3 Nephi 18:30


We saw so many amazing miracles this week, especially working with less active members!

Okay, so first of all, last Monday we had a lesson with a member named Homero. He hasn't been to church in years, and we just found him by calling people on the branch directory. He came to the church for a lesson, and we shared the "Light the World" video with him. He told us that he knows that he needs to come back to church, and he really wants to come back! We found out that he actually lives in the elders' area, but it was still a huge miracle!

We also saw another less active recent convert this week who hasn't been to church in several months. The elders haven't been able to see him in a long time, and he recently moved to our area, so we called him and we were able to set up an appointment to see him, too! We got to know him a bit, and he said that he would come to church on Sunday (yesterday) and he CAME! We were so excited to see him at church, it was a huge miracle! 

My favorite miracle of the week: We had dinner with the Mata family on Wednesday. They live in the elder's area, but we can still have dinner with them. Hermana Mata is super active, and her husband is super less active. He hasn't been active for years. Our spiritual thought after dinner basically turned into an intense lesson. After we left, we were worried that maybe we had been to hard on him. But yesterday HE CAME TO CHURCH!!! We could hardly believe it. He told us "Thank you for bringing me back." Que milagro!!!

We had another cool experience where all three of us felt like we needed to go look for a less active member named Jackson that none of us have ever met, even though we've knocked on his door several times. We went by, and he actually answered the door, and we were able to set a return appointment!

Another evening, we felt inspired to look for another less active member that we didn't know, Oscar. We ended up finding his wife there, who is an active member in the Tongan ward. We shared a message with her about "Light the World" and it turns out that she has been going through a really hard time. She just said "I know you sisters were here for me. Thank you for being in tune with the spirit." It was so powerful!

Keep looking for ways to serve and #LightTheWorld!

-- Hermana Nielsen




2 Nephi 9:52


This has been an amazing week! Thanksgiving was so much fun, I got to have dinner with the Familia Coto again! We also had dinner with an active member who has a less active husband. He was active when I was in the branch before, but my companions had never met him. We were able to talk with him, and even set a return appointment with him! It was a huge miracle!

This week we were able to start sharing the "Light the World" initiative!! It is amazing, you should definitely go to mormon.org to learn about the Christmas initiative!

So last Saturday was the branch activity for Thanksgiving. We met 2 new potential investigators there, Miriam and Jessica. Turns out, there are actually 5 people in their family, and this week we started teaching all of them! The mother of the family, Miriam, is especially interested in our message, because she wants her family to come closer to God. She said that she wants to start bringing her kids to the youth activities! Our very first lesson with them was last Monday evening, and I learned an interesting lesson. We got to know the family a bit and explained our purpose. Miriam had been invited to come to the activity by her friend in the branch, Rosa. Miriam also mentioned that she had been to one other branch activity in the past... she went to the Thanksgiving activity last year as well. I was at the Thanksgiving activity last year. There were, in fact, a total of 6 missionaries at that activity last year, but apparently none of us even introduced ourselves to her. We were too busy eating, talking among ourselves, and talking to members. Who knows how many non-members were there that we didn't meet. Miriam might have been ready to accept the gospel even a year ago, and if I had been a better missionary, her family could have begun their gospel journey back then. Well, I have learned a lot in the past year, and I have grown and improved as a missionary. At the activity last week, I knew my purpose and I talked with as many people as I possibly could, especially the ones that I didn't recognize. Now, we have a beautiful new family to teach! If I hadn't been prepared this year, either, Miriam and her family might have had to wait that much longer to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. When I got transferred back into the Rama Sierra, I thought that maybe Heavenly Father was telling me that I had some unfinished business to take care of, and I think I was right. I learned a lot from this experience. When we aren't prepared spiritually, we miss out on opportunities. It makes me sad to think about all the opportunities that I missed out on a year ago, when I didn't know how to do missionary work. But at the same time, I am thankful for all that I have learned, and Heavenly Father has allowed me to see just how far I have come. I still wouldn't say that I am a perfect missionary by any means, but I am thankful that the grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient. I am thankful that everything happens in the Lord's timing. I am thankful for all that I have learned, about missionary work and about life! 

I don't know exactly how to put into words the things that I learned from that experience, but I hope it makes sense. Have a great week!

-- Hermana Nielsen






Alma 29:4-7


It was an amazing week this week! On Saturday, we had the opportunity to have a "mini-missionary" with us for the day. Since we are already in a trio, that made 4 of us, so we did splits for most of the day. Her name was Kenzie, and she is amazing! She doesn't really speak Spanish, but we did some language study so that she would be able to participate in a lesson with our investigators, Alejandro and Rocio! She did amazing! It was a great lesson, and they accepted the invitation to be baptized! Kenzie later texted us and thanked us for an amazing day. She said that she no longer has any doubts about serving a mission, and she is excited to serve, especially if it is in Spanish! 

Also Saturday evening, we had a dinner for Thanksgiving! It was cute, because most Hispanics aren't used to celebrating thanksgiving, but they do now since they live in the US. So for the dinner we had salad, turkey, rolls, mashed potatoes, posole, and horchata, hahaha. It was a huge success all around, especially for missionary work! There were a ton of less active members, part member families, and non members that the members had invited! We found 2 new potential investigators in our area, and 1 for the elders, too!

In church on Sunday I got to conduct the music again, and Hermana Eardley helped to translate a talk from a high council member. In Sunday school, all the missionaries sang "We Thank Thee, Oh God for a Prophet," and we helped set up a video for the class. My companions and I were also asked to help teach a sunday school class for some of the youth, which was fun! It was a great day, because we were able to serve so many different members! I'm so glad that the members trust us and that they feel comfortable asking us for help. Member trust is a huge thing that I've wanted to keep growing, so it is cool to see how we are rewarded according to our desires!

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:
We went exploring downtown Reno last Monday with a member. Look, Mom, is this enough pictures?! I have more, too, don't worry ;)







Enos 1:12


It's a great week to be a missionary!!! This Sunday was my first official Sunday back in the Rama Sierra, because last week we had a regional conference. It has been so fun to see so many members again, and also to meet some new faces. One of the most amazing things for me has been to see that Evelyn (who I taught!) and other converts that got baptized when I was here before, like the Coto family, are staying strong and fulfilling callings in the branch! It is amazing, because if I were a new missionary/ member in the branch, I would never pick some of these people out as being converts to the church! I just love missionary work!

Joanne is continuing to progress, and she is finding strength in the gospel every day. On Saturday we were able to attend a baptism with her, and she kept saying "I want to be her. I want to get in the water!" Joanne is seriously more converted to the gospel than most members; it is incredible! 

I also had the opportunity to do an exchange in Tahoe this week, and teach some more old investigators! That was a treat. Luckily there wasn't too much snow there, yet...

In relief society this week, we talked about reaching out to others. Something that one sister said that I really enjoyed was something along the lines of "Don't feel sorry for yourself if you feel lonely and no one is reaching out to you, but you be the one to reach out!" I've been thinking a lot about how I can do more to go out of my way to be friendly. I don't feel lonely very often, but I need to remember that other people do, and even if I don't need a friend, someone else might. Go be someone's friend!

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:
-Snow on the way to Tahoe!

-Exchanges!
  




Doctrina y Convenios 4:4


Well, I'm back in Reno! I take that as a sign from Heavenly Father that I have some unfinished business to take care of! I love being back in my first area for a variety of reasons. First of all, I just love the Rama Sierra, and I have been able to see so many amazing members again! Second of all, the area is more or less the same, but I am a far better missionary than when I began my mission, so there are so many more possibilities! I have been thinking of so many ideas for how to build up this area, and how to leave it better than I found it. I am excited to apply all of the things that I have learned to the work here in the Rama! Also, I love speaking Spanish again! It's good to know that I didn't loose too much of my Spanish when I was in Elko, haha!

Oh my goodness, I have to tell you about our investigator, Joanne! When I first came to the mission field a year ago, we had a recent convert named Graciela. Graciela is an older woman, and she was baptized just before I got to Reno. Well, Graciela lives with her daughter, Joanne. We knew Joanne, and we talked with her a bit, but she was very Catholic, and she didn't have much interest in meeting with us regularly. She came to a couple activities, and she always respected the missionaries and the LDS church. Well, the day after I got into the area, we had a lesson with her, and I found out how much her faith has grown! She wants to get baptized so badly, and right now the only thing holding her back, is that she has to stop smoking. She reads the Book of Mormon every day, she prays constantly, and she has begun coming to church consistently as well. She wants to get baptized as soon as possible, because in December she is moving to... wait for it... South Carolina! Anyway, she is incredible. This week she called us and told us "I just want you to know that I was packing, and I found a bunch of crosses and Catholic stuff, but I threw it all away because I believe in the Mormon church now." That is true conversion! 

What are you willing to throw away, literally or metaphorically, because you believe?

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:
-Rolled ice cream in Elko!

-That moment when we find goats in someone's driveway...

-My beautiful companions!



Mosiah 10:21


Our investigator, Danny, will officially be getting baptized on November 22nd! I am so excited for him, he is so prepared! Yesterday, a less active named Cricket came to church again! He has so much desire to return to the church, it is incredible! 

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week we didn't have a car, but luckily we have bikes, and amazing members who are willing to drive us around all day! Mica, a recently returned missionary, drove us around Tuesday evening. We were able to catch a less active member named Cory that we have tried a bunch of times. We had a powerful lesson with him, and he even allowed us to set a return appointment this time!

This week all of the sisters in our mission got together in Sparks for some specialized traning! I got to see almost all of my past companions, which was amazing! The spirit was so strong as we were able to gather together as sisters and learn together. I 

So... transfer calls... I thought I would be safe in Elko, but I am going to the Rama Sierra! If you don't remember... that was my very first area!!! I am so torn and sad to be leaving Elko YSA, with so many great things happening, and so many people that I love... but I am also so excited to be able to go back to Reno and see more people that I love! And the really spooky news, just in time for Halloween: I will be in a trio! I have never been in a trio before, so I would be lying if I said that I wasn't a bit scared. But my new companions will be Hermana Eardley (one of my past companions in Tahoe!) and Hermana Antonio! After the hurricane that destroyed Puerto Rico, all of their missionaries were evacuated. Hermana Antonio is from the Dominican Republic, and she was serving in Puerto Rico when it happened. She arrived in our mission (along with 5 other missionaries) several weeks ago. I had the opportunity to meet her this week, and she is so sweet! She hardly speaks any English, which means Spanish 24/7! I am so excited!

-- Hermana Nielsen

New/ Old Address haha
Hermana Kayci Nielsen
Reno, NV 89502

Pictures:
-Las hermanas de la mission!







Helaman 16:4


It's been a great, miracle-filled week!

We met a less active member named Cricket on Friday. We taught him a lesson that day, and he came to sacrament meeting yesterday! We have been able to contact a ton of new less active members to begin teaching, which we are excited about. Yesterday there were at least 8 people at sacrament meeting who don't normally come, so that was a huge miracle!

On Thursday we also found out that Danny's mom finally gave him the OK to be baptized! He is 18, so he doesn't technically need permission, but he still lives with his mom, who is very Catholic. Danny wants to be baptized so badly, so we just need to figure out when his best friend will be back down from BYUI, so that we can set a date! It is amazing to see how much Danny's faith has grown in the past 2 weeks. Everything happens in the Lord's timing, and I can tell that Danny is finally ready to make that covenant. 

We attended institute Thursday evening, and a less active member named Rafael was there (who also prefers Spanish, so I got to talk to him in Spanish!) and he told us about two of his non-member friends and asked why we were not teaching them. Yay, referrals! 

We made a "brownie hit-list" this week of several people to whom we want to deliver brownies. We made a big batch of brownies during weekly planning, and then delivered a plate of brownies to several less active members' homes. It has been fun to just make some peoples' day a little brighter, and to help them feel how much we genuinely care about them

The talks that we had in sacrament meeting yesterday were incredible! They might have been the best talks that I have ever heard in sacrament meeting (and not just because they were about missionary work!) It was actually a young married couple that was invited to speak, so they weren't YSA members. The wife spoke first, and she shared her conversion story, including bad experiences that she had with the church growing up, good experiences, and how she eventually met her husband. She talked about the importance of member missionary work, and how every member of the church that showed love to her helped to plant a seed in her heart. Her husband then talked about how we can become better member missionaries, and he compared member missionary work to fishing! Their two talks played off of each other really well, and they had the perfect balance of humor and the spirit. It was powerful! I wish that every member in the world could have heard them speak, but I am excited that they spoke in our branch. Member missionary work is really the best. So my admonition to each of you is to be the best member missionary that you can be, and don't be afraid to go out of your way to share the gospel! 

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:
-Pumpkin carving for our zone activity!! But why carve a pumpkin... when you can carve a watermelon?!?!?! It's much easier. And tastier.


-More carving


-Our finished products!


-Fall DOES exist!!!


2 Nephi 1:15


Yesterday was stake conference, which went from 10-12, and we decided to have our correlation meeting with our branch mission leader right afterwards. The YSA branch normally meets at 12:30, so we actually had a couple people show up at 12:30 because they didn't know about stake conference. Two of them were less active members! We had already met one of them, but the other one was coming for the first time in a while, and he said that he just knew that he needed to come back to church! We were able to get phone numbers for both of them. It was a huge miracle, because we didn't even think about anyone possibly coming at 12:30, but since we stayed a bit longer for correlation in stead of running home to eat lunch because we were hungry, we were able to get contact info for those two less active members! We also found out that our investigator Danny went to the Saturday evening session of Stake conference... and we didn't even tell him about it, haha! His fellowshippers are on top of things!

This week Sister Neeley and I did a "blitz" with the sisters from Spring Creek! A blitz is an exchange where both companionships work in one area. I worked with Sister Tupuola, and Sister Neeley worked with Sister Murdock in our area. We were able to track down so many people and get a lot of work done; it was exciting!

I am thankful for the Book of Mormon. I am thankful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the knowledge and understanding that we have of the Plan of Happiness. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer! 

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:

-last week's mission meeting

-I got to see Hermana Adams again!!! We hadn't seen each other for more than 3 months! 


-Sister Neeley and I


-Driving to Sparks


-We went to a restaurant in Winnemucca that had a tres leches cheesecake.... those are my two most favorite desserts put together!

-pday: Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby mountains











Alma 22:15


This week we were able to do exchanges, zone conference, and watch general conference, so it was quite the spiritually uplifting week! After zone conference, there was a fire between Elko and Spring Creek, so the sisters stayed with us in Elko for the evening and blitzed our area!

This week I was able to go on exchanges with sister Cluff in her area, and we had a powerful lesson with their investigator, Will, in which we invited him to be baptized. When we extended the invitation, he looked at us with wonder and said "Yes! Wow. Are you really asking me?!" The spirit was so strong, and that experience strengthened my testimony that the Lord is preparing people to receive this gospel!

My favorite talk from conference was probably Tad R. Callister's talk about the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the restored gospel will do everything they can to disprove the Book of Mormon... but they can't, for the simple reason that it is impossible to disprove something that is true. I also appreciated President Nelson's invitation to self reflection: if we had a choice between rubies and diamonds, or the Book of Mormon, which would we choose? Really?

Have an awesome week!

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:
-My flawless companion and me


-A horse that belongs to one of the counselors in the branch presidency!

  
 -Ran into someone while buying snacks at Maverick

Helaman 13:7


This week I had fiz for the first time. I'm not a huge soda fan, but I got the "frozen butterbeer" which was excellent! We also got our first SNOW! In September. Last week I was melting every day. This week I wear a coat and scarf every day. Elko weather! 

We had so many miracles this week! A less active member named Curtis just showed up at church all on his own. We didn't recognize him, but we introduced ourselves to him after sacrament meeting, and he ended up staying for all 3 hours. The members really reached out to him as well, which was amazing! 

We've also seen miracles inviting ourselves over for dinner. One perk about being a missionary, is that so many people are more than happy to feed us. They actually get excited when we ask them for food! So, rather than letting the 15 or so members that feed us all the time fill up our dinner calendar, we have been calling other families that we have never eaten with before. We have been setting up dinners with YSA members that don't normally sign up, active YSA's that go to their home ward, recent returned missionaries that haven't come to the branch yet, and even some less active members. It has been super effective!

Last Monday we were in charge of FHE for the branch! We talked about missionary work (of course!) and watched the video "Dare to Stand Alone" with everyone. We had all the members share the video on their smart phones during the activity. We talked a lot about how they can invite their friends to come to activities. At the end of the activity, we asked everyone to "invite" their neighbor to come play tag at the park, so we all went to play tag! It was great!

--Hermana Nielsen



Alma 29:6



Transfer calls yesterday... and Sister Neeley and I are staying together here in Elko! I am so blessed! 

Saturday morning we had a lesson set up with a less active member, and we invited Wayne, an active member, to come and participate. Well, that morning Wayne's little brother took his car, so he had to call his sister to come pick him up. He ended up being an hour late (so he missed the actual lesson) but his sister is actually a less active YSA member that we have been trying to reach out to, but she lives about 40 minutes away, so we never got to see her. She isn't super interested in coming to church right now, but we were able to share a quick message with her and her brother. It was an amazing miracle, because we can't go to visit her, so the Lord brought her to us!! 

I am so thankful for the chance that I have to serve as a full time missionary! I am really so blessed. 

-- Hermana Nielsen

Alma 40:8


Yesterday Sister Neeley and I got to speak in sacrament meeting! We had ten minutes each, and we were asked to speak on "missionary experiences, etc." So we could basically share anything we wanted. Both of us ended up talking about how the Lord needs everyone's individual personalities in the missionary work, and how everything happens in the Lord's timing. 

A member of the branch, Harlon, brought his girlfriend to church yesterday! Of course, we went and introduced ourselves to her, and we were able to set up a lesson to see her last night. It turns out that she doesn't have a huge religious background, and she is super open! We taught the first half of the restoration, and it went really well. We invited her to say the closing prayer, and at the close of her prayer she said "and I hope that I can keep learning and get baptized, so that Harlon and I can be sealed in the temple." Wow! We hadn't even talked to her a ton about baptism, so Sister Neeley and I were quite surprised. I wish that all of my investigators would include something like that in their prayers, haha! It was a huge miracle! 

We also had a big tender mercy this week. We had to bring a bike with us on our way back from Sparks. Well, we were going about 80 on the freeway (which is the speed limit) and it was already windy. At one point, the back end of the bike somehow worked its way off of the bike rack! We had to hurry and pull over to fix it. We found some bungee chords in our car, so we did our best to tie it down to keep it from wobbling so much. Well, about 30 minutes later, the seat came unattached from the rest of the bike! So the seat stayed on the bike rack, but the back end of the bike fell down. Luckily we pulled over before that happened, but then we didn't know what to do. We took the rest of the bike off of the bike rack, and we were contemplating if it would fit in our car. Luckily, the zone leaders that were on their way to Winnemucca (yes, that is a real place) were not too far behind us, so they saw us, pulled over, and helped us stick the bike in the back of the car. They had to take the front wheel off and everything, but we were finally able to make it back to Elko. Fun times! 

Everything truly does happen in the Lord's timing. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary and to witness these miracles every day.

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:
-Why is the rest of my district so tall?!

-Driving to Sparks

-Tevin (recent convert) making us dinner!

Alma 52:21 (haha, get it?)


This week, on exchanges, we went to knock on someone's door, but they had a huge dog. It was nice, so we just let ourselves in the gate and knocked on the door... but then, Sister Tupuola dropped the phone, and the battery popped out, and the dog started eating the battery. We were freaking out, and the dog just wouldn't spit the battery out for a solid minute. We finally got the battery back, and it was dented and covered in slobber. Well, we did the only thing that we could... we wiped it off, put it back in the phone, and prayed... and the phone turned on! After about 30 minutes, though, the phone turned off again, so we took the battery out and prayed some more, and after a couple hours without a phone, we finally got it working again, and it has been working ever since! 

I've been on my mission for over a year now, and this week I rode my bike while proselyting for the first time (partly because all of my areas have been huge. This area is huge, too, but we want to start biking at least to nearby parts). I'm not a huge fan of riding my bike in a skirt, but it isn't nearly as bad as I thought. 

The missionaries in the Elko zone got a booth at the fair this last weekend, so we got to go help with the booth! We just talked to people as they walked by, and it was cool for the community to see us and be exposed to us. We were able to give away a few copies of the Book of Mormon, and I got to contact a couple people in Spanish! We also met a less active YSA young man who is planning on studying mechanical engineering. He said that he isn't really into religion, but I talked to him about physics for a solid 10 minutes, and he eventually gave us his contact information! 

Let the holy spirit guide
let Him teach us what is true
He will testify of Christ,
Light our minds with heaven's view

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures:
-Tacos al Pastor y tamales para una cena!!! Fue una tierna misericordia


-One of our investigators, Danny (far right)


-pday