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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

From Baby Elephant to Walrus...I'm working my way up!

Oh man... What a week. It has been a rather long week here in Sackville... I will try to sum it up for you... 
Monday: It was a pretty average P-day. I finally got a hair cut, so I don't look crazy anymore, so that's a plus. After all the p-day fun was over, we went and had Family Home Evening. It was fantastic. We watched The Restoration video and talked about what the restoration has brought into our lives, and it was really great! It is such a powerful topic, I recommend the movie if you haven't seen it. (You can get a copy from the missionaries if you ask really nicely :P)
Tuesday: I don't really have a whole lot to report for Tuesday... We did a lot of knocking and made a lot of phone calls out of the Area Book, but other than that most of the day was pretty usual. We did have an appointment with an investigator, and it went great! He is progressing, and is doing amazing! I love going out to teach him!
Wednesday: District meeting. It was the first district meeting that we have had this transfer, so it was interesting getting to know the new district. In the last transfer, one person from every companionship got moved, so we had to get to know each other all over again. But good news, my spirit animal has changed from a baby elephant to a walrus, so I'm working my way up! The rest of Wednesday was pretty standard. Lots of knocking. We went to teach our Family History class, but nobody actually showed up, so we got to have a mini correlation meeting with the sisters before our correlation with the ward missionaries. Extra correlation time is always appreciated.
Thursday: It rained a lot... But being the smart missionaries that we are, we went out and street contacted... not a good idea... I feel like I have said the exact same thing in a previous letter, so you know that we don't learn from our mistakes. After smartening up and coming inside, we made a lot of phone calls out of the Area Book. That night we had a great supper with a member family, and they were fantastic. We had a lesson cancel on us, so we stayed at the members house for a little while and got to have some great gospel discussions with them. Good times.
Friday: Weekly planning. Weekly planning is always so fun because you don't actually end up going outside until about 3:00 and once you get out there it's cold and you want to go back in, haha. But we went out and we knocked away. That evening we had a lesson with a less active member, and he asked us to teach him the first lesson, just so he could see what it was like (He served a mission back when there were memorized lessons and flip books, so he wanted to see how we do it now).  It ended up being a really good lesson, and we all learned a lot from it. 
Saturday: It was a really hard day... We got dropped by the person that we had on date for baptism. He wont answer the door, or pick up his phone, or reply to texts or facebook messages... It's pretty sad. Later in the evening, we ended up having to drop two more investigators... we lost three investigators in one day. It's always a bummer when things like that happen. But we keep working, and hope for the best to happen. There will be more investigators.
Sunday: Church! We had an investigator (the same one from Tuesday) come to church, and that was really great! He really enjoyed it. He could only stay for the first hour, but him and his wife committed to coming next week, and staying for the whole time, so it's going to be fantastic. We have dinner with them on Wednesday, so I will let you know how that goes. After church we were supposed to have a meeting with a potential investigator, but she never actually showed up, so that was pretty disappointing. Later in the evening we went to the Stake Choir practice for a Christmas concert that they are doing... Public choirs are hard, and make me sad, but we keep going because they need people. 
So, yeah, that is basically the life of a missionary. We haven't done anything today worth mentioning, so I will let you know next time if there is anything that happens today. 
I hope everyone is having a great week! I love you all!
Hockey hockey, Moose moose, Maple leaf, Sorry about that, eh?
Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 17, 2014

Out of every trial comes a blessing

This is me pretending I like snow

Hello again! 
Well, it's been another crazy week out here in the Maritimes. Life just gets crazier the longer I'm here, so it is just one of those things that I have learned to accept. It was honestly, one of the most interesting weeks I have had out here, and I really hope I'm able to put it into words for you... I hope I can do it justice.

Monday: P-day. We ended up doing a lot for our P-day. We went over to Dartmouth to a little restaurant called Cheese Curds. Anyone want to guess what they serve there? POUTINE! I had some delicious Pulled Pork Poutine, and it was amazing! So good. After our P-day was over, we went and set up for our Family Home Evening, and we waited, and waited, and waited, and nobody actually showed up... So we had correlation with the sisters, and went on with the rest of our night... It was pretty sad. Knocking out here has become pretty miserable at night. We have reached the point where it gets too cold at night, so people wont answer the door. And it's only starting to get cold, so it's going to be a grand winter.

Tuesday: The rain started on Tuesday... We wanted to go out street contacting, but it was too rainy, and cold outside... We still went out, obviously, because that is what we do, but we didn't really talk to anyone... But it was still fun. Going out in the rain is actually really fun. Knocking was great. Even now that it is colder, people have no pity for anyone who subjects themselves to the rain. We had a supper appointment with a really great family, and had a really great gospel discussion with the parents. After supper, we drove to the opposite end of the area (probably about 35-40k away) to an appointment with an investigator. When we got there, they weren't home... They had gone away last minute and had forgotten to let us know... Because it was dark and cold in an unlit area, we couldn't even do any work while we were out there, so we had to come back to Sackville to do what we could to salvage the night here. 

Wednesday: More rain. We made the mistake of going out to the park to do some contacting and make so phone calls... You would think we would learn our lesson about going out in the rain, but nope, we aren't that smart :P. We tried to go contact a former who disappeared of the face of the earth, but we couldn't get a hold of him, so we called his cousin, and she said he didn't want to meet with us anymore, but she would keep trying to convince him. I love members. That evening we went and set up for our Family history class, but the sisters asked us to go visit a less-active man who needed some help, so we didn't actually get to stick around for any of the class. After our visit with the less active, we went back to the church for correlation with the ward mission leader and ward missionaries.

Thursday: We had to do our weekly planning a day early this week because we had Zone Conference. So that took up most of our morning. We spent a good portion of the day inside, making calls, and trying to get some contacts out of the Area Book. We did get an appointment set up with a former investigator (I will tell the rest of that story later), but other than that, it didn't amount to much. We went out knocking, and met a really nice man who talked to us on his front porch for over an hour. After we had talked for a long time, he let us know that he was an atheist, but if he were to ever join a church it would be the mormons, so we are totally going back later to try and talk with him again. We stopped by one of our investigators houses that night, and found out that he had extended his hunting trip for a few more days, and wouldn't be home for a while... But his daughter told us that he told her to let us know that he really wanted to talk to us when he got home... We are hoping that that is a good thing.

Friday: Snow. We had Zone Conference Friday morning from 10:00 am to about 5:00 pm, so it took up most of our day. I had to get there early because I was doing a special musical number with a group of elders, and we had to practice together before we actually performed. We did "Ye Elders of Israel" A Capella, it was pretty great. After Zone Conference, we had to rush out to Mount Uniak for a supper appointment... Never rush in the snow... I learned that... It was probably the most terrifying thing ever. There was no real incident, but there was some sliding on the road, and I learned my lesson. Next time, Elder Hansen drives :P On the way back, I took it nice and slow, and there was no more sliding. We made it back to Sackville in one piece. 

The Missionaries in my area
Saturday: We got a call from the sisters on Saturday morning right before we went out working for the day, asking if we could possibly come to a lesson with them that afternoon. It was the very first lesson that they had had with this new investigator, and he loved it. Everything we said made sense to him, and he just took to it so fast. At the very end of the lesson, we put him on date for Baptism for December 20th (which is 2 days after transfers, so I hope I'll still be here for it!). After the lesson, the sisters passed him off to us because he is a single male with a young son, and it just made more sense for us to be able to stop by and see him whenever we wanted to. I'm so excited for him. Later that afternoon we had a lesson with the former that we found in the area book... That was pretty bad. He didn't actually want to talk about the gospel, he just knew some missionaries when he lived in England and so he lets them come over to his house any time they call. He had some interesting stories, but didn't want anything to do with the church... awkward... After that lesson, we drove out to Windsor for a meeting with an investigator... We got there and talked to him for a while, and he let us know that he wasn't really interested in meeting with us, he just like the company. He was also meeting with the Jehovah Witnesses too because he likes the company. So there's that... We ended up going all the way back to Sackville with nothing to show for our time in Windsor...

Sunday: Another great Sunday. Elder Hansen spoke it church, and I got to watch from the audience, so that was fun. Ward Choir was fun as any ward choir could possibly be -.- and we got to go out and have supper with the Bishop and his family, which is always fun. After Bishop, we came back and had a meeting with a less active, and he is going to start coming to Family Home Evening, so that is a step in the right direction. 
So there we are, back to Monday... I got my hair cut today, and that really is about everything I've done so far. 
I hope everyone is having an amazing week, Don't get into too much trouble! 
Hockey hockey, Moose moose, Maple leaf, Sorry about that, eh?
Elder Nielsen


Monday, November 10, 2014

All Current Investigators are Still Alive

An area we were walking in, really pretty
Hello there!

Well, here we are again. It's pretty incredible that we can already be back to a Monday again.... I don't think I have too many exciting stories to tell for this week... All of our current investigators are still alive, so that is always a plus... Lets see if I kind find something to talk about... It's going to be tough... 

Monday: P-Day. It was probably the most crazy P-Day ever.... We had so much to do, and my companion still needed to get packed, so we didn't have a ton of time to actually do anything too fun or crazy... We did take an hour and go get sushi. That was great! Sushi right next to the ocean is fantastic! Who knew that fist tastes better when it's fresh? Later that evening we had Family Home Evening, and had some fun discussions with the members that came. All together it was a pretty great day.

Tuesday: I'm looking at my planner, and seeing everything that we had planned to do on Tuesday, but I really can't remember what we did... That's really embarrassing... I'm having a senior moment... Awkward...

Wednesday: We had so much to do on Wednesday, and we planned our day so tight that we didn't actually end up eating at all... Oops... But yeah, we had to go get our car fixed (It had 2 safety recalls on it and was basically a screaming metal death trap...) and so we spent most of the morning in the mission office writing thank you cards that we were behind on. After we got our car back, we went and did a couple of member visits. After our visits we had a lesson with an investigator over Facebook (Yeah, that's totally a thing that we do here), and then jetted off to another lesson with an investigator in Hammonds Plains (It's like half an hour away from where we live). Right after the lesson we had to run back to the church for the Family History class that we teach, and were already late for. And to finish out the night we had correlation with the new Ward Mission Leader and the only Ward Missionary in our ward right now. Crazy day!

Elder Blum and I right before he left (at 6:00 in the morning)
Thursday: Transfers! We had to be at the mission home at 5:50 am so that everyone who was leaving could be in their new areas at a decent time. So I picked up my new companion(Elder Hansen from Utah)
, and we were home before it was time for studies. My new companion was serving in Dartmouth before coming to Sackville, so I got to introduce him to the simple life of outside the Metro (but still technically in the Metro... It doesn't really make sense). 
Elder Hansen
We went street contacting for over an hour and only came in contact with about 6 people, and that blew his mind! I was pretty impressed though, with only talking to six people, he got a new potential and set up an appointment with her, that never happens! He is a pretty solid missionary. It's a little different of a life outside of the city. We got to go to the Temple with all of the metro missionaries, and that was really cool. Sackville usually gets forgotten on those trips, so it was really nice to actually get invited. It was so cool going with lots of other missionaries! I loved it!

Friday: We started out with weekly planning like usual on Fridays. It's really hard to plan when only one of you knows the area and the people... I would probably bet that it would be even harder to plan if the area was whitewashed, so I'm really glad that didn't happen. We did a lot of knocking. That is always fun. We had a supper appointment with a great family in the ward, and we ate traditional Canadian food, Tacos. It was pretty great. Afterwards we had an appointment with a less-active member, and he really just wanted to talk to the new Elder, so we didn't get anything done in that meeting... haha

Saturday: We had a ton of our plans get changed and fall through on Saturday, that I'm not even completely sure exactly what we ended up doing. I know that we knocked for three hours and got less than thirty contacts, so it was a pretty disappointing day, but that is just how life is sometimes. I got to introduce my companion to some of our crazy less-active members, and they all loved him! It's going to be a pretty good companionship I think.
Smarties are called Rockets here? Weird...
Sunday: It was what they call "Family Sunday" here in Sackville, so we didn't have any extra meetings, we actually got to have our studies in the morning, and go to church like normal people. It was pretty great. After church we had ward choir, and you know how much I love being in ward choirs *insert sarcasm here*. I actually really do love it, it give me a chance to do something I love that is fun, so I don't have any complaints about it. We were supposed to have a supper appointment with a really great family, but the dad got sick. They were really nice though, and ended up bringing supper to us at our apartment! It was really sweet of them! We did a lot of area book work that night, and only like three people out of the fifty we called actually picked up the phone... I'm pretty sure people are screening our calls... 

And that leads us back to here again. As you can see, it was basically a normal week in the Maritimes. 

I really hope everyone is doing well, I love getting updates from people! I love you all, stay amazing!

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's a boy.......

The Ladies we sing to at the care center.
What a week. This week has been so crazy that I don't even know if I'm going to be able to do it justice in an email.... So many crazy things are going on! (Transfer results at the end of the letter)

Monday: Nothing all together too crazy on Monday. We went bowling! That was fun. In Canada they don't bowl with full sized bowling balls, they use really little ones, and it makes it really hard to actually get any pins knocked down, but it was still a lot of fun. I wish I had pictures from bowling, but both of us left our cameras in the car... I know, I 'm a bad missionary :P

Tuesday: It was the beginning of the end. We used up almost all of our Kilometers on Tuesday, running from place to place. Everything was going great until a member asked us to go home teaching with them, which we love to do, so we said yes. That took us all across the area in one day... We tried to get it figured out without using too many K's, but that just didn't happen. But Singing at the Senior's Home was really fun, and getting to go home teaching was great! No complaints!

Wednesday: We completely ran out of Kilometers. We had just enough to get halfway to the church and back home, so when we hit the halfway point, like the good little missionaries that we are, we pulled the car over and walked for the rest of the day. And let me tell you, it was a long, LONG day! We ended up doing a lot of knocking, and even more walking. It was great!

Thursday: Completely on foot. Actually we took the bus to the church in the morning for District Meeting, but after that we were completely on foot. We walked and knocked and walked some more. Not a single potential investigator.... It was a hard day.

Friday: Halloween! We bused to the church early in the morning to try and go to Seminary, but it turned out that they don't have Seminary on Fridays, so we ended up sleeping in the mothers lounge for about an hour until we actually had to start doing studies.5:00 it was time to be locked in our apartment for the rest of the night. We ended up dressing up the Giant teddy bear that we have for Halloween, and eating food. It was a pretty good night :D
After our studies, we had a weekly planning session, and that was just peachy. And then we knocked, who knew that knocking on Halloween wasn't a good idea? Most people thought we were Trick-or-treaters, and then told us to go away when they found out we weren't.. We didn't get a single piece of Halloween candy from knocking. We had a supper appointment with a great member family, and at

Saturday: We got all of our Kilometers back because it was the beginning of the month! It's a great feeling to have Kilometers. One of our investigators wife had surgery on her head, so we baked them cookies and went out to see them. Turns out the wife has Celiac Disease and the cookies would have killed her... Who knew? But they were still thankful for them, and we got another appointment set up, so they must not have been too angry. Saturday night was very hard. We found out that our investigator who was on date to be baptized passed away on October 25.... It has been very hard to take that... He was a good friend of ours, and it was really hard to see him go... Not an easy thing, but we have to keep working.

Sunday: We got Transfer letters Sunday Morning... Elder B is moving to Montigue, PEI, and I am going to be staying in Sacville... I am also going to be finishing the training of one of the new missionaries who came out last transfer, I'm a step-dad! Later in the evening we had a lesson with an investigator over Facebook, and that was fun.. We don't know how much longer he is actually going to be an investigator, he doesn't want to progress...(He has been an investigator for 30 years, and was a referral from the sisters in one of the other areas.. we had to give him a chance...) We went to follow up on a referral from the sisters in our area, and it turns out the person doesn't live there... They met him working outside the house, and talked to him for a while, and when we went back, nobody had ever met the guy before... It was pretty strange. We got to go to the Mission home and watch the CES broadcast with all of the other missionaries serving in the Metro... My new companion was there, and it was a really awkward situation.. haha! 

And that brings us back to today... I guess I should probably let you know that it started snowing today... It just goes downhill from here... the weather is going to start getting really awful anytime now... I'm just glad I'm not in Newfoundland or on Prince Edward Island for the winter, that would just be miserable!

I hope everyone is having a great week! I love all of you!

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