Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 9, 2011 (Pitkästä aikaa)

Dearest Family,

A letter to the editor: We would like to formally apologize for the missionary in question's inablitity to; A) to tell stories over the phone B) Keep a conversation, shoot the breeze as some might say and C) pick up humor through a 3 second delay. LOL but thanks for staying on the other side of the phone :) you guys are great, although I lost the ability to talk about anything other than missionary work, we were both still there to listen to each other just talk haha. Sounds like everyone is doing great.

However I must dispell rumors before they take root and become superstitions in our family... haha I was not ever in change board meeting, so I have no idea where specifically I will be going this next change. President just gave me a one line statement with a wink and a nudge in our interview together... nothing big. Although I do hope that mom's C is correct lol we will see on saturday. I LOVE JYVÄSKYLÄ!!!

Well, life is good here in Finland the sun is shinning and Elder Fuchs and I will be playing Sähly (floorball) for a P-day activity today. I'm pretty excited for that. Elder Sharp and I decided we are going to start teams in the states, and we will have BYU vs. USU games... USU will prevail seeing as it is a less self-righteous school... (lol that actually is a self-righteous statement coming from a USU man... anyways) Then tomorrow we have a Zone conference in which we are going to talk about working with members, I forgot I was going to ask you on the phone about working with missionaries from a member's point-of-view. Although I'm sure that in Utah you see the missionaries about 2 a year.

Well, I don't remember what stories I shared with you on the phone.. not too many as I recall. We got 2 new investigators this week and we have a pretty big teaching pool right now, Like 7 newer investigators and 2 more progressed investigators. The Lord has really been pouring out his blessing upon Espoo. Teuvo is a wonderful man, and the spirit has been really strong in his teaches, I hope we can keep meeting with him and help him get back on track! Conversion is an uphill battle! Saara is going to be baptized in the first week of june. I don't know if I have talked much about her... Man... I should really start a checklist of the things I have shared with you and the things I haven't.

This last week was a great week, Elder Nikiforov who is from St. Petersburg russia, finished his mission about a year ago. He served in Espoo 2 for about half his mission (I think just as long as I was in JYVÄSKYLÄ) He came back to visit and we had a dinner appointment with him, his wife, his brother and his wife. It was pretty neat to see the fire that was still in him. He was a really good missionary! It helped me understand a little better that we can have the greatest experience of our life no matter where we are or what we are doing, life is for the most part about atittude, the way we face things. We all have different stages of life and we all face different trials, tasks, and even different happy things we are all different. One thing is consistent though...that the Gospel that Jesus Christ teaches can help everyone improve and be eternally happy.

President shared a super good quote I liked in Zone leader Council he said "If we would collectively live the gospel the world would come to us" haha pretty intense! As we truly live the gospel we have a light that burns bright and those around us will be drawn to the source of that light.

Love you all and hope you continue to have a wonderful spring!


Elder Thomas Neal Nielsen

P:S It was warm enough today that I am wearing my home-made short sleeve shirt right now :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011 (Alright Alright Alright I'll give you my phone number ;)

Dearest Family,
(His first paragraph was all about calling him, time, number, etc..)

Thank you family for sharing those things about Jayci and the beautiful things lily taught her sweet little mommy and grandma. It really is a tough thing to go through and I know that the things I share will only be an echo of the truths they know and have heard. I know that I truely can't understand how they feel, but by the same token I know that Christ our Savior can. His Atonement was infinite and is to bring peace as does the comforter to those that stand in need of comfort, and in a tragic incident like this many need that peace and comfort more than probably anything else. Christ promises in John 14:

26But the aComforter, which is the bHoly Ghost, whom the Father will send in my cname, he shall dteach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27aPeace I leave with you, my bpeace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be ctroubled, neither let it be afraid.

Through the Atonement and the Holy Ghost we can feel comfort and peace regaurdless of the situations we face. I find it interesting that you waited a week to share the things you had in mind, because I won't lie last week as I wrote my email I felt confused and a little bit awkward as I tried to share the things I wanted to share, but felt like I needed to share other things. My email ended up pretty scattered and didn't make much sense... the principle I wanted to share were not the things the Holy Ghost wanted me to share. I went back and copied and pasted 2 statements from the last email that I feel like the Holy Ghost very much wanted to share looking back now... I apologize that my email last week was not souly on this subject, I'm still learning how to be an effective tool in the Lord's hands still... Miles from perfection... but closer than I was 1.5 years ago. Here are the quotes...

"Christ shared that as we do righteous actions we receive our reward, namely peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. That peace, which does not come as the world giveth, is probably one of the most beautiful things the gospel has to offer in this life!"

"We need to remember that the joy we can feel through Christ can exceed all the troubles of the world if we but let it! that takes time :)"

I firmly believe with all my heart that the peace of which Christ talked about is really one of the most beautiful things we can experience in this life. I also believe that it is something personal and because it is a life giving force it can only be understood as we experience it. I got a letter from Kristie and towards the end (I don't remember word for word) but she shared something of how she has come to understand the comfort from the savior, although this last year has the hardest year of her life. I know that Christ Lives, and as we come to Him we partake of Living Water which comes from NO other source.
In Alma 7 It says it like this:
11And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions and btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.

13Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

Two very important things stick out to me

1.Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh

2.(he suffered) according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.

To succor means to run to the aid of somebody... to be there to support and comfort them... to help them heal. I know that although healing doesn't happen immediately it does happen, we become whole and a little bit finer silver in the hands of a perfect silversmith. I know God lives, loves us and cares for us. I love you all and my heart reaches out to the nielsen side of the family at this hard time. I know that as we all take the next few steps of faith forward together we will all be richly blessed.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be dpurified even as he is pure. Amen.


Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen