Helaman 12:23

Can you believe it's already transfer time again?! I sure can't. Sister Hull is going to Sparks, and my new companion will be Sister Neely! I don't know her super well, but she came out at the same time as me, and she is awesome! I'm excited for this next transfer, but I am going to miss Sister Hull, and I'm also nervous to take over this area. YSA is the hardest area that I've had to learn so far, just because not even the active members are stable (people move, have birthdays, or get married, sooo...) But I know that we will see miracles this transfer!

Update on Craig: We accidentally set him up with one of the girls in the branch, so they are dating now... weird.

We had a great week! For some reason, it has been so hard for us to pick up new investigators recently. We have been trying so hard to meet with potentials, but for some reason things never work out. Yesterday was the last day of the (missionary) week, and we still hadn't found any new investigators for the week. Right before dinner, we had about 15 minutes, and we saw that one of our potential investigators was home (his truck was right outside) So we knocked, and had our first lesson with him! Later that evening, we were able to have a lesson with another potential investigator right after she got home. So the last day of the week we found 2 new investigators! Afterwards, we found out that both of us had fasted to find a new investigator! Fasting is amazing.

I love you all! Have an amazing week :)

-- Hermana Nielsen

-My beautiful soon-to-be-former companion :(

-Our hike with the zone!

-Hike picture #2

-Our district! 

Alma 38:12

It's been another great week! 

Update on Craig: This week he came to a baptism, our scripture study, and a fireside, and he came to all 3 hours of church yesterday! Craig always says that he won't do something, then does it, and we say "Craig, you did it!" and he just rolls his eyes. He wants us to think that he has given up and that he doesn't care... but he really wants to progress; he just needs a little push!

I had exchanges with Sister Parra in Ely this week, which was so fun. Hermana Martinez is her mom, which makes her my sister! I feel bad, let's just say that I put her through a lot during the exchange... but hopefully I learned my lesson, haha. 

I also got to do an exchange with Hermana Servin!!!! I just love that hermana. She got to meet Craig, and he showed us a bunch of his old mission stuff. We were also finally able to have a lesson with our investigator, Danny, which was a huge miracle! I haven't had a lesson with him since my first week in the area.

Use boldness... but not overbearance. When you don't feel love, and the spirit is gone... you crossed the line.

-- Hermana Nielsen

-Some elders put a dead frog on our windshield, haha. We put it on their door handle. 

-On the way back from one of our dinner appointments in the middle of nowhere...

-Intercambios con Sister Parra!!

1 Nephi 4:6

We have had so many amazing spiritual experiences this week. I'm just going to tell you about Craig.

Craig is a returned missionary, but less active. He is 30, so he is barely YSA, but we have had so many amazing experiences with him. Two weeks ago, we weren't going to go to our FHE activity, because we had a lesson. Well, the lesson fell through, so we decided to go back. After the activity (it was about 8:15) we walked outside and Craig was there. (I had never met him before). He told us that he just felt like he needed to come to church, so he came, and there we were! We were able to have a mini lesson with him outside, and somehow we ended up talking about tithing. We showed him how to pay tithing on his phone, so that he would never have any excuse not to. Craig knows the doctrine, and he knows that the gospel is true, he even admits it. He has just been through so much heartache over the last year that he is broken. He wants to be good, but he doesn't want to. He just has this war going on inside of him. Well, since that lesson, he has paid his tithing TWICE! Last Sunday, Craig even came to our sacrament meeting! Then, last Monday, we ran into him at the church again and had another surprise lesson with him, and this time we set up an appointment. 

We were going to see Craig Friday afternoon. Well, Thursday evening (after we were already home) he texted us and told us "I'm not worth it, I am too far gone, and I don't want to waste the time of the Lord's anointed." Wow. We sent him several scriptures, but nothing seemed to help, so finally my amazing companion felt inspired to call him and sing a himn. He answered the phone, and we sang "Be Still My Soul," which really helped to invite the spirit, and we were able to talk with him for a while, but he was still fighting it. Eventually he told us "It's a good thing you didn't sing my favorite song. I really like Be Still My Soul, but I couldn't handle my favorite song right now. If you sang it, it would be a sign from God that I had to come to church every week!" He absolutely refused to tell us what song it was, but eventually we found out that it was in the children's hymn book. We finally gave up trying to figure out which song it was, but we asked his permission to sing him one more song, from the children's book. He agreed. As I looked through the book, I saw "My Heavenly Father Loves Me," which is my favorite primary song. And if Craig needed to know anything, it was that his Heavenly Father loved him. So we sang that primary song, and when we had finished, Craig was very quiet. He finally said "My mother..... used to sing that song to me every night. I don't know how you picked out that song out of so many." It was such an amazing miracle! Craig just kept saying "I can't believe you picked that song. I don't know how you did it. Well, I do know, and you know, but I still can't believe it." 

I am so thankful for the spirit that allows us to be instruments in the hands of God! I am thankful that I am learning to recognize how it works for me. I didn't get an overwhelming feeling that we should sing that song. I had the simple thought: Craig needs to know that God loves him. For some reason I never realized that the spirit could work through logic... but God knows that I trust my logic more that my feelings, so he knows exactly how I need to receive inspiration. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of that moment; it was one of the most sacred experiences that I have had on my mission. 

And yes, Craig then allowed us to have a lesson with him the next day, and he came to sacrament meeting again yesterday! He is still struggling, but he is coming around! 

-- Hermana Nielsen

Whenever I:
-Hear the song of a bird, or look at the blue and red sky,

-Get tamales for dinner (what a tender mercy!)
Yes I know Heavenly Father loves me!

1 Nefi 11:17

So, remember Hermana Martinez? She was my trainer! As soon as she finished training me, she got transferred to the "East Side," and I only saw her once after that, when the whole mission was together. Well, this week we got to do an exchange together!!! It was really weird, and bittersweet, and nostalgic. This is Hermana Martinez's last transfer, so I got transferred here just in time to do one last exchange with her. We even got to have a mini lesson in Spanish! I hadn't realized how much I missed Spanish... until I got to really speak it again! 

Another tender mercy of the week: Yesterday, we had a fireside to welcome back President and Sister Bouler, who just finished serving in Honduras. Some of their returned missionaries were there, and two of them sang "How Great Thou Art." It was nice, but then when they closed the hymn book, they sang the last verse in Spanish, a capella. It brought me back to singing the song with the Hermanas in my CCM district, and it was the most beautiful thing I had heard in a long time. The sister who was singing couldn't even finish singing the Spanish verse, because she was so emotional, and I know just how she felt. 

I could tell you many more stories of tender mercies from this week, but it is sufficient to say, that "I know that [God] loveth his children"! 

-- Hermana Nielsen

-Intercambios con la Hermana Martinez!

-We had to eat watermelon in the car... it was messy

Alma 46:12

We had permission to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July, which was awesome! I am so thankful for this country, and that we are free to share this wonderful gospel with so many people! I love this gospel, and I love the commandments, because they allow us to be truly free!

This week I'm finally getting used to Elko YSA. It is so different from all of my other areas, but I still love it. We have so many members inviting their friends to church, and inviting them to activities. I love meeting all these people who are prepared to change their lives to receive the blessings of the gospel (I just wonder why not everyone is!)

Wisdom of the week: "You never know how far a frog will jump, until you poke it." -Brother Dahl
So don't be shy to invite your friends! Invite them to read, to pray, to come unto Christ. We never know how far they are prepared to go. 

Our mission president asked us to study Elder Eyring's talk "Walk With Me" from the last General Conference. As I was reading it, I thought about the ways that Satan works against us. He knows that we need Jesus Christ in order to have a full measure of success. (This applies for missionaries, parents, humans... etc.) Therefore, his goal is to keep us away from Christ. He can do one of two things: he can make us feel discouraged at the size of our task, making us feel doubt and fear, which dispel faith. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, Satan can lift us up unto pride, so that we do not think that we need the Savior's help to accomplish our task. Either way, we lose that divine help, and we cannot accomplish everything that our Heavenly Father requires. We must remember two things: 1) We absolutely CANNOT succeed without Christ, and 2) We absulutely CAN succeed with him. 

Have an awesome week!

-- Hermana Nielsen

-Happy 4th of July!

-If you've never watched the fireworks through a diffraction grating before, I would highly recommend it!

-Beautiful Nevada

Alma 37:35

So, Elko YSA is the BEST area in the whole mission. Just saying. 

I absolutely love working in my new area. I don't even miss Tahoe, which should tell you something! (Well, I do miss the cooler weather...) But I love all of the people we teach. So many YSA people are just honestly looking for the truth, which makes them perfect investigators. The majority of the members of our branch are returned missionaries, which means that member missionary work is on FIRE. It is also super easy to find members that want to come to lessons with us and give us rides. 

One girl that we are teaching, Jordan, just asked us "So, when am I going to get baptized?" which is the golden question! She wants to get baptized on August 11th, which is her birthday. She is so sweet. We don't have a ton of investigators, like I am used to having, but the ones that we do have are progressing towards baptism, which is a welcome change. And even though I don't teach in Spanish anymore, there are plenty of opportunities to use my language abilities! Some people we teach have parents who only Speak Spanish, so it is a good thing to know. 

Sister Hull, my new companion, is awesome. We are getting so much work done together. I am excited for this transfer, we are going to see so many miracles!

I am living with a member now, which is different, but I love it. We just call her grandma, because she is about 80 years old, but she is awesome! She just got back from a rafting trip a couple weeks ago, and she travels all the time! Haha, go grandma!

Pet peeve of going to a new area: The first question they always ask is "Where are you from?" (Which is fine) and then the very next question is ALWAYS "How long have you been out?" or "how much time do you have left?" (Please don't do this. Por favor. Going home is called "dying" for a reason. This question is like asking someone how long they have left to live.)

I am so thankful for the privilege that I have to participate in this work! I am thankful for all the experiences that I have had, and I am excited for all of the experiences that are coming!

-- Hermana Nielsen


-The drive to Elko

-My new home!

-My new companion!

-No caption needed

Mosiah 18:30

It's that time again... transfers. I'm going to serve in Elko YSA with Sister Hull! I'm going to be serving only in English (I've already served in all 3 of the Spanish areas for hermanas...) I'm a little disappointed to be serving in English, but I am really excited to serve in YSA! Transfers get easier every time, but it's still hard to leave behind so many people that I love. But hey, the whole reason we are here is to experience change... so I might as well get used to it!

This week I have learned a lot about following spiritual promptings. Last night we were driving, and we saw a young man walking on the side of the road with a basketball... so we drove past him, pulled over (where he couldn't see), got out of our car and just started walking towards him as if we were going to visit someone else. Apparently he had missed his bus, so he definitely wasn't in a good mood, but we talked to him for a minute. Turns out that he is from Romania, and he had spoken to missionaries in the past. We were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon that we hope he will read! We might never know why we needed to talk to him, but we both felt that we needed to. 

I am so thankful for the time that I have had to serve here in Tahoe. I continue to learn more every day, and I know that I will continue to see miracles every day in my mission!

Thought of the week: If something* isn't beautiful to you, it is only because you don't understand it well enough. (See video, haha)
*Humans included

-- Hermana Nielsen

New Address:
Hermana Kayci Nielsen
3356 Bell Ave
Elko, NV 89801

-We saw a bear! Finally. My Tahoe life is complete, I can leave now XD

-Our hike in Tahoe last Monday!

-Isn't it beautiful?! Our ceiling fan wobbles at a perfect resonance frequency with the wire that hangs down!

Moroni 7:27

Buenos Dias!

For Father's day, Hermana Eardley and I sang "Love is Spoken Here" in sacrament meeting! (We recorded us singing it without the piano, I hope the attachment works). It was cool, it was the first time I had ever sung in public with just one other person. Our investigator Francisco walked to church! And a less active, Michelle, came to church!!! She has never come since I've been in Tahoe, so I don't know how long it's been since she came to church. 

We made a new record last night: We had 3 families try to feed us dinner. We made the mistake of showing up to visit a couple families while they were cooking, which means that eating something ourselves is mandatory haha. Luckily we got away with taking most of the food home to eat later, or we probably would have just exploded. I love Hispanic culture; I'm never going to go hungry!

Funny phone call:
*Our investigator Linda calls* (She's a bit older...)
"Hi, this is Sister Eardley and Sister Nielsen"
"Hi, This is Linda. I've met some of your sisters... Sister Nielsen and Sister Eardley... and I would like to get in contact with them. Could you have them contact me. My address is ____ and my phone number is ___. Bye!"
And then she just hung up! I guess she thought that she was leaving a message haha. We called her back and she just said "That was fast!" Hahaha ella es muy "linda"! Hermana Eardley was laughing so hard that she couldn't even talk to her, so she had to hand me the phone. 

I know that we can continue to see miracles as we are obedient to the commandments! Have an awesome week!

-- Hermana Nielsen

Pictures of my exchange in Fallon! I got to see all of my favorite people :)

It has been brought to my attention that I sent the wrong file XD haha hopefully this is the right one. We can't listen to anything on these computers, sooo...

But it worked out, because I also forgot to share our biggest miracle this week! We forgot our traveling area book at home, so we decided to go back and get it. We then decided to go visit our investigator Linda, who lives just a couple doors down from us. When we got there, she told us that she had been praying that we would come! (Her phone wasn't working, so she couldn't call us). We just started talking to her about her baptism, and we told her that she could be baptized on the 22nd, and she accepted! It was perfect! The cool thing is that Heavenly Father used our bad memory to make that miracle happen. He used our weakness for good. That give Ether 12:27 a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

Alma 27:4

Last Monday our zone hit some golf balls into a lake for our zone activity. It was really fun. My arms were really sore the next day... I don't think I use my golfing muscles very often haha.

On Sunday my companion and I got to give talks! It was the first (and might be the only) time in my life when I actually asked our bishop for the chance to speak. We wanted to talk all about missionary work and get the ward excited! Our ward is already very missionary-minded, but I think that it was a great opportunity, and we loved it. I was the last speaker, which made me nervous, but I ended right on time!

My companion and I had a fun experience last night! All of our plans and back-ups had fallen through, and we had an hour left of the day, so we did the only thing that we could do, and we prayed. We each said individual prayers, and I just wasn't getting anything, so I finally just prayed for Hermana Eardley to receive the answer. Moments later, her head popped up, and she suggested that we go see two potentials that were nearby. They weren't home, but their room mate answered the door, and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon and talk for a bit. He said that his room mates were probably washing their clothes. That's when I got the idea to just go to the laundromat, because why not? So we went, and we actually found two of our investigators that we had just been looking for that weren't home either. We felt really stalkerish... but they didn't even ask us what we were doing there hahaha They were just waiting for their clothes... so we read Alma 32 with them, in the laundromat! It was cool that we both had to receive a piece of revelation to get us to that point and finally have a lesson with them. 

Thought of the week:
"Not all missionaries have name-tags, and not all angels have wings."

-- Hermana Nielsen

-This picture would be a lot cooler... if the golf ball wasn't still there XD

-More golfing!

-There is finally a Chick-fil-a in our mission!!!! And it happens to be just a few minutes from where we have district meetings every week... so guess where we went for breakfast!

-This was last Monday, where we had a lesson with one of our investigators!

-...And this is today. Just in case you got the impression that our weather was back to normal

2 Nefi 30:5

Fun experiences this week:
-A drunk man came up to us while we were walking down the street, asked us to pray with him, and then invited us to go to the bar with him
-Another drunk and/ or high man asked why we were in his parking spot, what church we were from, what we were doing, where the alligators are, and then told us that we had to help him draw an alligator in his parking space. 

I'm not sure I could list or adequately illustrate all of the experiences that I have had, this week and on my whole mission, that have strengthened my testimony of the Word of Wisdom. Let's just say that it is definitely inspired...

I got to do exchanges with Hermana Ortiz (my granddaughter) this week! She is so sweet, and she is such a great missionary! I am one proud abuelita!

I have been reading "Jesus the Christ," and one thing that I thought was interesting, is that some Jews basically said "We know that he can't be the Messiah, because the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem!"....... To them, it was perfectly sound logic, except that they were completely ignorant of the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem! It reminds me a lot of the logic that missionaries get to hear all the time... "Your church is bad because you worship Joseph Smith!" Well, actually, we don't... Sooo make sure you have all the facts!

-- Hermana Nielsen

-Our new best friend Sister Ruch! The Ruch's spend every summer here in Tahoe, so we are excited to have them in the ward!

Mateo 13:44

-This is me at our car inspections checking our tire pressure... and I'm laughing because Sister Chesnut wanted to take a picture of me checking our tire pressure

So about Wednesday of last week I got a really bad cough/ cold or something. Then by Saturday I started getting allergies on top of that... so I've just had a great several days coughing, sneezing, and hardly being able to speak. (and of course for some reason I get called on to say all of the prayers in church) Poor Hermana Eardley had to do almost all of the translating yesterday. 

But apart from not feeling great, it's been a good week! I got to do an exchange with Hermana Adams here in Tahoe! I just love her, and I miss being her companion! We also had zone conference this week, which is always a blast!

We started teaching Delia, who was one of the member referrals that we got last week. She is so sweet, and she is excited to learn, which means that we are excited to teach her. 

I'm starting to really study the new testament, and I love it! I love the one-verse parable in Matthew 13:44. This gospel is so valuable, that we should really be happy to give up all that we have, because we know that what we will receive is better! Any "sacrifice" is hardly a sacrifice... it's more like a really smart investment. It's almost like someone is offering to sell us a $100 bill for $1. Yet some people just really love that one dollar that they have. "I was born with this dollar!" or "Don't you ever wonder what the $1 bill life is like?! Don't you want to just try it?" Although, in light of this analogy, if someone literally tried to sell me a $100 bill for $1, I would definitely believe that it was a scam. It makes it even harder because people can't even really see the $100 until they give up their own dollar, which is what makes it such a leap of faith. It's a shame, being in a position where I get to see so much spiritual poverty, and so few willing investors. 

-- Hermana Nielsen

-Exchanges :)

-Morning jog to the pier!

-Looking for number 227. Thank you very much, that narrows down our search a TON haha

Mormon 9:19

It's been another great week in the mission field, we found 5 new investigators this week, all within walking distance of our house! (Which probably has to do with the fact that we are running really low on miles haha)

Here are some phone calls we got this week:

"Hi sisters! I just talked to one of my neighbors, and she is going through a rough time, she said that she would like to meet with you! When should I invite her over to my house?"

"Hi sisters! We have a man coming to work on our house today who only speaks Spanish... we were thinking that you could just "happen" to show up and give him a Book of Mormon."

"Hi sisters! One of my friends wants to meet with you and study the scriptures, when can we go see her?"

This is why I am so grateful to be serving in the North Lake Tahoe ward!!! We really have the best ward in the whole mission, I love it! If you want to make a missionary's day... pick up the phone and give them a referral! If you don't have one to give... then talk to your friends about the gospel! Just ask!

-- Hermana Nielsen

*Driving to go e-mail* Oh shoot, I didn't take any pictures this week, and my mom just told me to take more pictures. Quick, compa, take a picture of me! Look mom, I'm alive! Oh that's pretty, let's pull over and get a picture of the lake. I guess we can take a selfie too. 

Sorry, mom, I'll do better this week XD

2 Nephi 29:3

So transfers are this week... and Hermana Eardley and I get to stay here together! That hasn't happened to me since my first transfer! I am so thankful that I get to stay in beautiful Tahoe for another transfer, although it will probably be my last. 

This week we got to go to the temple! I got to go through for someone from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I bet she is thankful that I was actually able to pronounce her name! 

We also had the opportunity to attend Jose Silva's baptism in Reno! It wasn't "our" baptism, but we had some investigators go, so we were able to attend. It was a huge blessing for me to be able to be there, because when I was in Reno, Hermana Martinez and I were the ones who started teaching Jose! It was so special to be able to go, and I was able to see a bunch of members that I LOVE, including the Familia Coto! I probably enjoyed it more than any of "my" baptisms, haha. 

We knocked on one door (we actually don't knock many random doors, but we were looking for someone) and we met a man named Carlos. He proceeded to tell us all the reasons why we shouldn't worship Joseph Smith, and why the Book of Mormon isn't scripture, and there is only one God, and we are just little girls and we don't know what we are talking about... the interesting thing is that, other than the fact that he doesn't believe the Book of Mormon is true, I don't think we disagreed on any other doctrines. He just kept rambling on and on... we tried to end the conversation many times, but he just kept going. I tried to share my testimony with him but he just kept talking over me the entire time and he was clearly not interested in listening, or learning. He heard the words we said just enough to be able to respond and make his own opinion quite clear. I was getting quite frustrated with the whole thing... but then at one point I told him "Se que tenemos debilidades para que seamos humildes, y basta la gracia de Cristo a todos los hombres que se humillan ante el, porque si se humillan ante el, y tienen fe en el, entonces hara que las cosas debiles sean fuertes para nosotros. (Basically Ether 12:27) and he just responded "Amen!" so from that point on, I just quoted as many scriptures from the Book of Mormon as I could think of, without telling Carlos what I was doing. And he agreed with everything that I said! So from that point on, I wasn't even upset anymore, I was just having a great time laughing inside. It was so funny to me that he could be so sure that the Book of Mormon wasn't scripture... but when he heard it, he could feel the spirit and recognize it as scripture.

That incident isn't an isolated one... for some reason, this week we have had SO many people trying to convince us that the Book of Mormon isn't scripture... some of them haven't even tried to read it before, and some of them have (which scares me even more) but for some reason they just think they have everything figured out. It is sad to see, but it just makes me appreciate the Book of Mormon more and more every day. The more I read it, the more I feel sorry for people who believe that they can only study the Bible. Interestingly, this Sunday a member gave us a cool outline of the chiasmus in Alma chapter 36, which provides even more intellectual evidence that the Book of Mormon is true! I wish everyone could see the Book of Mormon like we do! It's not just another novel, it's not something made up, and it's definitely not from the devil! (which someone actually tried to tell us) I'm thankful for the Book of Mormon! If you aren't reading it every day... DO IT!

-- Hermana Nielsen

-District pic!

-Jose Silva got baptized!

Mosiah 2:17

-This is what we looked like after walking outside for 5 minutes... yes, it was SNOWING, a LOT, in MAY!

On Saturday morning, we accidentally woke up one of our investigators (as missionaries, the concepts of "weekends" and "sleeping in" don't really exist. So she came to the door in her PJ's and still half asleep... and she invited us in and offered to make us food! Wow, I think she is more Christ-like than I am... We didn't take her up on the offer, but insisted that she go back to sleep, but wow, she is so nice! 

One of our investigators, Linda, is really lonely and she REALLY wants a cat. We told our awesome ward mission leader, and he offered to take her to go buy one! He is awesome!

This week I got to go on exchanges with Hermana Sherwood in Reno! We saw Jose (see picture), a less active who is SO funny. Apparently he has been to church a couple times recently, which is a huge miracle!

We have seen a lot of miracles this week, many of which just required us to be in the right place at the right time. I love seeing those tender mercies, having lessons with people that we never see, and finding people who are prepared for the gospel!

-- Hermana Nielsen

-Beautiful Truckee!

-The STL's at MLC :)

-We found a box that just said "free"... so we got some new dishes