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Monday, September 29, 2014

*Insert Witty Title Here*

Well hello again!
Well, I forgot to bring my old planner, so this email was going to be really short and boring, but luckily I have Elder Blum who is on the ball and brought his so, you might actually get an email from this!

What a week. Not a ton has actually happened, but my brain is just so fried right now.... I guess we start from Monday, that is always a good place to start.

Monday: I never really have anything to report for Monday. It was a P-day like any other. We got all of our laundry done early in the morning, so I had time to put my housekeeping skills to good use and deep clean the washroom. That was about the most fun I have ever had (insert sarcasm here). Oh yeah, and I got my hair cut. The person went one blade too short, and it was too late to do anything about it after the first swipe, so all of my hair is gone now... I about cried when I saw it.
Tuesday: Tuesday was another run around day. There was a lot that needed to get done, but in the end most of it fell through... We had to go out to Fall River because Elder Blum had a doctor's appointment, so we decided we were going to visit some less actives, and do some work out in that area. None of the less actives we had planned on visiting were home, or answered their phone, so we didn't actually get to see anyone. We had a supper appointment with a great older couple. There have been in the church for a couple of years, and went and got sealed in the temple on Saturday, I was super excited for them! The rest of the night was pretty standard, we got into see a less active, and then went and did some knocking. Missionary work at its finest.
 One of the sisters tracked her family history back to Adam and eve....
 I was pretty impressed

Wednesday: Not a ton of super interesting stuff happened on Wednesday either. We went and did service for a less active member, and he fed us later that night. We got to see my favorite less active (shh, don't tell anyone that I pick favorites) and then did a whole lot of knocking. Apparently people aren't really up to making appointments for Wednesdays, who knew?

Thursday: Thursday was another day of appointments falling through. We had planned to see one of our investigators, but she had to cancel and meet next week, but we convinced her to just move it back a few days. So we did eventually get to meet with her. We had a supper appointment set up for the night, but they ended up falling through too, so we had supper on our own, and did a little more knocking for the night. Nobody showed up to the family history course that we teach (again), so we did a little more knocking. And to top the night off, we dropped our baptist investigators (But it's okay, because we didn't want to join the baptist church anyways :P). 

Friday: It was supposed to be a day like any other, but we got a phone call during our studies in the morning letting us know that we were going to have the Traveling Trainers stay with us for the rest of the week. My eyeballs about popped out of my head. I was not super pleased to hear that, but they came, and we survived. We ended up having our Friday appointments fall through too, so we just had a lot of finding time with the trainers. It boosted out contacts for the week, so that was positive 

Saturday: Saturday was another day of lots and lots of knocking. I drew the short straw, so Elder Blum and one of the trainers got to go to the appointments we had set up for the day, and me and the other trainer got to go do some knocking. I found out later that night from Elder Blum that our most promising investigator is getting married and moving just outside of our ward area. We have until October 8th to work with her. That was a little bit of a bummer. 
I got some cool pins for my nametag from a less
 active we have been working with. 

Sunday: I think that this is the first Sunday I have really experienced a "day of rest". I got to get away from the traveling trainers and just enjoy church for a couple of hours, it was fantastic. I ended up having to teach Gospel Principals with out any notice, but that is the magic of being a missionary, everyone thinks that you are a mystical gospel scholar who can just whip out an amazing lesson on the fly. (That isn't the case, don't believe everything you hear) We got to meet with one of our other investigators that night, and finally found out why he isn't willing to get baptized right now. He says he is going to join the church, he just has some stuff he needs to work out with people before he would feel right about it... I'm hoping he will start progressing again. The trainers left around 5:00 and Elder Blum and I went to a supper appointment with a fantastic member family. Afterwards, you would never guess what we did... MORE KNOCKING!! It was super exciting! 

As you can see, every week here is just a party! All day, every day! 

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! I love you all!

Don't do drugs, stay in school, crack is whack, only you can prevent forest fires!

Hockey hockey, moose moose, maple leaf, sorry about that, eh?

Monday, September 22, 2014

I survived my first transfer!


Another week here in beautiful Atlantic Canada! Good News, I survived my first transfer, so I'll be here in Sackville for another 6 weeks :D

Again, we had a pretty uneventful, so this isn't going to be all that exciting. Sorry...

Monday: It was a pretty normal P-day, and didn't have any surprise things pop up. We had to teach Family Home Evening for the old people, and only one person actually came, so it was super awkward, but still fun. Later we had an appointment with a less active and his son. We ran into the awkward situation where his son thinks he was baptized, but there are no records in the church of it actually happening, so we don't really know how to break that to him... We have another meeting with them later this week, so that should be fun.

Tuesday: It was a hard day. We had a bunch of appointments set up for the day, and every sing one of them fell through. We ended up having to do a lot of finding time. In that finding time, we worked for a couple of hours, and ended up talking to 15 people... It was pretty bad... Note to self, during the daytime, there is never anyone at home, find other activities. We ended the day strong by having a dinner appointment with a less active, and then going to sing at the seniors home. That is my favorite. The old people love it when we come, and are super sweet (And a little bit handsy with Elder B... Awkward....).

Wednesday: Wednesday we got to go through the temple. Life is good when you are going through the temple. It doesn't necessarily make everything easier, it just makes it a little easier to deal with. While we were in Dartmouth, we decided to get out phone fixed, it had been broken for a little while, and it was getting us into trouble. We ended up spending an extra 2 hours in Dartmouth and Halifax than we had actually panned for, and had to completely rearrange out schedule for the day. It was pretty crazy. We got to meet with some less actives, but all of out lessons fell through, and none of the potentials that we visited actually wanted anything to do with us, so that was fun. It was another bad contacting day. We got stuck talking to a basher who wouldn't let us go. It was pretty intense. He said he respected us, and we were great people, just confused. Fun times. 

Thursday: Another bad day for appointments. Every single appointment we had set up fell through, and we had a solid potential drop us. His wife anti-ed him out of wanting to meet with us... We actually got to do some real contacting though, and talk to some people... Not a lot came from it, but we planted seeds, and that is what matters. Even our family history class that we teach fell through, so it was a really uneventful day.

Friday: We did our weekly planning, so hopefully the lessons that we set up there will actually play out for the next week. We called a bunch of people, and nobody could meet with us, so we ended up knocking for a while. It was our first cold day, so people are a lot more sympathetic for people out in the cold. We actually had someone let us into their house, and that was a first for me. It was pretty fantastic, and they were willing to set up a return appointment, so we are hoping that they are going to become new investigators! Fingers crossed. 

Saturday: We helped a lady move right across the street. From the top floor of one building to the top floor of another building. With no elevator. It was pretty ridiculous. We got to meet with our only recent convert (she was baptized the day before I got into sackville) and meeting with her is always a highlight to my week. she actually does what she says she is going to, and she actually wants to keep learning. It is fantastic, and I never want to let her go ever. Finally we got to meet with one of our investigators, and he is doing very well. He is going to meet with bishop, and that is a huge step for him. He isn't ready for a baptism interview, we are just having bishop come over to his house because he is scared stiff of bishop. It should be fun! Oh, we also go to meet with one of my favorite less actives. She is having some hard times, but like the recent convert, she does everything that she says she will, and actually wants to progress! I love meeting with her! 

Sunday: I guess when they say Sunday is a day of rest, the really weren't talking about missionaries.  We had a long day of meetings, and because it was the end of the transfer, we had a meeting with bishop about everything that is going on in the ward. Sundays are just meetings upon meetings around here. We finally picked up a new investigator yesterday! He is a great guy and is seriously searching for the gospel and the truth. I'm excited to see where he ends up going. It rained last night, a lot! It was hurricane style rain just without the rain. It was fantastic! I love the rain!  We forgo to close a couple of windows in the apartment, and ended up with a wet floor this morning... It was pretty great. 

I guess that is this week, sorry it wasn't super exciting. 

It's getting colder every day, and I seriously need some winter clothes... Or even a jacket... Oops. I guess it is time to go clothing shopping!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! You are all fantastic children of god! Be amazing!

Hockey hockey, Moose moose, Maple leaf, sorry about that eh? 
Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Spoiler Alert! - No Spiders this week


Another week has gone past already? Time is a crazy, crazy thing my friends! I always have a hard time starting my letters, because I never know what to talk about first... 

This week hasn't been too eventful. It has been a lot more mellow, and we lost most of our investigators, so its been a lot more time finding, and a lot less time teaching. I hope this weeks letter doesn't bore you too much :P

Monday: Well, Monday was my birthday. It wasn't too bad. We didn't really do anything special because there just wasn't time to do anything special. We did all of our P-Day stuff, and by the time all of that was finally finished, it was time to start working for the day. The senior missionary couple in our ward got transferred a little while ago, so we have had to take on some of their projects for them. We taught family home evening this week, and only one person showed up... It was super fun... But after that we went to an appointment with a new investigator. They are super great. They are Baptist, and Elder B and I are pretty sure that they are trying to fellowship us into the Baptist church... Neither of us had our watches on during the lesson, and we accidentally stayed until after 10:00 pm, oops. To make the matter worse, the district leader was staying the night with us, and we freaking out because they couldn't get in contact with us (our phone is broken and doesn't vibrate, so we didn't know they were calling us), so they reported us missing to all of the mission higher powers... It was a fun night trying to explain it to every one.

Tuesday:Tuesday was District meeting, so that was fun as always, haha. WE then had the Assistants come over to our apartment and do some personal training with E. B and I. We needed it. I feel like I'm getting better at the whole missionary thing though, so that's great. I don't have anything else to report for Tuesday because all of our appointments fell through, and we had to drop some investigators.... Not a fun time...

Wednesday: Wednesday we got our first media referral! Actually, all he wanted was a bible, and he really didn't want to meet with missionaries, he was hoping they would mail it to him. That really didn't go anywhere. All of our appointments fell through on Wednesday too, so we spent a lot of time our knocking doors. One door we knocked was answered by a giant (like 6 foot 8inch) Newfoundlander who just wanted to talk forever. He didn't want to hear about the gospel, he just wanted to talk. He also wasn't wearing clothes, just his spandex boxers... Talk about awkward..

Thursday: Thursday we did a whole lot of walking. We decided because the whole morning was free, we were going to walk all around Sackville and knock a bunch of different places. Bad idea. We knocked for over 3 hours, and only got to talk to about 25 people... We met one man who said his son joined the LDS church over 20 years ago, and then disappeared into the blue. He thinks his son is living in Utah now, so if you come across a man named Jeffery John Furlong, let me know (the guy says he will listen to the discussions if we can find his son...). Later that day we had our first meeting that didn't fall through! Woohoo! And it was with T! I love her, she is doing amazing and I'm pretty sure she is going to see this whole thing through, it's just going to take a little bit of time, but she is going to get there :D

Friday: Friday we had weekly planning, and correlation with the sisters, so we didn't actually get a lot of anything done. We Facebook lesson with someone (yes, that is totally something that we do). Then later in the evening we had a dinner appointment with a fantastic older couple from the ward. They are getting sealed on the 27, and told us that if we survive this transfer we are both invited, so we are hoping, fingers crossed. The man is British, and the lady is Pilipino. She makes you eat so much. I always feel like I'm about to explode when I go to their house. I don't know how Jacob is surviving if they make him eat this much there...

Saturday: Saturday was the Canadian National Day of Service, so we did a lot of service. We started out the day by going to a part-member family, and helping them take down part of their house. It was pretty intense, but we got through it alright. After that we went to a non-member couple that we have been doing service for a while, and we ripped out their hardwood floor, and put new flooring down. So basically I'm a flooring specialist now, no big deal :D

Sunday: Yesterday was the day of a million less-actives. We went and visited one less-active member after another... I feel like our list just keeps getting longer, and we keep accidentally knocking into more... It's not a good sign when the list of people gets longer... Last night we got to go to the mission home and watch the CES broadcast. That was pretty fantastic. And we got to stay out way past curfew, so it was pretty great. It made me feel like rebel. And that was pretty much the whole day...

That is basically my week in a nutshell... I don't really have any more exciting news for you this week. Next week is transfers, and president announced yesterday that it's going to be a big one. He said that about 40-60 people are staying put and about 60-80 people are getting moved.. It's going to be a crazy week!

I hope everyone is doing well! 

Remember: Say no to drugs, crack is whack, stay in school, eat your vegetables, and only you can prevent forest fires!

Have a great Week!

Hockey hockey, Moose Moose, Maple Leaf, sorry about that, eh?
Elder Nielsen

PS: Sorry, no spiders this week. I realized as I was about to take a picture of the first one that it probably would be weird to be taking pictures on peoples doorsteps... I will try to get you pictures of the spiders, they are freaky!

Mom asked for nametag pictures.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Crazy time in the Maritime

Doesn't look like he is lovin the rain...

What a week, what a week. Things just keep getting more and more crazy here in the Maritime. 
Where do I even start for the week? There are so many things happening here that would be totally worthless to tell you because there are just details about peoples personal lives, and nobody wants to hear those. I'll do my best to just stick to the highlights today. 

Monday- Monday was pretty quiet. It was our P-day, so we had a little time to relax, and prepare for the week. Some of the Senior Missionaries were leaving, so there was a big BBQ at the mission office. It worries me that other missionaries don't freak me out anymore. When I first got out here, I would think to myself, "dude, these missionaries are insane!", and now I just go along with it... I'm becoming one of them..... 

Tuesday- Tuesday was the most insane day of life ever. Because we are extremely insightful missionaries, and have the incredible gift of foresight, we accidentally double booked ourselves for the night. We spent all day running around like crazy trying to find splits, and making plans to be in two places at one time, and nobody wanted to cooperate with us. Finally we got everything all worked out, and at the very last second, all of our plans got cancelled, and we had to re-plan everything again. But that meant I got to go and sing at the seniors home, so that's always fun! (Oh yeah, that's something our area does. The missionaries here are super talented, so we go and sing at a seniors home every other Tuesday, it's pretty great!)

Wednesday- Wednesday was the day of eternal less-actives. We spent so much time working with less-actives... Our less-active pool currently has 14 people in it, and that's just for the Elders, that's not even counting the people that the sisters are working with. It is so hard keeping us with everyone! Other than that, Wednesday was pretty quiet. We made a lot of phone calls, and tried to set up appointments with some former investigators and potentials (nobody actually wanted to talk to us, haha)

Thursday- Thursday was one of those days where we were going going going, and running everywhere, and at the end of the day, we didn't actually accomplish much... Blum was sick most of the morning, so I spent a lot of time working on the Area Book, and making phone calls. Then we went out to Fall River for doctors appointment. While were were out there we tried to contact some former investigators, and nobody was home. We spent a whole day out there and didn't even get to contact anyone. Then we came home and taught our family history class with our whole 1 person who showed up.... and he was already a family history master and came to help people out... It was a quiet night...

Friday- Friday we had a little bit of a humbling experience. We had just finished our weekly planning, and were getting ready to move on to other things, when we got a text from our leaders telling us that our goals weren't realistic for what we had been actually accomplishing recently. We really had to suck up our pride and reevaluate where we are at right now, and then completely redo our planning for the week. It stung a little bit, but It was good to be given a call to reality... The rest of the day went pretty normal, correlation meetings, plans being canceled, the whole nine yards

Saturday- Saturday we bused down to Bedford to do some street singing with the Sisters, and the very first person that we talked to was a basher and kept us occupied for the whole time we were supposed to be there. The sisters left and did other things, but Elder Blum and I had to stay and talk to him. We were really nice and didn't bash back, but he just would not relent. It was actually really sad to see.  On our was home, we got a call from our favorite investigator (he really is my favorite, shhh don't tell the others) and he had us come over that evening to meet with him. This man has been an investigator for over 7 years, and he says he is really ready to get going. He has been keeping his commitments now, and I'm really excited for him. (Fun side note that I forgot in my last email, he fell asleep during our last lesson. He is old, and hadn't slept that night. We asked him a question, and he put his head down like he was thinking about it, and suddenly he was sleeping.... So funny!!!!)

Sunday- Sunday was fantastic! We had an investigator come to church with us, and she loved it! She used to be a catholic, and she hates church, so the fact that she came was amazing. She told us she was just going to stay for sacrament meeting, and then after every meeting she would say "Well, I'm going to stay for the next one, just to see", and she ended up staying for the whole service! I'm so happy for her! She is also starting to ask us questions about her getting baptized, and that was a big no-no a few weeks ago, so I think this is going to be a great thing for her :D :D :D 

Well, that is the whole week. I feel like it doesn't seem as crazy once you write it down, but trust me is was so crazy, I promise! 

I hope everyone is have a great week, and thank you all so much for the birthday wishes, you are all fantastic! Happy birthday shout outs to Cara Otten, Taylor and Sarah Castro, and Jacob Siolo! 

Mission work isn't easy but at the end of the day, you feel like you have done something worth while (Most of the time). I know this is where I'm supposed to be, and I know this is what I need to be doing at this time. 

Have an amazing week, don't do drugs, stay in school, crack is whack, only you can prevent forest fires!

Hockey hockey, moose moose, maple leaf, sorry about that, eh?

Elder Jeffry Nielsen

PS. Get prepared for next weeks blog. I have decided that because Canada has such massive and disgusting looking spiders (yes, i'm being real here, there are terrifying spiders here) and they are everywhere, next week is going to be the spider blog. I'm going to take pictures of every spider I see, just for you all back home :D Love ya 

Monday, September 1, 2014

One Month, Check!

Hidy Ho!
Wow, what a completely insane week! (I fell like I say that every week :P)

I guess I'll just get the disappointment out of the way quick, I didn't take any pictures this week... I'm awful, I know. I'm sorry. I just haven't had time yet!

But here we go, I'll try to give you the complete rundown of my week. Last Monday we got the opportunity to go and help clean the temple, that was fantastic! After that we had to drive down to Bridgewater because we were doing visits with the district leader and his companion. I ended up sitting in a Hospital waiting room all day because the district leaders companion had a doctors appointment. (The Canadian healthcare system is awful if you are an american. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.)  We ended up staying the night in Bridgewater because we had district meeting the next day, and it wasn't worth wasting the Km's there and back.

Tuesday: We had our very first district meeting since I've been here, woot woot. It was super exciting (not really) . Afterwards we ended up going and getting some food with the DL before going home. I am now proud to say that I have had both Tim Horton's and Poutine. I'm basically a full blooded Canadian!

Wednesday: We had our second meeting with Theresa. She is amazing. I really feel like she is progressing, and is going to be a great investigator (and hopefully member) Her story is insane, and I'll have to write that up in a separate email at a later time, because it is that long and complicated!  We had to start doing a lot of walking because we almost ran our of Kilometers for the month, and we didn't want to risk getting in trouble, so we walked, and knocked a lot on Wednesday, and all week.

Thursday: We had an investigator stand us up for an appointment, and she stopped answering our calls... I'm really disappointing, I really thought she was going to be awesome, but we are going to keep trying, we can't give up on her yet. We spent the rest of Thursday out in Fall River doing so work out there, and getting to know some less-active members, and some former investigators. We worked with a really great young man, and he came along to our lessons. The youth out here are pretty awesome. They are so willing to help out. Basically all of the members of the ward are willing to help out when needed. We are so blessed to be in such an awesome ward

Friday: Friday was literally the most unproductive day ever. It took all day for us to finish our weekly planning, we have that much going to. We did pick up a new potential. She lives in our apartment building, and we saw her sitting up on here balcony, so we shouted up to here Romeo style and got invited back for a return appointment. We think we are going to have to pass her off to the Sisters though, it is just too hard finding a priesthood who can come with you in the middle of the day...

Saturday: Saturday was just insane. We had so many appointments, and so many different things going on. We met with an eternal investigator named Ken. It is always a fight to get anything in without him going off on a war tangent... But, I think we are finally reaching him. He has been meeting with missionaries for 8 years, and he said we are the first ones that he has actually had a connection with. He is supposed to have a baptismal date set by our next appointment (That was his only stipulation to getting baptized, he got to set the date) So I'm praying for him so hard right now. I really hope that this is his time! Also, Saturday was my 1 month mark! WOO HOO

Sunday: So, apperenly in this ward, the 5th Sunday is Missionary Sunday. So I got the opportunity to speak in church with Elder and Sister Ranglack (The senior couple), and then The Sisters and The Elders did a musical number together. It was pretty great :D All of the missionaries in my area are really musically tallented, so we do a lot of musical numbers together, and we perform at a Seniors Home every other Tuesday, I'm pretty happy about that. 

I think that is pretty much my entire week... Whew. So many things going on. The life of a missionary isn't easy, but you can never say that it get boring.... 

I love you all and I hope you are having a wonderful week/life! Keep me updated on everything that is going on, I feel so out of the loop right now! Just because I'm like a million miles away, doesn't mean you get to forget about me! I say that with love :D

Have an amazing week, the Gospel is true. The people aren't perfect, but the message is. Keep that in mind 

Elder Jeffry Scott Nielsen

PS: I still really enjoy getting packages, and letters. So do with that what you will ;P