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 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 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 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 the journey begins.