Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 28, 2010

Dearest Family,

I moved! But I would imagine that because of the 3 day late email you already knew that. You don't however know where I am.. So I will tell you that. I am now in Nietsytpolku... In otherwords the downtown Helsinki area. My area is ginormous and a bit intimidating.. not the peaceful Jyväskylä I was in. My new companion is as new to finland as I am to helsinki... Well I guess I got to helsinki a day before his plane arrived. He is a greenie. That means that we are "shotgunning" Neitsytpolku, which means that 2 completely new people are replacing the 2 old elders. They try not to do that very often.. but this needed to happen I guess.

I have had a pretty crazy week so far trying to figure out where I am and look as not lost as possible so my greenie trusts me :) haha Elder Pace is from california and went to byu for a year. He actually speaks finnish quite well for how long he has been here. He studied very diligently in the MTC.

Fromage, glad to hear that sisar Kirsi's story helped you as much as it helped her. A nice little testimony of how God helps us as we help others. Missionary work is full of things like that and I think that is why missions help little boys become incredible men. Glad to hear craig fills the mantle :) he was a good boy to begin with!

I don't have much time this week to email because today is thursday and we need to go do work haha but I just wanted to let mom and the family know that I am still alive and kickin' haha now I'm just in the biggest area in all a finland with the greenest elder haha what a fun learning experience this will be!

On a fun side note. The assistants to the president are now in my district (Elder Quinn), so I am my trainers district leader! Fun to be around him again and see his smiling face.

No fun stories... sorry... just a lot of moving and trying to get packed and unpacked between teaches. I was able to visit the temple for the 3rd time since being here... YAY

Ok, I really got to go.. thanks for everything! sounds like a good week! Pray for a 25 :)


Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 18, 2010

Dearest family,

This week was great.. and full of stories ;) hehe

First one: Sister Kirsi, the less active lady I have been working with since the begging of my time here in Jyväskylä (which I feel is about to come to an abrubt close because change calls is this week and I have been here since december... No one in the ward remembers a missionary being here so long... I know the Lord knew I had a lot to learn here so he left me here with fertile soil to grow in... The Plan is perfect I tell ya...) anyways, Sister Kirsi gave a wonderful talk in church yesterday... That made me smile from ear to ear. The topic for the sacrament meeting was Moroni 7:48 and she did a wonderful job explaining how in order to be filled with that love we need to empty out all the things that are contrary to that love. She has a very powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and share a neat story that I think mom will like :) So this is my paraphrased version of what she said talking about when she felt that pure love of Jesus Christ Fill her. She said "It was a little while ago when the missionaries (I think she shared this just to make me feel good) had been teaching me every week and this particular teach they brought a framed picture of the savior holding a little lamb, I felt as I if I was that little lamb in the saviors arms and I have reflected up that again and again. She then talked about how we are to help everyone and how she felt the loving arms of the savior reach clear from the other side of the world when Elder Nielsen's kiltti (nice) mother sent a picture book with that very same picture" She then talked about how it was the love she felt and not the worldly thing that meant the most. It was really touching and nice be be a small part of that. I thought it was every cooler that my mommy helped me do some missionary work. We had the Pitkämäki couple in Church for the very first time, the love of Christ filled the room as a wonderful daughter of God shared a story about when she felt the love of Jesus Christ through the thoughfulness of another. Thanks Mom :)

The Pitkämäki really enjoyed church I think! They had a few questions about why we don't have drums and guitars in sacrament but overall it went really well. I just had to laugh inside when we sang all 7 verses of "a poor wayfaring man of grief" haha it last 10 minutes... But I would much rather that than a member testifying about kolob and plural marraige and stuff haha. We have had that before... LOL :D

2nd Story: Sister Monanen who is also less active (actually she completely took her records off the church records) gave a really powerful testimony in our investigators class about the word of wisdom (that was the lesson) and how she had tried to quit drinking coffee earlier in life when a doctor told her she shouldn't but couldn't then. Now she has been 5 weeks without coffee and she said it was easy! 1 nephi 3:7 came to my mind, because God truly does provide a way for us to follow his commandments. She tolded a lot of good stories and is doing well on getting back on the path. I'm not sure when she is going to be re-baptized... but we will see. (It is a little different for someone who has divorced eiku taken their records off) anyways... really fun to be the teacher in that class... Really fun to be able to speak and understand finnish! The gift of toungues is truly a gift and it never ceases to amaze me!

District meeting and interview were really good this last week. I feel like God has helped me understand a little better how to teach to people's needs and not just teach lessons. I'm have been thinking that I could really enjoy being a Seminary teacher rather than dentist.. but that is a desicion for the future... for me at least haha not for Kyle :P hehe thanks for the good email by the way! My interview with president was amazing and he basically taught me what life is all about! I love that man!

Thanks for the package full of delicious goodies and AMAZING pens! Those were just what I needed! Glad to hear disneyland was an adventure and I'm sure the little girls had just as much fun being with just mom and dad as they would have if I had been there... :) Dad, thank you for your little tidbits of things you learned... I hope someday to feel that joy of my children... I love the Joy that comes through missionary work, and right now I cannot comprehend being anymore joyful.. it is wonderful!! :)

I heard through the apostate grapevine that USU beat BYU in football HAHAHAHAHAHAHA that is really sad...

Transfer calls are this saturday and I am scared I might have to leave this wonderful place.... but whatever happens it happens under the direction of One who knows all and knows what is best for all of us. That trust brings me great comfort and peace of mind. I know that God lives and loves everyone of us, And FINLAND!!! :D


Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

October 11, 2010

Dearest family!

This week will just be stories... in behalf of a couple requests from a couple of my most favorite people in the world!

First story is the story of Mari Kinnunen: we found her in an activity we did with the young single adults. We drew the plan of salvation on the sidewalk and contacted people as they walked by it was a really neat experience for the young single adults group. We stopped mari and she came to the following young single adult family home evening and then the institute on the following thursday. (this was last week I believe) We gave her a Book of Mormon about a week and a half ago and had our first teach with her last week. In our first teach we asked her if she had read the Book of Mormon, she said "yes, but I'm not as fast as I would like to be, right now Nephi is on a boat with his family" she was almost done with 1st nephi at our first teach. She came to Church yesterday and we had a teach after church, it went really well. Later that night she called us to thank us for the peace she felt at church! " I am the shepard and the elect will hear my voice" Mari testifies to me of just that. There are people that are ready to accept the gospel... our job, regaurdless if we are in Finland or the utah mission, is to find those people and be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Second story is about and older lady by the name of Leena Ihanainen: She is an older lady that Elder Pearson and I tracted into and she let us right in. We have taken members to our teaches and she attended general conference and loved it. She has been reading the book of mormon very faithfully and really has come closer to Jesus Christ through it's teachings, " a man will come closer to Jesus Christ by the book of mormon than any other book on earth" (badly mis-quoted ,sorry I don't remember it in english... But it is still true rippumatta kielestä) Anyways, we commited her to baptism (as is the way of missionaries) and she said yes! but she didn't feel she would be ready on the date we said :( she wants to read the whole book of mormon... Katsotaan.

Third story (man stories take ALOT of thought and time haha I only have 10 minutes left lol... I'm really going to have to send a tape because mom is right I totally won't have time to share all these) The third story is about the incredible week the district had! yay! I really think that the Book of Mormon Challenge is helping us all learn how to work and be guided be the holy ghost.. Tuota niin noin niin... We found 3 new investigators this week and that was exciting.

I really can't think of stories off the top of my head :( sorry fromage I am a failure... (slowly elder nielsen resorts to the old way of emailing... with his head held low :( ) haha but I really will try and relay them to you in some way or another. :D Elder Fuchs is a machine! We ran a 13 k (8 miles) for our morning work out last saturday haha that was intense! He has really whipped me into shape! haha We ran around the Jyväsjärvi lake... you will have to google it... it is big!

Mom, I'm sorry I am out of time.. But I did find a scripture for you 2 Nephi 2:1-2

Love you all so much... I Love this Work soooo much :D

Rakkaudella sun paras Ystävä/Poika,

Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen

October 5, 2010

Dearest Family,

First off sorry that this email is a day late... did your heart beat a little faster fromage? thinking that your favorite son ;) had forgot to email you :) Truth is that we came to the library and accidentally logged on 2 minutes before our time started... then when our time started we were kicked out of the system because you can only log on once a day :( I talked to the librarian and there wasn't anything she could do to fix it... So I kind of have a good excuse :)

Wow... That was an inspiring general conference. I wish we had been able to watch all the sessions, but the 3 we watched were Saturday evening, Priesthood session, and Sunday morning (sunday morning session was the only one that we watched live) We would have been able to watch saturday morning live, but we were at a service project, which went really well... oh the blessings we have in this life! That general conference was absolutely incredible, and it answered a few questions I had in my heart. Priesthood session was amazing! The talked by Elder Kearon really hit home. I loved the way he illistrated what happens as we get to close to the edge of sin because of our laziness and small little rebellions. President Uchtdorfs talk in priesthood session was powerful, We as a mission went pretty thoroughly through the talk he quoted by President Ezra taft Benson. It showed me a lot of things about being humble and understand who really is in charge. I never cease to be amazed at all the tender mercies the lord sends to us as we listen and look for them (and be thankful like President Monson talked about) I am so thankful for the living prophet and the guidance he is to us. Our father in heaven has stacked the deck in our favor... we just need to listen to the prophet and trust in the spirit for personal revelation (and be worthy of that guidance)

Did I tell you about the Book of Mormon Challenge that President Brown gave to us? We each received (I before E except after C... Except in receive lol... ohhhh english...) a fresh new copy of the book of mormon, and we are going through and highlighting names and pronouns refering to the savior, times the savior talks, doctrines in the book of mormon, and chirstlike attributes. It has really opened up my eyes to who the savior is and all that he does and did for us. I shared a quote in District meeting from President Ezra Taft Benson about how we need to each more effectively use that witness (the Book of Mormon) to learn about and testify of him of who it is a chief witness... (Badly mis-quoted/remembered) But The effect of the quote was that we can all learn and come closer to Christ through the Book of Mormon which is the Chief witness of him, and that he himself made it as such. So anyways... I went through and counted and in 1 nephi alone it mentions and uses the name of Jesus Christ 639 times... and then I went through and found more... The Book of Mormon is truly a testimony of Jesus Christ! It has been really interesting to see all these things click in my head.. and then to have the general authorities talk and teach just the things that clicked... INTENSE!

hmmm... I really wish I had time to share all of the things that are happening in my life... but then I wouldn't have any stories for you when I get home! haha So I will tell all those later... when I have time! Missionary work has really helped me come closer to Christ and to understand a little better who he is. President Brown is a man called of God and has brought this mission up and helped us rely more fully on God and the guidance of the Holy Ghost... The Finland Helsinki Mission was well... a little bit different 2 or 3 years ago. Here is a quote from my last email "By the way, we had four baptisms conference weekend and as a result we now have 48 baptisms for the year, which is exactly what we had all of last year. We have approximately 20 outstanding baptismal dates and three months left in the year. Add to our total the 20 outstanding dates and we will have a total of 68 baptisms. If you pray hard and work hard we should be able to have many more baptismal dates between now and the end of the year and reach our goal of 75 baptisms. I hope that will be your goal. May the Lord bless you as we move forward to find, teach and baptize."

The things happening here are incredible. God lives and loves us and is waiting to pour out blessings upon us... but as there is a law irrevocably decreed in the heavens, it comes only according to our obedience to that law.

I know that those men who spoke to us were called of God, Miracles happen and bring 30 baptisms a year to 48 and then to 75... God is the master of timing.

Love you family!

Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen