Monday, May 4, 2015

Some BIg Big Changes! And a letter to the ward!! Next week is skype time!!!

Sweet! I am glad that everything is going good back at home and that the missionaries are still working hard. I actually am getting transferred today... I am leaving Lopez and going to Alaminos San Pablo mission home! Turns out 2 of the 4 jobs in the office opened up. One was Assistant to the President and the other was Office Elder. I guess I was one of the three candidates for both jobs and it turns out that I am the new mission office elder. Mom just sent an email saying that she was happy that I didn't look all that stressed in any of my photos. I have a feeling that I am going to be a lot more stressed now ha-ha. I not only get to see how the organization of our mission is - I get to be in charge of it. This also means I will finish off my mission in the Office which has some up sides. I won't get trunky in the office, I also get to say bye to all the out-going batches, and I get to hang out with President Mangum all day in air conditioning! The only problem is my missionary work is done, no more baptisms, and I also won't really get any more P-days. Well I will tell you how I like my new calling when I actually start. The reason I am emailing right now is that I am not sure if I will be able to email later when I get to the mission home.

Oh and I will try really hard to Skype you all on my Monday morning (your Sunday afternoon). Just leave your cell phones on so if I email you, you can read it right away.

Love, Elder Nielson

This is Erik's Mom! I received this next email from him Monday afternoon!

Hey mom I just got to the mission home about 10 minutes ago. I am emailing on Sister Mangum's laptop really fast. I just wanted to say that I am doing fine and that I love you lots. Oh and please send the Daryl selfie photos - I wanna see them. I will try my very best to Skype you on my Monday at 9 am my time. I don't know what that will be for you back home. You guys can do the math. Well, love you lots. I sent Dad a pretty big email. Use that in the blog. Hope you continue to have fun at work. 

Love you lots.

Elder Nielson
This next part is the letter that Erik wrote for the Rosemary Ward and whoever else is interested in reading it! :) So proud of him - he is doing so well. I never worry about him. He is going to come back a very different person. Still crazy and weird, but very much grown up!

Mission preparation

Dear Rosemary ward
Thank you so much for your support and many prayers on my behalf and for all missionaries worldwide. I want to let you all know that I am doing just fine out here in the Philippines. I also want to let you know that I love and miss every single one of you, and I can't wait to see you again.
My parents have kept me well informed about how everything is going out there. They have told me that the missionary work in Rosemary is really something else, that all the missionaries that get assigned out there love it because Rosemary is the “most missionary minded ward in the mission”. I am very proud to come from a ward that is so focused on what really matters. I have experienced both missionary minded wards and wards that believe that missionary work is up to the missionaries alone. I can tell you that it makes a world of difference to the missionaries when a ward or branch wants to do the work. So, on behalf of all missionaries worldwide, thank you for your hard work and continue to strive to make the Rosemary Ward the best ward ever.
Now I have some words of advice to give to those young men and women who right now are preparing or contemplating serving a mission. As a missionary who has now past my 18 month mark, I can tell you out of experience, that there really is no better place in the world you could be than on a mission. I promise you that you will see more blessings and miracles during these 2 years or 18 months than most people would see in a life time. You will also gain many new skills and experiences that will help you throughout your entire life. There is much personal growth and learning to be done on the mission and you won’t regret serving.
How do I start preparation for a mission? Well if I was to redo my last 4 years of high school I would start with seminary. I encourage all of you youth to attend seminary, not just attend, but listen, participate and actually do the reading assignments. Before my mission I went to seminary almost every single school day. My attendance was great but my attention to what was going on or being said was not. Listen, make notes, keep scriptures organized, and read. These things will help all of you on your way to preparing to serve a full time mission.
Like 2 Nephi 32:3 says, we need to feast upon the words of Christ. Daily scripture study will help you on your path to missionary preparedness. We need to feast upon the scriptures not just snack on them. Real spiritual power comes from small and simple things like daily scripture study. Also, there is a difference between study and reading. Study is done with a question or goal in mind and a journal and pen in hand. Making daily scripture study a habit will really help all of you with preparing to serve a mission. It will also help you to get used to missionary life faster because we missionaries do scripture study every day.
Read Preach my Gospel. PMG is a volume of Holy Scripture written by modern day prophets to help us in this dispensation with the work of salvation. We need to give it as much attention as say, the Book of Mormon or the Bible. Anyone who doesn’t have a PMG in their home needs to get one right now. The PMG is not just for missionaries, it is for everyone. We can learn great things through study of PMG. Future missionaries, work on memorizing the order of the principles in the first 3 lessons. That will help you out so much and give you a real head start in the MTC and field. Also, make lessons plans for each lesson. Write down scriptures, questions you could ask investigators and personal experiences you have had that you could tie into the lesson.
Working with the missionaries or even doing missionary work of your own will help you out a ton before your mission. One thing that a missionary can’t be is afraid. Fear is the opposite of faith and can’t coexist. Working with missionaries or inviting your friends to church will help dispel your fears of missionary work before you even enter the MTC. I encourage you all to do this and start assisting with the work of salvation.
Worthiness - future missionaries. If you’re not worthy enough to go to the temple, you’re not worthy enough to go on a mission. My advice to you is to get worthy. No one is going to laugh at you of make fun of you for mistakes you have made in the past, especially not the bishop. Set an appointment with him and work on getting yourself to the point where you are worthy enough to go to the temple. Those of you, who don’t think they can repent or are too embarrassed to do so, don’t have faith in Christ’s Atonement. Trust me, true repentance makes a world of difference. Go out and do it now.
The MTC and the first couple months in the mission are the hardest. It’s that way to weed out those who aren’t fully prepared. I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been and I wish I could have done a better job of that before my mission. The mission isn’t some YSA party camp; it’s not easy to be a missionary so mission preparation should not be taken for granted. Parents, encourage your children to prepare now for full time missionary service.
I love you all and can’t wait to see you all in 6 months. I wish you all the best as you strive to prepare to be good missionaries. I know this is our calling. In the name of Jesus Christ.

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