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

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

-Snow on the way to Tahoe!