Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Today is Easter. It has been raining the past two days. Maybe tomorrow the sun will come out. The last few days I have been studying in Matthew about the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. Each time I read the account it seems more profound. We all search for that “joy which is unspeakable and full of glory” to feel Christ’s love. That we all could cast our burdens at His feet is my simple desire so that there might not be more sorrow upon the face of the whole earth. (Hel 5:44; Alma 29:2)
Three and half weeks ago Elder and Sister John Dickson from the First Quorum of Seventy toured our mission for three days. We brought 18 missionaries over from the Island so altogether we had about 90 missionaries for his first zone conference held in Richmond. The next day we flew to Kelowna in the Okanagan for a zone conference with 18 missionaries. The third day we flew up to Prince George. However the airport was fogged in so we returned to Vancouver. We had 14 very disappointed Elders. After returning to the mission office Elder Dickson talked to each Elder in the Prince George Zone on the phone. Elder Dickson encouraged our “obedient” missionaries to go to the next level and prove the Lord. Elder and Sister Dickson were kind and warm. They gave us some beneficial suggestions. He met with four of our stake presidents to strongly encourage member/missionary work. It has been a huge boost we have needed.
Two weeks ago we spent a weekend up North at the Terrace District Conference. I really love these few steadfast Saints who live in remote B.C. One piece of luggage arrived a day late—we picked it up at the airport on our way out. We drove from Terrace to Prince Rupert Sunday evening. At midnight President, four Elders and I caught a ferry to the Queen Charlotte Islands (7 hours one way). This Island has perhaps 2,000 people and 35 are LDS. Monday we visited with four or five of these members to assess what if anything we could do for the Haida Quai First Nations people. What totem poles we saw. Tuesday morning we returned (7 hour ferry ride) to Prince Rupert.
Monday evening President, two Elders and I took a nineteen hour ferry ride down the Inside Passage. We arrived at 3:00 PM the next day at Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. I was horribly sea sick 30 out of the 33 hours of the ferry ride. No more adventuring on sea ever again! Even now when I close my eyes I still get dizzy.
In Richmond this week I saw Bald Eagles at the dump, a fury brown rabbit in a bush, and a raccoon walking on our back fence.
We think and pray for each of you daily. Our hearts go out to each of you in your struggles. We are all meekly drenched in destiny. (Neal A. Maxwell)
Transfers are this week. We will talk again. Conference was good, I stayed awake.
Love you forever and ever and ever, Mom, Jannilyn, Nana, Granma, and Sis. Nelson
Thursday, April 2, 2009
We are on the Ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver. We just attended the Nanaimo Stake Conference. It was a very pleasant and rewarding experience. President took about 30 minutes in the Priesthood Leadership meeting and then Sister Nelson took about 10 minutes in the Sunday morning session and President took about 15 minutes. We believe we are getting better and learning what to say and how best to present it.
We have a general authority, John B Dickson of the first Quorum of the Seventy, touring the mission this week beginning Wednesday and ending on Friday. He will be presiding at a Stake Conference next weekend at the Victoria Stake Conference. All of the missionaries are very excited and we are looking forward to getting it over with. It will give us an opportunity to learn a lot. From what we hear Elder Dickson is very good and helpful. We are sure he will have a lot of suggestions.
For those of you that might be interested, our theme for this transfer or zone conferences is “Fixed With a Determination to Conquer” from a scripture in the Book of Mormon (Alma 58:12). It is all about not trying but really completing the task. It is not doing our best but just getting it done. It is about resourcefulness. It should be very helpful to our missionaries as well as us. If anyone has some thoughts or scriptures about this please email them in.
The highlight of our mission this last couple of weeks has been the growth of the Richmond Chinese dependant branch. In the last 75 days there has been about 15 people join the Church. There has been a kidney surgeon and a wealthy business man (owns six restaurants in China plus several other businesses). The cool thing about these people is that they were all adamant in their belief of being either atheist or agnostic. As our missionaries were able to explain the origin of the Book of Mormon and explain the nature of God, it was amazing to see these very smart, highly educated people recognize the value of the Gospel and build their faith and become so happy. It has really been a testimony builder to us. Many of these people were heavy smokers, drank coffee and wine but simply gave it up and have never gone back to it. If people will give this Gospel a chance and sincerely seek to find the correct answer (not answers to justify their own philosophies of men) but truly seek to know the truth they have been rewarded with a joy and happiness beyond what they thought possible. We are really enjoying our mission and it just keeps getting better.
Well the ferry is pulling into the dock so we need to say goodby for now. Hope all is well with each you. Have a good day.
Love, President and Sister Nelson.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Time waits for no man—no not one. We almost did not know that Christmas came and went, our minds have been so occupied upon the momentous task at hand. I can scarcely take any of this in. And the scenery is ever presently still breath taking. I watch and ponder—what did I ever do or say to be so blessed to be in British Columbia; such a choice dedicated land unto the Lord? How did we get such missionaries; I want to call them my own children? How did we get to mingle with such good living Saints that sacrifice daily to build the Kingdom of God?
As usual we are grateful to be alive and kicking. I do have some health concerns but we are working with the Doctors to correct the problems. Living in these latter-days is not for the timid of heart/we maybe once in a while! Last Tuesday through Wednesday we held a Zone Leader Council for about 20 of our best missionaries. We prepared several meals for them and six of them slept over at the mission home. We had a full house. The first afternoon I visited with missionaries for about two to three hours about the scriptures especially Mosiah 15:1-9. What a delight! On Wednesday we held workshops and meetings all day. We also invited two sisters to participate. Our focus of true motivation—the Pure Love of Christ. Afterwards one Elder commented that this was the best day of his entire mission. Another Elder stated that this was what he had always expected his mission to be like. President stated “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.
We have attended two Chinese Ward’s Chinese New Year’s Parties. The Mandarin Chinese are the fastest growing units of the Church and the Mandarin missionaries are truly unbelievable. We are becoming more familiar with the Korean and Spanish communities here as well.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we have been involved in Zone Conferences. The theme is “If the trumpet sound is not clear how can we prepare for battle?” (1Cor 14:8). Tomorrow (Vancouver Island) and Tuesday (Prince George) we finish our zone Conferences for this transfer period. I never thought I could be so busy; every minute of every day is carefully scheduled.
We have a General Authority (Elder John Dickson) touring our mission in the middle of March. We have begun our preparation for this event.
We love and pray for each of you,
Sister Nelson, Mom, Grandma, Nana, Jannilyn
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The Holidays are over so everyone is going back to work including us in the great Northwest. We enjoyed having Beck and Connie Housekeeper and then Janae, Lonnie and Britt. It was a change and fun to have these visitors. We are looking forward to visitors this coming July.
Our weather is back to a normal Vancouver, Canada winter with highs in the mid to low 40s and lows in the mid 30s and lots of rain and NO SNOW. I am able to go on my 2.25 miles walks in walking shoes and not snow boots.
Our missionary work continues as usual with a lot of full days. Last week I interviewed 75 missionaries on an individual basis. I have come to appreciate them more and more. They really do do a good job at being missionaries. I am also beginning to get a good working relationship with the Stake Presidents and they are so important to our success. The first week in January has been really good. There are lots and lots of people (about 250 each month) wanting to learn more about the Gospel. Many are responding and having the missionaries teach them about the Church and the nature of God. I believe this next year we will see a significant jump in our efforts. Many are saying how thankful they are that we knocked on their door.
We have had another crash in the mission where a couple of missionaries hit black ice and spun off of the road. The good news about snow is that if you do go off the road you usually stop before you hit anything that significantly hurts your car.
Yesterday I got pulled over for speeding by a new "trainee" police office (female). It took her 45 minutes and a "backup" before she gave me a warning. The problem was that I had a Utah Drivers License and she did not know what to do with it. Finally I got her to talk to our office manager and got it settled. In the meantime I was about an hour late for my meetings and had a lot of missionaries waiting.
Everything is good, and we will talk to you next week.
President Nelson, Dad, Grandpa, etc.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
This letter comes to you from the Northwest land of ice and snow. Before coming to BC we were told the winters here were pelasant. Two to three feet of snow has stayed here for two to three weeks. No one here can ever remember it being so severe. WE are warm as long as we layer our clothing and stay inside. The snow at Christmas was the one part I wanted to miss! Oooops! We are here for the adventure and adventure it is.
It was great fun and we were delighted to Connie Houskeeper and Rebecca, our daughter come for Christmas. Teh day after they left, Janae, Lonnie, and Britt came for a few days. During both visits we were able to tour the Vancouver Aquarium and on Vancouver Island the Royal BC Museum. The day time ferry was literally breathtaking. I stand in awe at God's creation of Heaven, Earth, and Sea. We were so fortunate to have visitors taste of His beauty as well. If any of the rest of you is adventurous, please come.
As a sidelight, one of my goals for serving this mission is to change for the better. Both my daughters said I am basically still the same. Well, I do have two and one-half years left so I am not giving up. I am determined to serve without complaining. I have yet to become as the women in the Book of Morman....[they] began to bear their journeyings without murmurings..(1Ne. 17:2).
Our theme for Zone Conference #5 was "Sleep is a Burden." In the doctrine section we used Mosiah 15. Abinidi discusses the need for Christ to be born Immortal and Mortal in order to perform the atoning sacrifice. He tells how the will of the Son (Christ) was swallowed up in the will of the Father being one God and how Christ appeased the demands of Justice by suffering unto death without yielding to sin..."that God (Christ) might be a perfect just God and also a merciful God." (Alma 42:15) We still have one more Zone Conference to attend to in Prince George next week. Due to bad weather over Christmas our plane flight was canceled. It has been -35 degrees in Prince George. We have mountain warrior Elders up North.
Our mission feels similar to my first and only year of teaching school I cried but the tears did not help anything. The only way was to go through it. We are learning so much now. Our missionaries make it worthwhile. We are fond of some of the members too.
Thank you for your love and support, you are in our prayer.
Happy New Year,
Jannilyn, Nana, Sister Nelson, Grandma, and Mom