start to prepare her for baptism that she will feel the excitment and the spirit and just be oh so ready that she will move that date up to june! :) only time will tell! she is doing great and she has come a long ways. Even the members have seen a difference in meg, it is wonderful. This gospel is such a powerful thing and it just strengthens everyone, I love it!
Then we had another incredible member teach with Jan who is here from cameroon working on her PHD, Wow, she is smart and she knows the bible. She is one of the most incredible people ever. The member we brought along actually knew her from before we brought Jan to church a couple weeks ago. Little miracles, they were in the same finnish class at the college! Pretty great! Jan loved when we told her how the Holy Ghost testifies of the truth. It was like a couple dots connected in her head. Man teaching is so incredible :)
Then we just had a teach (this morning, hence the later than average email) with Brother Belgi (the man that Brother Rockhill Baptized) and wow that was powerful, we talked about families and what an incredible blessing they are to us in this life, then we talked about how relationships in general everyday life. He is a great man, I can see why Brother Rockhill enjoyed him so much.
All in all it was a great week, We had 8 teaches total (I hope Dad, Ryan, Or Kyle don't laugh) I felt like we did really well :) We are almost up to the standard of Excellence which is 10 teaches total per week per mission companionship. I really would be interested to hear some of the statistics from Dad, Ryan, and Kyle's missions, That would be fun little info :)
I had my interview with President Brown, and man was that a treat, That man.... I'm telling you he is inspired of God and he knows his stuff :) I really hope you get to meet him someday, HE IS THE GREATEST MISSION PRESIDENT IN THE WORLD!!!!
Family, I love you all so much I can't even begin to tell you all that I have learned in my 8 months here finland is an amazing place, ask mitzi :)
tons of Love,
Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

May 8, 2010

Dear Family,
Hey, so I briefly explained change call and that we got a change call. Elder Slade is going to a town by the name of Savonlinna, he is going to have 2 companions, pretty intense haha. So I am staying in the great city of Jyväskylä. This place is great. My companions name is Elder Pearson, He is great, he is just all sorts of excited to do missionary work, It is pretty fun to see. I was in Helsinki yesterday picking him up. I'm kinda scared because I am training him, so any prayers my way would be greatly appreciated haha. He is a great Elder, Super fresh from the MTC it is fun to see the energy and the desire to do the work.
So first of all, the calling situation. Elder Pearson is going to ask his family if they can call at like 8:30 A.M. Utah time, and that means that 7:30 Utah time would work great for me :) So call me then! That is (just to make sure) 4:30 My time, and It should be great. I will probably come down to the Church computer sunday after church just to make sure all is well with the calling situation, because Elder Pearson hasn't had a chance to double check with his family that 8:30 works for them. So that is all for the calling situation,
Second of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! hope you got my little birthday package that I sent to you ( I feel bad, I sent natalies a few weeks ago, I just got it back because I guess I didn't put enough stamps on it... uhh ohh, So I will be re-sending that to you natalie, sorry for the late birthday present, hope it gets to you soonish :) ) So what sort of things are you guys doing to celebrate dad's birthday? Are you going golfing? Does Kyle still golf? Any other fun things would be great to hear :) I guess I will be talking to you like 3 days from now on the phone so this Email is kinda an obsolete (Spelling) haha. I will try and get that picture sent off to you dad as soon as I can. anyways happy birthday dad :)
So this last week with Elder Slade went great. So this again is going to be a pretty short email with not much to say other than I love you all, and I can't wait to talk to you until sunday. It is going to be great! Thank you all for all you do and the great example you guys are to me, I love my family :) I love this Gospel. Today (Elder Pearson and I's first day of work together) We had a presentation at a high school and we talked about the gospel and the restoration. What an incredible oppurtunities, In the Question and Answer part we talked about families and it was really neat. I don't know what it is, but there is so much power in the love that a family has (does that make sense?) anyways, I guess I will talk to you all on Sunday!
Love you,
Vanhin Thomas Nielsen

Monday, May 3, 2010

April 26, 2010

Dearest Family,
Wow, what an incredible week this last week was. It was super busy, but really really educational. First we had Zone conference last tuesday. Zone conferences are some of the most powerful meetings in the world. President Brown is just about the most incredible teacher in the world. He really explains and teaches in a way that makes you thirst and desire to increase and do better, it is intense! Then we had splits in Lahti with Elder Hamner (last companion who is now my district leader) that was really good. We went there thursday evening and got home Friday night. unfortunately I somehow managed to leave my binder with all my notes from pretty much every meeting I have had since coming to Finland on the train... ;( Hopefully I will be able to call someone and figure out if they have it in a lost and found thing or something... I pretty much wanted to cry when I realized I forgot it on the train... Anyways life goes on :) Then on Sunday, The long awaited President K came and gave a very very powerful talk on Christ and we can all improve and follow him closer. I really liked some of the thoughts he shared on the scripture Matthew 11:28-30 He talked about how taking His yoke upon us is entering into a covenant to follow Him and to truly serve him with all your heart and might. That is when we have the promise that follows which is one of the most comforting and powerful promises he has ever given to us, He will give rest unto your souls. He talked about a scripture in revelations that says something along the lines of "Behold the lion cometh..." ( I don't remember the rest) But he talked about how the Jews were so sure that was talking about Christ and His power and Majesty. Right after it says that it talks about how the Lamb submitteth itself to be slain. That is Our Reedemer. President K talked about that is where He gets his power, is from his humility and Meekness (just like Matt 11 says) Then he tied it into Mosiah 3:19 Which was pretty cool because Elder L (elder Hamner's companion) and I really talked about how can we put of the natural man while we were on splits last friday. So anyways... The moral of his talk was that as we willingly and lovingly obey the commandments and do everything God asks us to do we are humbling ourselves, and that is where power in our life will come. No other way that humility and accepting the will of the Father in all aspects of our lives. Not boasting like "Hey look at me, look what I accomplished, Wahoo I am great" haha that is pretty extreme... But I think the point is there lol. (I really hope that wasn't just a big jumbled up paragraph... which it likely is... sorry)
Oh man mom, You would have absolutely loved Sister K. haha She was great! She pretty much was Jumping off the stage as she talked to us, it was great. It made me laugh a little to see her translator just standing and talking in the normal finnish, quiet way. And Sister K pretty much rocking the stage expressing how she felt. It was great! She talked alot about families and how parents have the responsibility to nurture and help their children grow and truly gain a testimony of the Gospel. It was really neat. She talked about how Scriptural Nuriousment (how do you spell that word) is how we can build a testimony that will last and that by partaking of that every single day we can build upon a rock that will not fail. So ya that was pretty much all from that meeting.
Then I decided this morning to study a little bit about The Savior and His humility, Pretty intense. He was a perfect example to us all of how to continually do the will of The Father and never ever take credit or want others to recognize you for what you did. I studied a lot about what happened in the Garden of Gethsemene and after. I really like when he tells peter, the apostle, after he tries to defend Him from the guards. If I wanted to right now I could pray to The Father and he would send legions of angels. He really understood what humility was, because He knew what he needed to do, although it was painful and uncomfortable. He knew it needed to be done. So ya... There is a lot more to that but that is the main gist of it haha.
Sounds like you all are doing great! Nate Graduated Wahoo! Natalie is turning 20 on saturday! (that is actually change call day at 9:30 P.m.) and also Vappu (may day) that's fun!
Dad I really liked your thoughts on Milestones of life... That was great. Thanks! Life is an incredible thing. Fromage, I'll bet you are going to be the funnest Sunbeam teacher in the whole world! Pretty much last general conference was focused on teaching little kids. Now you get to :)
Yes about the calling, 8 A.M your time would be great sunday morning, So that is 5 Oclock my time sunday evening.
Dad, Spring is Springing, although about 3 or 4 of the last few day it has snowed... wierd! haha
I believe that is all I have to say this week. I love you all and thanks for your prayers and everything. I cannot begin to describe the joy I feel reading your emails and hearing all the fun things you have to say, Life is Beautiful :)
Elder Thomas Neal Nielsen