Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Its Beginning to feel a lot like Christmas....


Hey Y'all
.Sorry to disappoint you ataya, but i don't have an accent... we are in a suburban area and hardly anyone has an accent... ill have to wait till i go into the country to hear the legit accents... anyway, we will be skyping from sister galts house tomorrow at 7:30pm sorry it is so late, but we are super busy and i kinda just wanted to talk to y'all at the end of the night so i could just go home and go to bed after ward. I hope your Christmas is good and i thank you for the Christmas packages... and yes the ginger bread house made it in one piece. Sister berrett and i are excited to decorate it tonight! i got the package that you sent to sister galts house thank you so much!
Well i am glad to know that it is pretty normal for missionaries to be depressed for the first 3-4 months... things are starting to get better though... i am very glad, and i am sure my companion is too.
This past week has been one of the best so far! The lavoies were baptized on Saturday!!!! it was incredible! Jenne, the mom, her parents (converts themselves) drove into town form Vermont to be here for the baptism...but... they thought, and we let them believe that it was just the two children getting baptized... because Jenne and James wanted to surprise them! so we came to the church on Saturday at like 5:15 and the family was there waiting for us! so we all went in and when 5:30 rolled around we had Jenne take Alexis and "help" her get dressed into her jumpsuit and James "helped" Brandon get dressed too... so Jenne and James dressed in their jumpsuits as well, then the children went back into the relief society room where grandma and grandpa were waiting... then all four of us missionaries came into the room and had James and Jenne wait 10 seconds before they came in.... oh, when they came in, it was so incredible!! Jenne's mom let out a cry of excitement, jumped to her feet and took her daughter in her arms and started sobbing! it was the sweetest moment on my mission so far! Tears began to sting my eyes as grandma hugged her daughter and son in law. Oh man, i can't even begin to describe the spirit that was in that room! and it only became stronger as they each stepped down into the water to be baptized. Probably my most favorite moment of the night though, was talking to james after and asking him how he felt... tears welled up in his kind brown eyes as he told us that it felt as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders when he came out of the water. Oh family, i seriously can't even begin to tell you how it felt when he said that! James is a good man and he txts us now all the time telling us thank you for all that you have done for my family! 
I have so much love for this family and the only bummer about the date that they were baptized, is that i will still be on my mission when they go through the temple... so i won't get to go with them...   
On Sunday they were confirmed! again, another amazing moment!!!! 
After church, we taught a lesson to our high school investigator and i hope i don't sound prideful when i say this, but i was able to actually vocalize the thoughts of my heart, and the promptings that came to my mind. and i bore down in pure testimony to her as i told her that she knew wat she needed to do to know that the church is true, and  that was to read the book of Mormon. i was pretty bold with her, but it was completely out of love and by the spirit! it was such an amazing feeling to say those things and watch the spirit penetrate her heart... we are hopeful that she will be baptized on the 5th of January!!
well family this week has been a pretty good one! and i am glad that i have been able to feel and realize my confidence growing.. i thank my Heavenly Father for this great blessing!
...oh... Elder Thompson aka the bomb (zone leader) says HI... Sister Berrett (mom/trainer) says hi! she still wants a picture of the whole family!  
well family, i will talk to you tomorrow... till tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Humid Cold...Gerogia Style...

Hey Y'all,
   So we should have SKYPEing capabilities. we are just working details out with some of the members to see how and when we can come over and skype, but it shouldn't be a problem. I don't remember my account information... so you may have to set up another account for me and them give me the user name and login info... but ataya expressed concern that she would not be home till after 3:00. so i will have to call at about 5:00 pm our time. Does it cost to skype?... anyway, i am really excited to see you guys on Christmas! WARNING: there will most likely be lots of tears on my end!! so don't be surprised!
   So the weather here has been pretty mild... so im told, it has been raining a bit this week and the humid cold is defiantly different from the dry cold... the members tease me because i stay in my coat longer than everyone else when we get to the church on sundays... when that cold gets to you, it takes a little longer to warm up!  and i never had a problem with my toes freezing, but my toes are always cold... ha ha! anyway, i have loved the skies here though they are just so majestic!... the clouds are always so different and interesting, and the sunsets are AMAZING!!!! I love them!  
   So we have a Mission Christmas party on Wednesday... the entire mission is getting together! it should be.... interesting... i have a hard time with large groups of people lately... it seems to be more severe than before... anyway, all the sisters are having a secret sister gift exchange  that will be fun I'm sure! I got the most out going sister in the mission. its a good thing my MOM (trainer) has been her companion before so she can help me find something for her!
   This last week has been... interesting, Sister Berrett has been sick lately so we have been taking it at a slower pace, but we have still seen many miracles! The lord is merciful!
we spent one evening with on of  the members and baked cookies, cakes and brownies and decorated them all and then the next day delivered them to all our recent converts and investigators. we took one to this lady we met a few weeks ago and gave her a Book of Mormon with it. when we handed her the Book of Mormon, she looked at it and her eyes lit up and welled with tears and she took the book and pressed it to her chest and said " oh...i love this book thank you so much!" it was so neat to see her reaction to the Book of Mormon. She is from Palau and almost half of the population on that island are Mormon, so she is familiar with with the church and we are pretty sure that she will be baptized! 
   We then went to one of our recent converts homes to deliver a treat, she wasn't home, but her housemate was. He let us in and we talked with him and offered him a Book of Mormon and he accepted it... which was miracle in itself because Sister Berrett has tried to give him one, a few times before, and he would flat out refuse it! but he took it and we both bore testimony of it and the spirit entered an then we said a prayer and with the prayer, the spirit grew even stronger! it was great! So, had our recent convert been there we would not have gotten to speak with the roommate, because he will usually leave the room or the apartment completely when we come to visit! so that was a miracle! 
   I don't know if i told you this last week or not, but the family that we have helped teach with the zone leaders has FINALLY accepted to be baptized on the 22nd!!!!!! we are all so excited! this family has been in contact with the missionaries since April and now they are getting baptized!!! 
   We also had a lesson last Sunday with an investigator that is really struggling to pray to know if the church is true, because she is afraid of the answer that she will get... she knows that she will have to become a "Mormon" when she gets her answer, we are pretty sure that she knows the answer she will get, and this scares her... she is in high school and she is afraid of how she will be treated if people knows she is Mormon. We are so blessed in Idaho to have a large LDS population and to have seminary classes and attend schools with a large number of LDS students! because here, the seminary classes are very small and the students are spread out over many different schools... it is totally different out here. But anyway, this girl will be baptized, we aren't worried about that, but she will just do it at her own pace... but the lesson that we had with her was SUPER powerful, we were ALL in tears at the end... members, missionaries and investigator! POWERFUL!! it was so much fun!!! i love leaving those lessons, because we are on a spiritual high for the rest of the day!!! The only thing that i hate doing is trying to describing it... because there are no words that exist that can explain adequately the feelings and experiences that i am having out here. It is just plain incredible! I can't even put words to them well enough to get them into a journal... i try, i really do, but as i read what i have written, my entries fall short of the actual experience... i just hope i can recall these experiences when i read over them, years form now... speaking of journaling, does grandpa have his journals form his mission? 
well family, it is that time again, that i must say good bye for the week, so until next week, I love you!
Sister Dannika Nielsen!
i hope Y'all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Memos from Georgia 12/9/12

The Christmas Party was good... we just ate lunch at our Zone Leaders place... they live with a member and the member let us come over and have the party there. Then we did a white elephant gift exchange with random things that we find in the missionary apartments...lol pretty interesting stuff that you can find in these apartments! Anyway, the rest of the time the Elders just goofed off... lol there was magic tricks, some were walking up and down t he stairs on their hands, balancing chairs on their chins, playing ukulalis and harmonicas, and at one point there was a rubber chicken... ha ha ... we had quite the assortment of entertainment. It was great fun. I am suprised at how comfortable i am around all these other missionaries, i mean not totally comfortable, but comfortable enough.
     My emotions are still out of whack... one day there are at an all time high and then at an all time low... I am all for roller coasters, but this is a roller coaster ride that i want off of... 

     So we were blessed to have yet another baptism on Saturday!! And we have at least 2 more lined up for the 22nd... i say at least, because the Lavoie family that we have been teaching has allowed their 11 and 12 year old children to get baptized, and we have been working on the parents and we are pretty sure that they will be baptized with them as well, so that will be 4 total and if we can get the Dad to allow the 9 year old to be baptized too, then their entire family (with the exception of their youngest who is 6)  will be baptized together on the 22nd!! how exciting is that!!
We had a pretty POWERFUL lesson with them on Thursday night. Again there was NO doubt that that family knows that this gospel is true. The spirit was so strong, i think that even the hardest heart would have felt this.
I am constantly amazed at the great miracles that i get to witness each week. So indescribable, and so numerous that i can not write and describe the wonder of it all!!
     Anyway, i better get going, i still have shopping to do. But i do want to let y'all know that i do have a testimony of this gospel Helaman 5:12 has just recently become personally meaningful to me...
"and now my sons remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon in men build THEY CANNOT FALL."
I know this is true, because i have had some very tough times out here, but no matter how bad my day gets and no matter how low Satan brings me...it all comes back to what i know to be true...and i know that i have a testimony, my foundation, and it is build on and centered in Christ, i know he lives, i know his gospel is true, and it is this that keeps me from giving up. There is hope and i am promised that i CANNOT fall. If this church were not true, i would not be out here still, because nothing save it be the true and everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ could keep me out here. It is great and it is all true!!
Will you please send my love and deepest gratitude to the 15th ward, I've been thinking alot about them lately!
love you all,
Sister Nielsen

Monday, December 10, 2012

Henderson Family Baptized-Dec 1st

Dannika Had the opportunity to help this family come to the gospel. She has tough days. but says This work is worth it. She had prayed to have only one person to teach from the beginning to baptism...and the lord brought 3. She said it was amazing to watch the family change with the spirit of christ in their lives. She said she was glad that she was a sister missionary this day though, cause she got to stay warm and dry on the beach instead of in the lake.
Keep her in your prayers

Small blessings

This week was pretty neat.
I experienced my first exchange... Honestly, i was not happy about this, because i was to stay in the area and be the senior companion... i wasn't excited about this because i was certain that i couldn't do it and that i didn't know the area well enough and that i couldn't teach well enough... all sorts of negitive thoughts flooded my mind and i became just plain grumpy about it.
The exchange happened against my wishes, and the Lord humbled... in the MOST loving of ways. I took control of all the teaching appointments and was able to speak my mind without too much trouble i was able to find my way arround with the help of a GPS,... but then it died... and i didn't even get stressed out about it,  which i totally had reason too.
Finally we got to our last appointment of the night, with  our now recent convert! It went suprisingly well!! She was concerned about not having a testimony about Joseph Smith so we went over the restoration with her again, she was very happy, she said that she had learned more this time around because last time, she said " i was so close minded" after the lesson i asked her to close the lesson with a prayer and to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet. She began trying to get out of praying, but i persisted and told her that i really believed that she would recieve an answer if she prayed at the end of the lesson. Hesitently, she agreed, and we all got to our knees. Before she started she looked at me and said " I am going to try starting out with "Dear Heavenly Father" instead of Dear God."
I was thrilled that she wanted to try this because she was pretty adiment before that she was always going to use Dear God because that was what she has always done and "Dear Heavenly Father" was awkward. So she began... when that phrase crossed her lips the spirit immedietaly filled the room and and there was NO doubt that she felt this too, her prayer was BEAUTIFUL!! and at the end she looked at me and said " i think i will use "Dear Heavenly Father" from now on." I was so excited! and filled with so much love for her! So although i was very upset about the whoe excange and everything, at the end of it, i was very greatful... and humbled to know that me Heavenly Father loves me enough to challenge me, and then show me that i can do tackle the challenge and that i know more a than i give myself credit for. He humbles me with care and concern and with perfect love.

So saturday was orbaptism up at Lake Lanier and it was absoutely beautiful. By the look on Elder Yates Face when he got into the water... it was very cold HA HA!! I was glad to be a Sister Missionary, Dry and warm on the beach! 
I have been so blessed to be one of the missionaries that has helped this family in their journey to baptism and as i stood there on the beach of lake lanier i was filled with so much love for this family and feeling so blessed to be a missionary... i can't believe i am actually out here, actually serving a mission, bringing the Lords children unto him! Heavenly Father has answered my prayer with so much more than i expected! i had prayed that we would be able to find and teach one person... all i asked for was just one... to find and teach form Lesson one to baptism... and he gave us a family! How merciful is our Lord!! He gives me so much more than i ever deserve and then keeps on giving, i am not worthy of all the blessings he gives me!

Love your Favorite Missionary
Sister Nielsen! 

Tough times...but keeping on!!!

First Thanksgiving In Georgia!!!
Hey all,
So it is true that i am struggling with anxiety, but more recently with depression... at least that's what i think it is... i have all the signs of it... i am unhappy, i often fell angry, hopeless and indifferent to everything kinda like i am just going through the motions... and i don't laugh anymore, i laugh to be polite when someone says something funny or makes a joke but y'all know me... that is not how i am... i live to laugh, i love to laugh and the fact the i haven't really makes me sad... but to put your mind at ease, and make you aware... i will tell you that i am getting help (as hard as it is for me to ask for it), i am being taken care of. I really desire to serve the Lord with all my Heart, Might , Mind and Strength... my heart is in the right place , but my mind is a little off and with out my mind i cannot serve my Lord, and because of this, i have forced myself (with a little encouragement form my comp, whom i love with all my heart!) to ask for help so i can be an effective servant!  
Please don't worry to much about me, and just know that i am being taken care of. I truly believe that the Lord takes care of his missionaries and although i don't know that reason he has given me this trial, i know that there is a wise purpose that the Lord has for it and that all will be ok. I love you all and thank you so much for your prayers and fasting in my behalf. I will get through this... i know i will (it is just hard to see when i am in the thick of it)... the Lord does not give his children anything that he will not help us through. maybe i must learn  to trust the Lord more and allow him to carry this burden instead of me carrying it on my own... it's just hard to do when i feel so depressed that i can no longer feel the spirit... let me tell you... this is the most lonely and hopeless feeling and believe me, i can hear Satan in my own voice in my head telling me that i a truly alone, but i KNOW without a doubt and no matter how bad i feel that Satan is a liar and that my Savior suffered these things for me specifically so that i would never ever be alone i know that he is truly beside me and because of this i must press forward! I would ask that you mail me talks about the atonement and others that you think might help me further my understanding of the atonement so that i can give this burden to the Lord. And if it isn't too much trouble, i would like to have my art portfolio... i just want something to remind me of the one talent that i sort of posses... and i have people here who have discovered my talent by snooping in my planner and seeing doodles, and now they want to see the real things... wow that sounds totally boastful....

Anyway on a less depressing note!!! thanks giving was GREAT!! although i was away from family i didn't even get sad at all... we were up and going, visiting family after family and it was just a good day! I am disturbed by the amount of food we all ate, but it was totally worth it.... ok so this was our day... 9:00 am borther and sister bowman's (sister galts daughter) house for breakfast, them 11am Adrienne's house (recent convert) for brunch 1pm Lunch with bro and sis adams 2:30 stuffing at and investigators house 3pm dinner with the tuley and johnson family 5pm another dinner with the Qureshi family.. and then dessert with the carlisle family at 7pm.... i don't think i have ever had so much food in my life... all four of us were so full that by the end of the night none of us could sit up stright... it's pretty dross that we ate that much food, but my stomach hurt so bad and we were running all over that i didn't have time to think of what i was missing at home. I was pretty happy! for the first time in a while...
So it sounds like y'all had a pretty awesome thanksgiving... im glad that eirc was able to get home for it this year.

So we have another baptism coming up on saturday...the family will be getting baptized... oh yeah and we are doing it in Lake Laneir.... and it's gonna be cold... im just glad i don't have to get in the water  its an interesting story actually... so the Elders found  the father and started teaching him and then his wife  was very upset with him for speaking to the Mormons, because she had been raised to believe that Mormons were a cult so she was very. When joey had found out for himself that it the book of Mormon was true, he of course wanted her to know, so he bore his testimony to her, and she decided to hear the lessons... so the elders called us and said that they wanted us to teach her, so we got all excited and ready to teach her and then she decided that she didn't want to anymore and tried to get joey to stop meeting with the elders, she tried bringing over her pastor form her church and looked up anti on the computer and everything... finally when he would not give in, she just decided to appease her husband and just get baptized with him... so we began to teach her and challenged her to read and find out for herself... she did, and as she began to read, very attitude toward us changed and she was less hostile and all the very pointed and argumentative questions that she had were eliminated as we taught her that Gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught her all the lessons and challenged her to do different things and she accepted whole heatedly and we know that she is keeping her commitments because we can see such a change in her... she quit drinking her sweet tea, cold turkey and enforced it for her family, she sat down with her husband and they figured out how they would pay tithing and are completely willing to live it! She now comes to church with her little family and loves having us over. Her countenance has changed and softened, and to be honest she is the rock of that family, i have no doubt that she will remain strong even after we leave. I am so excited for them and i know that they will never regret this decision to be baptized and come unto their Savior! Oh how the Lord loves this family and is blessing them for their dedication to him! So it will be Her and Her husband and their 11 year old son who will be baptized! so exciting!! I have gained a testimony of the power of the Book Of Mormon. The Book of Mormon changes behavior... because when we read this book, the spirit is with us and causes us to want to change! How can this book not be of God! I am coming to LOVE this book!

Anyway that is what is happening here in the field. I haven't heard anything more about the bikes, so im not going to worry about that till i actually come to it.
I can't wait to talk you y"all on Christmas! hopefully i get to skype!
well i better get going and i hope y'alls week goes great!
l love you and miss you
Love sister nielsen     


We have 2 dinner appointments and a dessert appointment for thanksgiving so far.... last year my comp had 7! i really hope we don't get that many. We defiantly don't starve here in Suwanee. the members LOVE their missionaries and do so much for us! a lot of the missionaries here call Suwanee, Zion... ha ha. it it really great here though. A lot of the members are either vegan or vegetarian... so i have had vegan spaghetti and it was actually really tasty!  
Oh, you would be proud of me, i ate banana pudding yesterday... still not my favorite thing in the world,but i ate it anyway! So here in GGeorgia they use Pine Straw for a lot of their landscaping... all it is, is pine needles that they put in their flower beds, instead of bark or rock.... very strange... that is want we try to remove from our flowerbeds.

We taught the 12-13 yr olds Sunday school class on Sunday. It was really neat, we taught them about honoring their parents. Sundays are so crazy as a missionary... I have a hard time with Sundays because i have to go and meet members in the ward and it really gives me anxiety, i really don't like it, but i try really hard to do it, so by the end of the day on Sundays, i am completely depressed (because this shouldn't bother me) and exhausted. I have noticed that my anxiety has gotten much worse in large groups... during zone conference i couldn't talk to anyone without breaking down into tears. I feel so stupid... i hate it so much!!! My comp though, is so great,  she really helps me through a lot, and is very patient with me when i just break down! i love her so much!

So we have been meeting with the Lavoie family every week and this last week they told us that they were coming to church every week for the next month! and we taught them the very last lesson and i got the opportunity to invite them again to be baptized... i was SO nervous, but i followed the spirit and it turned out just fine... they didn't say yes, but they told us they would think about it... so they didn't exactly say no... but they are coming to church and we are going to continue meeting with them. Hopefully soon, i will be including details about their baptism. this family is SO close. James has tremendous faith, he just doesn't realize it. He is such a good man, great father to his children and a respectful husband! He pretty much practices and believes all that we as members of the church practice and believe, but im not sure that he understands his relationship with his loving Heavenly Father. i think once he internalizes that, everything will fall into place!

Saturday, we went and knocked doors around a less active members home, when she didn't answer her door. we went to the next door and knocked. I was so nervous because Sister Berrett told me i would be taking lead on this one, so i began frantically assembling phrases to say in my mind and then a teenage son answered the door so i introduced us as the LDS missionaries AKA the Mormons and we hared his dad call from  the living room "why didn't Romney win" so we told him that we were politically neutral... blah blah blah... and then he said "why don't you come on in and have a seat" Stunned... Sister Berrett and i looked at each other and made our way to his living room. We sat and talked to this man about our church and we taught him the whole first lesson, discussed his beliefs (he is baptist) and our favorite scriptures, he was so open minded, spiritual and very kind. we left him with a Book of Mormon and a chapter to read, and he committed to read it and pray about it. we will talk to him again in a few weeks. We had NO time to prepare this lesson for this man because we had no idea that we would meet him, but we were able to teach a flawless lesson and the spirit was there. I was completely calm and confident. i was so grateful for this experience and i am really praying for John, he would be so much fun to teach! he and his family are so great! I spent a total of 30 minutes with this man and his family, but i already have started to love them, i am again, amazed at the ability i have as a missionary, to love so quickly. This work is so hard and frustrating at times but just when it seems to get unbearably hard, the Lord in all his mercy gives us a break, by helping us find those who are prepared, and it makes ALL the frustrating times worth it... i can't even begin to describe how much i love this work, and these emails don't even do the experiences justice. i can't wait till i actually get to pull an all nighter and talk about everything!

So with the huge influx of missionaries, due to the announcement, all missionaries will be put on bikes.... sisters included, so ive got to figure out a way to get a bike... this should be interesting. And, now i am stressed out, because the possibility of me turning around and becoming a trainer after i have been trained (at three months old)... is very high, i am not a leader... never have been, and the possibility of me having to train a baby missionary freaks and stresses me out! anyway... this is missionary life... lol very stressful but very much worth it!

I love you all so much and i hope all is still well Give tenna some kisses and squishes for me!
 Sister Dannika Nielsen 

11/5/12 short letter home

We have had an awesome week this week and i really wish i had the time to write it all out, but this p day has been crazy and i don't have alot of time to write. but here is just a little bit of what happened!

we had a wonderful experience with the Lavoie family! Thursday night they called us and asked if we would come over with the elders so that they could give Brandon (their son) a priesthood blessing. he had some sudden health issues. so we went over there and while the elders blessed brandon, the spirit filled the living room. it we tangible. After they blessed brandon, they gave sister lavoie (jenne) a blessing and again the spirit filled the room, even stronger this time and everyone began to cry. they blessed her with peace of mind and comfort. i can't even begin to describe the feeling  that was in that room! and Heavenly Father didn't stop there, the elders blessed their 11 year old daughter because she was having anxiety about the whole thing with brandon's health issues so they blessed her and again the spirit was so strong. we left that house knowing with out a doubt that the Lavoies knew that the power of the priesthood was real! 

Oh i really wish i had time to tell you everything
i love you all and amglad that you all are doing well
love you so much
Sister nielsen

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Letter From Mission Pres.

This letter is a little late, we received it on the 15th of October, But I didn't get the chance to get it typed in until now.

Dear Brother and Sister Nielsen,
Sister Nielsen Arrived in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission Safely and in very good spirits! We are thankful that your daughter has been called to serve with us here in theirs great mission. It is a privilege to work with the finest young women and men in the world as we teach the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will receive it.

We have enclosed a photo of sister Nielsen taken with us on her arrival at the mission home. We are excited to have the opportunity to become acquainted with your daughter and to feel of her spirit and testimony.

Our goal is to have every missionary grow in the gospel and succeed in this very sacred calling. it will be a joy to watch her reach her full potential as a missionary. We know she will have sacred experiences, as she is obedient and dedicated to the work . we hope you will also support your daughter by writing or emailing her uplifting and encouraging letters. Missionaries struggle when they hear disturbing news from home. They can't stay focused on the work and they worry too much about home. Missionary work can be challenging and they need your weekly letters to give them spiritual strength and encouragement, not concerns about home.

We are so thankful that your prepared your daughter to enter the mission field where she will continue to be strengthened and grow in the sospel. We know it is a sacrificeto give up your daughter for eighteen omnths, but the Lord loves her and needs her to build the kingdom in the Georgia, Atlanta North Mission . We are grateful to serve with your daughter and will certainly take care of her and lover her as if she were our own. May the Lord bless you and your family for making this sacrifice and sharing Sister Nielsen with us for the next eighteen months.


President Mark A Wolfert and Sister Carol A. Worlfert

Georgia Atlanta North Mission.

Sister Merback is the one in the black shirt with the red belt. She really helped Dannika When she got to the MTC. they entered the same time, were in the same district in the MTC and both went to the same mission.

Hiking Amicalola Falls

P-day must have been spent partly hiking. Sister Galt sent the picture of the girls after they hiked Amicalola falls . Her weekly email was posponed, because I took the week off from work, and she sends my emails to work...so next week will be two!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Birthday Wishes From Georgia

Dannika May be 2000 miles away, but Sister Galt Made sure she got birthday wishes to me on my birthday.  And in usual artistic "Dannika Style".
The Galt Family is very Kind to the missionaries. Sister Galt is one of the ward missionaries, and brother Galt is the bishop of Swannee ward. It looks as though they take very good care of the msionaries...first carving pumpkins then on halloween, the missionaries had dinner at their home.
Sister Galt is wonderful to send pictures home via Text so we get them the same day. Although Dannika is missed in Idaho, It seems that she is being taken care of and not missing out on festivities.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Carving P-day

We got Pictures from The Galt Family

dannika and Her companion Sister Barrett
Today was P-day and they had a pumpkin
carving P day...looks like they had lots of fun in Gerogia today.
                           Artistic Dannika....

Update from Georgia-10/29/12

i love temple open houses! great missionary opprotunities. I am so glad that you are praying for missionary opprotunities, I am too! ha ha. I am so glad that you are watching and waithing for them, but sometimes they won't come untill we open our mouths. Sorry... i didn't mean to sound like a pushy missionary... ive just experience that is SO MANY ways... for example the other day we were contacting down this street and there was two gentlemen and they looked as though they would be the least likely people to listen to us, but we went up to them anyway, when we introduced ourselves one started asking questions and we had a pretty good conversation with him and he seemed to really be listening, it was great. The other gentleman didn't want anything to with it, but he was smoking so he stayed outside to finish his cigarett, so he stood there silent while we talked to his friend so maybe he heared a little bit! We can pray and wait foe experiences all we want, and yes maybe some will just fall into our laps, but untill we go out and talk with people... nothing is going to happen and when we do talk with people sometimes the least likely opprotunity will show itself. Continue to talk with mike and kristy, try tying things they say, back into to gospel (sometimes that can be a chore and a half, ive learned, but it can be done) I am glad though that you are doing your missionary work! that make me all sorts of excited!
I think you should definatly take the ASL class! that would be so good for you to do something for yourself! then you could teach me when i get home! sign language is so cool, in the MTC we had an ASL district in our zone, is was so much fun to watch them sign. I always wanted to get into Yoga, i think that would be awesome for you to do too.There is alot of meditation associated with yoga, i think that could help you not only physically, but mentally as well, give you a way to clear your mind of all the negetive things that are stored up, so it might help with your anxiety.
OM word, Ataya will probably die of excitement when she finds out that she gets to go to a george strait concert! tell her to take LOTS of pics!! Oh i am so excited for her! Oh lil Nenna! I almost burst into tears when you tell me all that she can do and say now! she is growing so fast! Awww you should send me pictures of her so i can show her off to all the missionaries! :) How has her health been? I am going to have to probably send you pics in the mail, since i can't download them from my camera... i hope to get some sent soon, im sorry. Give salise a big hug for me when she is up!So, we had a baptism on saturday the 26th, a man named Kevin Nevin, his roommate baptized him, it was a pretty special moment! we are so excited for Kevin. He is one that i came in at the end of teaching him, so i didn't really get to know him a whole lot before he was baptized, but i a constantly amazed, the level at which Heavenly Father allows me to love these people that i hardly know, if it is this great with someone i hardly know, i can't wait to experience the level of love for somone that i get to be with from lesson one to baptism!
We are teaching this family with the zone leaders, while planning for one of their lessons, we had a pretty powerful experience, there were questions impressed upon our minds that they need to hear and we planned a powerful lesson for them and we were stoked adout it!....but the lesson didn't even go anwhere near to what we had planned, but what did happen was just what they needed. i am so greatful that God knows the Lavoies perfectly and He knows exactaly what they will need, and when they will need it in order for them to be confident to enter the waters of baptism. This is truly the Lords work and he is with us!, because we sure could not facilitate the things that happen, being on our own. We have not written off the great planning session that we had, we believe that, that lesson will still help, but just at a later date. Im very excited for that lesson though, because we are going to bare each of our testimonies and then encourage them to share their experience that they have had with the missionaries and the gospel (so in other words, bare their testimonies) hopefully the spirit will bare testimony to them that baptism is the correct choice! this family is so close... well the rest of the family is convinced, it's just James (the dad) that needs to realize that his Heavenly Father loves him and he wants this for him! James is a good man with tremendous faith, he just needs to cut himself some slack. I just LOVE this family!!!
My comp and i have another opprotunity to team teach another family, this time with our district leaders. It's and interesting story. So Elder Yates and Fetuli ran into this man while contacting last week they began talking to him and he is SUPER elect! He came to church on sunday and wants to be baptized, but his wife is anti! she has been researching all this anti mormon material and is so against his decision. But sunday night, the elders called us and told us that they had just gotten off the phone with Joey (the investigator) and Joey told them, "elders, god is with us! I talked to my wife and she has agreed to listen to you, but she wants to talk with the sisters!" HOW GREAT IS THAT!!! so sometime in the next week, we will be team teaching with the elders! i am SO excited i am praying like crazy that we can be very sensitive to the spirit so that we can touch this woman with the words that her Heavenly Father needs her to hear!!! i am super stoked!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cant Believe It has Been A Month

I cant Believe that I have been gone for a Month! Crazy how time flies.So Saturday (10/20/12) was my first baptism. I had to fill in for one of the speakers last minute.... YIKES! totally not my thing, i got all nervous and was really having a hard time with that, but the spirit took over and the words that i said, and i couldn't even tell you what exactly i said, but they were perfect because they were from my heart and the spirit helped me to express them just perfectly...the spirit was so strong. This mission is totally going to make me learn how to do without my crutch of having a prepared speech, whether i like it or not. It'll be good for me though. 

Adrienne (new convert) was so ready to be baptized or the term the other missionaries use is "Elect", so she was so elect when my comp and the sister before me statrted teaching her she told them that she wanted to be baptized that first lesson and before that she had read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it and knew that she belonged as a member of the church! how great is that! Anyway, so she is baptized and the Suwanee ward has completely adopted her and she feels very much a part of this ward. She has such a charitable heart and i know she will make a great addition to our growing LDS family! I tried to download pics but i guess i brought the wrong cable, and i cant download with the sd card cuz these computers dont have a slot for it.... sorry
We have another baptism lined up for the 27th for a man named Kevin Nevin. he is a very knowlageable man, and has been a member of just about every church imaginable, so he knows so much, and has some pretty far out ideas, but he is great, he has a very kind heart and we believe that he is ready for baptism. So the 27th it is! we are so excited for him, and his roommate who just recieved his priesthood is acutally performing the baptism, it is going to be a pretty special baptism. 

I am still pretty shy, i still have a hard tim talking to people on the streets and in the parks, and i have had a hard time teaching the lessons to our investigators. Actually, we taught the Plan of Salvation lesson to Timothy on Tuesday and i was really nervous and i pretty much cried through the whole thing. i was SO embarrassed and after the lesson Timothy turned to me and basically said, i don't know what you are going through, but Christ will help you with what ever you are dealing with, just trust him. I am supposed to be the one teaching and bringing comfort through the message of the atonement, but i was the one who was taught this day. This man is another one of our elect investigators and he already believes so many of the same things that we do. He is so ready to be baptized, and we did get a soft commitment from him, just no specific date. we aren't worried though, because like i said, he is elect.
So after this lesson i walked back into the classroom (we taught the lesson at the church) where we had left our stuff and just broke down and cried right there in front of my companion, as if i wasn't already embarrassed by my horrible teaching experience, this just made it worse! My comp is so good though, she just hugged me and told me that i was allowed to be overwhelmed. she reassured me that i didn't do as bad as i thought. We met up with the zone leaders for lunch and planned the joint lesson that we would teach with the them later that night. after lunch we had another teaching apointment with a recent convert, Sarah. This lesson went considerably better and the spirit was so strong as we told and testified of the restoration. it was great! 

About 7:00 pm we met again with the Zone Leaders and taught the Lavoie (La-voy) Family. we taught them about the law of tithing, and they made it very clear that, that was not something that they could do if they were to be baptized because they just don't have the money to give and they really didn't see how it would be possible for them to pay tithing. This is going to be a very hard thing for them to do, it is going to require great faith on their part, both Elder Edmonds, and Thompson bore testimony of tithing, then Sister Berrett added hers. The whole time i was fighting an internal battle of whether or not i should share mine, i was worried that i would overdo it, but i finally, at the last minute jumped in with my testimony and then at the end, we all were silent for about a minute and the spirit was overwhelming. Then something miracoulous happened, their daughter who was sitting on the couch listening quietly, borke the silence and began singing with the primary CD that she had turned on earilier in the lesson and the song that had been playing at that very moment was perfect. She began singing "i will go i will do, the things the lord commands, i know the lord provides a was, he wants me to obey....." We all looked at each other with knowing glances then we closed with a prayer, said good bye to the family and left. we got outside and were all so happy with the way that ended, that we were all sort of speechless. we could not have ended that lesson more perfectly if we had planned it. The Lord definatly works in mysterious ways and he has his hand in all that we do. What a  miracle! 

i love this work, and i am shown every day how important it is. My testimony of my Savior grows each time i share it with our investigators. I am humbled each day to know that i have the great responsibility of representing Jesus Christ. I am really an ordinary person, no one of great consequence and i realize i will probably never go on to do great and extraordinary things, but i do have something that is extraordinary and that will change lives, and I can simply share it, by doing this, i am doing something extraordinary. I have been blessed beyond explanation just to have been born into the gospel, and i would be doing a great dishonor to my Father if i weren't to share it with His children.
He helps me to do this work, i know this, because i am in no way capable to do this on my own. I have been blessed to see miracles on my behalf, as He has strengthened me and made me equal to this great challenge and equally great work!
Words do not exist that can give expression to my true feelings and convictions for this work. For sure, it is the hardest work i have had to do and i am sure that there will be many more challenges yet to face, but i know that my Father is ALWAYS here to back me up. I love my Heavenly Father and regardless of the reservations that is have, i will go, i will do, the things the lord commands, i KNOW the lord provides a way, and he wants me to obey, so i will go and do the things he commands. I can not say it enough, I LOVE this work and this gospel. Not that i am thinking about coming home already, but when i do get home, i am excited to work with whatever ward, with their missionary efforts... this is so much fun!!!   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First area-Suwanee Gerogia

I continue to be amazed by Miracles. I can't believe the letters and emails that I get from Dannika. Someone who was petrified to open her mouth and talk to people has found that by being guided and open to the spirit, the words are there when she opens her mouth. I love getting her letters and emails, they are truely uplifting.
EMail From Dannika yesterday read:

So we all got here last Wednesday at about 12:00 pm. and as i told you in the letter for m the mission home, they put us immediately on the Marta (rail system) with two copies of the Book of Mormon and said "ok, go place these!" I placed my two and i felt really good about it. Once you start, it becomes exciting and i was amazed at what the spirit puts into my mind for me to say to people. Then we stayed the night in the mission home and got to visit with Pres. and Sis. Wolfert, you should have gotten a picture of me with them in the last letter??

The next morning we met our companions! My comp's name is Sister Berrett, and she is great! I've only known her a little less than a week, but it seems like i have known her forever! We are very similar, both are laid back and easy going, but very serious about the work. She is hard working and so passionate, i just love her! Anyway, we went to the apartment to a decorated door from the Elders in the area! Elder Fetuli (from Hawaii) and Elder Yates (from Sun Valley Idaho!) had decorated it to welcome me to the area! (Oh and they both LOVE sushi! so the second day we all wen to lunch at a place called Mori House for sushi!) After putting things away in the apartment we went and met with an investigator named Adrienne... first appointment with an investigator outside the MTC... it went well i really just got to know her a little bit and then we taught her a lesson. i was surprised that i wasn't very nervous. i care so much about gospel and i want so badly for others to hear about it, that i really am comfortable talking about it! Anyway, so Adrienne will be getting baptized on the 20th... all because my awesome lesson!!! ha ha no...... not really, my comp and the sister before me had been working with her for about two weeks before i got her, but yeah this Saturday i will be able to participate in my very first baptism! 
I was so worried that i would not have an attachment to any of the investigators that i haven't worked with personally, but i have been amazed as i have felt my love for Adrienne grow as we have met with her over and over, she is such a wonderful daughter of God, she is kind and wants so badly to serve those around her, but she is not yet in a position to do so, but that desire is so strong. Her spirit is incredible and she really is diligent in doing the things that we ask her to do, to strengthen her faith in Christ. and her prayers.... SO amazing, so innocent and honest. She literally speaks with he Father in Heaven as if he were in the room with her... and she says whatever is on her mind, it is really something special to listen to. We have another recent convert that we have met with, His name is Todd and after meeting with him i was surprised at the love i felt for him as well, he is a very sharp kid so intelligent and he loves the gospel, he is great! We are teaching his family too! 
Ahhh this is all just so exciting i can't wait to experience teaching some one from lesson one to baptism! In fact, we were contacting at Sims Lake Park, its a nature park kind of like Kathrine Albertson Park, but anyway i found a lady walking 3 American bulldogs, and i totally use my knowledge and love for animals as an in, so i just walked up to her and started talking about her dogs and come to find out, she actually loves the missionaries and she said that she used to feed them all the time back in Australia so i just asked her if she would let us talk to her about the church and she agreed!! So we need to call her and set up an appointment for three weeks from now! Hopefully she will be my first! I'm praying for her!

In the MTC we had to do A LOT of role play and practice lessons and i loathed it, so when i got out of the MTC i was happy to not have to role play anymore.... but much to my dismay.... we do it everyday as part of companionship study. At first i really didn't like it, but i defiantly gained a testimony of it last night. As my comp and I were practicing  lessons that we will be teaching, she played the part of one of our investigators and I the missionary. I was teaching, and questions came to my mind that sis Berrett said the investigator really needs to hear. I was able too, to really receive revelation for these people and know what things to discuss... i can't even explain it, but it is just amazing! I have totally changed my opinion on role play.

So we have done a lot of contacting, which i totally expected to hate because i don't possess the talent of talking to or making conversation with people, but i actually enjoy it, not because it is any less awkward or easy, but i have been amazed at how Heavenly Father helps me. If i open my mouth, the words are there. I can not explain it in any other way than by saying it is simply a miracle. I am learning so much from the scriptures as i just sit an read during personal study I'm amazed at what the spirit whispers to my mind. I love being out here, i know that this is going to be the most cherished experience of my life, and i can already see ways that my life will be blessed in the future by this mission!  I hope that you are all finding ways to be missionaries, it is not easy to open up and share our most cherished possession, but we must! Others salvation is hanging on whether or not we open our mouths! If you just open your mouth, the spirit will fill it! i can testify of that! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hi from the MTC

Latest Letter Home from Dannika- Minus the family stuff:

We can finally email, well we have been able to for awhile now, but its hard to find an available computer on P-day :)
Things are going well here. I am so looking forward to General Conference tomorrow and Sunday! I love that we have a prophet on the earth today that receives revelation for the Lord. How lost we would be with out our loving Fathers guidance. I love the MTC. i think i mention this in every one of my letters, but it is so true. This place is amazing and the work we a re called to do is spectacular! i have witnessed so many miracles and felt my Fathers love in more ways and so profoundly than i have ever before noticed! It too has been a very humbling and trying experience, because i realize just how much gratitude i leave unexpressed at the end of the day. I am trying hard to be more grateful and also trying hard to pray for my investigators and i am amazed at the blessings that flow from it! so again, i love the MTC and i love this work!
We (my district) only have four days till we enter the field. Im pretty nervous about it, i think it is going to be completely different from the MTC and im afraid of the anxiety that will surely come with it, but i know that Heavenly Father will help me, because that is what He has done here. 
well I love you all and hope all is well
All my heart <3
Sister Dannika Nielsen

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shorter Letters

October 1st almost 2 weeks into her mission...one week of MTC Left.
seems like she must be busy. she did send a letter home for each family member, but they were short and to the point. She said that she had her second discussion She said the lady was very hard to read, but that she had been praying that she could know what the spirit wanted them to teach her. she said that she is doing well and alive and that we don't need to worry. she will leave for Georgia on the 9th. we will get to get a 4 minute phone call from her when she is at the airport at 7:15...so needless to say...i will be a little late for work that day.
It is so fun to read her letters that are so full of the spirit and hear her testimony. It is harder than i thought it would be to not have a real conversation with her, but she seems to be doing well. I will continue to post as we get letters and hopefully pictures from her in the future.

2nd Letter

Can I say, What a difference a few days make.
I found out that there was a service called dearelder.com. they print and send your letters to your missionary while in the MTC. So since i thought Dannika was having problems, I continued each day to write a letter of encouragment. and hope that she was doing better.
our second letter dated the 24th let us know that she was doing well. still not confortable but that the lord had heard her prayers (and ours, and anyone else who was praying for her).
she had her first discussion, which in her words was "HORRIBLE". she said she cried the whole way thru, she could feel the spirit, but that everything set her emotions into overdrive. Nice to know she really is related to our family of criers.
but she said that when she started her first discussion, her anxiety was replaced with confidence. it wasn't perfect, but she was confident with what she needed to do.
she even said that she was able to answer quesitons in classes and that she was able to talk with the people in her district. I think she said there were about 6. all of who are going to the Georgia mission (which she says isn't common).
she said she still has struggles, but hopes that it will get easier.
It helped ease my worried heart. and she had passed her first week.

First Day/First Letter

Our first letter dated 9-20-12 I can say left us a little less than excited. She let us know that she had anxiety all night her first night and did not get any sleep. She realized that she had a lot of work to do and learn and had no idea how she would acomplish it. She did say that she continued to pray and knew that Heavenly Father would help her find a way, and she knew this because she had had blessings before leaving. Her faith is strong and she knows it will be a struggle, but she will make it thru. She was also concerned that her new companion "Sister Neff" was also quiet and not very used to communicating. She also said that getting used to having a companion with you 24/7 was a concept she was going to have to take some getting used to.
So it left mom feeling a little anxious as well. scrambling to find thoughs, scripture or anything that might help her thru. We knew this would be a big transition for Dannika as she does not consider herself a people person and not comfortable talking with people she does not know. So you can immagine, our family prayers have been focused on Dannika and that she will adjust well...so the journey begins.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

To The MTC


Well, I can say the trip to the MTC was interesting to say the least...Seemed like the morning just flew by.
Dannika and Mom (me) got up early and attended a Live Session at the Temple. If you have never done this, it should be on your to do list. Very wonderful. Seemed like the tension just hung in the air after that. We knew the purpose for our trip, and it seemed inevitable. After a year of preperation, it was really happening. Quick pictures out side of the hotel, and we were on our way from salt lake to Provo.
Once in provo, because we had two cars, and they only let you take one into the MTC, we opted to stop at a local park close by for everyone to say good bye, and take the last few pictures. Lots of tears, and letters back and forth. It was wierd that you could have a sick feeling in your stomach, but that at the same time such a woderful feeling that we knew Dannika was doing the right thing. Kyle and I left all the kids at the park with Salis, Mykal and Etney, and took the short drive to the MTC.
there was a Sea of elder missionaries waiting to take the bags of each missionary arriving. It was an amazing site. I was so choked up, i forgot to get the first "official MTC" photo. which i am a little bummed about.
But the two elders that came to get her, asured me that they would take good care of her, and off she went. We were excited for her, but a little worried for her with all the new that she would be experiencing.
The drive home was hard, but it seemed that with each mile we got ferther from Provo, it was just a little less hard. We know she is in a good place, and we know that she is doing what she needs to be doing at this time in her life. I couldn't help but worry her first night. I worried "is she anxious with all the new people to meet and to get to know and to have to talk to", Is the total new invironment just overwhelming, can she sleep tonigh." With that, we had family prayers, prayed she would be ok and were off to bed.