Monday, July 25, 2011

July 18, 2011 (Email # 104...)

Dearest Family,

Whoa, traveling, working, and traveling again. It was a fun, but very travel filled week. We meet some really nice people on our travels. We were given a pretty big challenge just before we left to Helsinki for Elder Perry's kieli koulu by Elder Jones. He challenged us to extend a baptismal commitment on the train. HAHA and we did! lol. It was pretty intense. I do enjoy a good challenge. Elder Perry was super bold as we did it too! I really like him, wow, good elder. Sounds like like all is going well with you all.
WOW!! The Brigham city temple is pretty incredible! I can't believe that they are already putting moroni on top! They announced it while I was in the MTC. The church is pretty much down to business when they announce something. KELSEY IS GETTING MARRIED TO ROSS SUMMERS!?!?! WOW! that is exciting! Tell her congrats from me. Good timing ;) I honestly have no idea on my flights and stuff. I doubt I will know until right before :D I'm sorry, but I can't help there.

We had interviews with President Rawlings, I really like him. I think that if I were to have as much time with him as I did with president Brown they would be tied! That is saying ALOT, President Brown is the man! Haha I love hearing in every email mom's updates on figuring out when his homecoming talk is, because I know that it involves about 10 hours of phone calls every time! hehe just kidding not that much. Good luck! The temple trip was extremely good. I love the Helsinki Temple! Wow. I went with Elder Sharp, Elder Jarvis, Elder Cassity, and a couple sister missionaries sister Rawles and Sister Anderson. I loved talking with Elder sharp again. He really is one of my favorite companions that I have served with. He is great. We have a lot different personalities (Because well... he is a genious... and as you can see I just spelled genius wrong haha) but I felt like we worked well together and just loved life there in Espoo!

Well, in between the traveling all around Finland this last week, we were able to have some really good teaches with investigators, and 4 were in church this week. Good work investigators. They are doing well. I really love teaching them, I learn soo much. We are working with a couple children of a member. The father isn't a member and is very much against the church. We'll have to have a sit down and talk about the whole situation someday, but now is not the appropriate time. It is really neat to see how much the children feel the light of the gospel and how much they really enjoy learning about Christ even though they are fairly young. Our onther investigators are doing well. Tiia is one of my favorite investigators because she is so willing to follow God's will and do what he wants her to do. We haven't had any after prayer prayers lately. haha A new investigator gave a really really nice first prayer. I don't know what it is, but everytime I hear someone's first prayer it really makes me happy. I think it is because they are usually very sincere and from their hearts. They haven't heard prayers all their life so the simple speak what is in their heart, not the vain repetitions that I feel I sometimes tend to fall into. It was awesome!

My thought today comes from a talk that really struck me while I was in Jyväskylä and really helped me align my priorities and help me become more like Christ. I'm pretty sure I have quoted it several times to you, but that is because it is sooo full of good quotes! "The love of God" by Predient Dieter F. Uchtdorf he says:

"Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.

When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden."

I am finishing up the book "Jesus the Christ" and it has really struck me how pure his love was for those around him. He was constantly doing the right things for the right reasons. Sometimes we get caught up doing the right things for the wrong reasons. I have tried to change that in my life, but for a while it was something I just wrestled with trying to man-handle my motives to make them pure. I believe that this is one of many things that can only be fixed as we pray, repent, and change. We can't simply force ourselves to change it. When we pray to be filled with love, repent, and change so we can be filled everything just aligns and our walk as disciple of christ, according to President Uchtdorf, becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.WHOA!

He goes on "My dear brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don’t feel downcast or despair if you don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try to believe. Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets; choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us. Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible—and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you."

Radio said "don't quit, don't never quit" :D I kinda like that motto, The grammar fits me!

Anyways, Thanks for the pictures mom! haha Kyle eating a cactus haha I like him :) I hope that you all have another wonderful week and I hope that you remember how much you all are loved by me!


Vanhin Thomas Neal Nielsen


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