Monday, August 26, 2013


Hello Family!
Before I get started... MOM, do you know a Shane Osterhout he was from Declo... well i've met one of the members out here who served in Scotland with Shane as one of his companions and he was wanting to get ahold of him, so I thought Id ask and see if you knew him and knew how this brother could get ahold of him... what a small world... oh and what makes the world even smaller... Sister Hamilton knows Landon!!! oh my what!!!     
I hope y'all are still reading with me... ive had to play a little catch up this week as I hit Jacob 5 and it absolutely came alive and I couldn't move past it because I was learning so much from the allegory of the olive tree... to be honest, I have always dreaded and often skipped over Jacob 5 because I just couldn't wrap my head around what was being talked about... but this time through, I received a HUGE help... its called a Seminary student manual These things are like GOLD!!! why didn't we ever use them in seminary!!!.... it takes you chapter by chapter through the book of Mormon (we also got one for the D&C and the old testament)  and it really helped me get so much out of Jacob 5. I know I say this every time, but I can't say it enough I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!!! I remember when I was a baby missionary and my wise and beautiful trainer would tell me all the time how much she loved the Book of Mormon... and I believed her because I could tell that she really did and I remember thinking to myself " I hope that I can say that about the Book of Mormon when I am as great as her..." because at that time I knew that the Book of Mormon was true, but I didn't really have that great of a love for it because my understanding of it was really not all that clear, and I still have a lifetime of learning I can get from it's pages, but the more I read, the more I understand and the more I fall in love with it's message... and I can now echo the sentiments of my trainer when I say that I truly love this book! Family, I hope that you are able to feel a love for this book begin to grow within yourselves... the knowledge of the truthfulness of this book means more to me than ANYTHING in this world... because if this book is true than God does speak to men and God did call Joseph Smith to be his prophet and Joseph Smith did help to restore that Gospel of Jesus Christ back to the earth and through the gospel, I can be forgiven of my mistakes and feel peace in my life and I can be with my family for eternity!!! what greater happiness is there? I LOVE this gospel!!!!!
     This was another GREAT week! We had Zone Conference! I LOVE ZONE CONFERENCE!!! This was such an answer to both mine and sister Hamilton's  prayers this week. We have been struggling with companionship unity amongst the sisters in our zones and we were at a loss of how best to bring it up and talk to some of the companionships about it... so we tried several things we sent out mass voice mails with spiritual thoughts about unity and serving your companions... and we try to show the sisters how much sister Hamilton and I love and respect each other, and how we work together, when we are around the sisters... fortunately sister Hamilton and I really do love and respect each other so it's not something we have to work very hard at... but we had tried everything and we were still having problems with some of the companionships not getting along... and in zone conference that assistants to the president gave wonderful training on charity and loving and serving your companion!! and knowing that all the zones had heard the same training, really brought peace to our hearts!
     We taught Davis (the boy form last week that walked into the church on Sunday) The lesson was AWESOME!! of course we can't take full credit for it... we are only the messengers, but the spirit was so strong and I know that Davis felt it! Sister Hamilton and I taught with such power and unity, we were in a members home and the members made comments and shared their testimonies... everything was text book (preach my gospel) perfect! I couldn't have asked for a better experience! we got a return appointment with him for 2 days later! By this time sister Hamilton and I are ecstatic another golden investigator has found us!!  The next day wasn't so happy though... I was in our area while sister Hamilton was in another area on exchange and Davis txts us and tells us that his mom won't let him meet with us anymore... what a punch to the gut. I hate that even after all that we do to cultivate an environment where the spirit can be felt and we know that the investigator feels the spirit...that agency still plays it's part ... and it is heartbreaking to see them turn away and their family resist!! I can't explain how it feel to be dropped like that, but it's not a fun experience. I just imagine how heavenly father must feel when we make our own choices based on what  we think is best and the influences of others... it must really hurt him to see us do this, after all that he does to help us make the right choice.
    I am learning so much out here and I LOVE it I never saw myself as a missionary, but I am so glad that I followed the prompting to come on a mission I will never regret this decision and I will never be the same having done it...I am so grateful for my savior and the enabling and transforming power of his great atonement. because I literally could not have done this with out him taking my weaknesses and transforming them into strengths thus enabling me to be the instrument that he needs to gather his children... but an interesting thing about the Lord, when he uses his children for his purposes, he makes them better people through the process... it is so fascinating to me and I know we have a loving God!
I wish I could share perfectly the excitement and joy and wonder I feel from the things I have learned... but till I can see y'all and share my stories in person, my inadequate words will have to do.
I hope y'all have a great week and can recognize the miracles in your day to day!
I love y'all... until next time,

Sister Dannika Nielsen

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Am Having the Time of My Life Serving my Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ!

Good morning Family! 
Hope yall are had a great week last week! i Sure did! I have also never been more tired. last week was a good one, we worked our little missionary tails off and we saw some great miracles because of it! It felt so good! I do truly know why missionaries are told to work work work and loose ourselves in it, because it is when we do that, that we truly see miracles! 
I hope yall are still reading along with me! ive really enjoyed it! This morning i read in Jacob 1. so we are out of nephi. look at the progress we are making! isn't this fun! 
Something i just loved that i read this week, was in 2nephi 31. Nephi has just finished telling us what the gosple of Jesus Chirst is... Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End... and in :21 he says "and now, Behold, My beloved bretheren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God..." Nephi tells us right there in plain text, easy to understand... THIS IS THE WAY... if a man/woman wants to get closer to God and recieve a place in his kingdom... then it is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can do that... I just marvled at how blessed we are to have such a simple and plain doctrine.... here it is, no hidden messages, no fine print, this is it.! Heavenly Father isn't trying to make us guess what he wants from us and what we need to do to return to live with him, he just gives it to us... why? because he loves us... he wants us to have the greatest chances for success in this life. Now once we know what Father requires of us... we must apply it... which is the hard part, we stumble and fall and have to get back up again, but Father has so lovingly provided The Savior so it is possible for us to continue enduring... How great is the Fathers plan! I just love the Book of Mormon, it just lays things out so plainly... because it is pure and nothing has been added changed or taken from it... how blessed are we! I hope yall will continue reading with me and sharing your insights on the scriptures! 

So some highlights from my week: we went on 2 more exchanges this week with some sisters in our zones... we are slowly gaining the trust of our sisters and we are able to help them work through some of their problems. I am always amazed at how much we can do with love... love can accomplish great things... the sisters have a greater desire to work hard and love each other because we show love to them... and to each other as a companionship... ive learned the value and importance of service, for those around us, but also and sometimes more importantly our companions... as we love and serve our companions we work together in better unity and the work goes much more smoothly... and it's just plain fun! Sister Hamilton and i are having so much fun together... she is so incredible, i learn so much from her! But being able to serve these sisters ive learned so much for myself... i love how that happens! 
I don't know if this is a highlight, cuz it absoutely broke my heart, but we taught one of our newest investigators that was a referral from the stake president. she is a widow of 6 years and when we went to teach her, she just flat out told us that she didn't believe what we did and that she didn't believe that there was a god because if there was, he wouldn't have taken her husband and she believes that the only way that she can ever be happy is if she has her husband back... she said if god can do anything.. then he can bring my husband back.... we could do nothing but bare sincere testimony that we knew that the gospel was true and that we knew that peace and joy could be found in the knowledge that she can see her husband again... she asked us how we knew that and we told her that we too have gone through things in our lives that have required us to put to the test our knowledge of a loving God and our Savior Jesus Christ... we haven't lost a spouse, but we have lost people close to us, or delt with problems much bigger than us and we have had to rely on the Savior and it is this that has brought peace... this lesson was very uncomfortable... there was alot of long and at times awkward pauses as my companion and i had to think about our responces to her questions... and the whole time i am thnking... "we are promised that we won't be confounded before men if we are doing the right things and being obedient... why is this happening!!" But now as i think back on the whole situation, we were not confounded, the spirit was there the entire time and we were able to share things with her that i truly believe she needed to hear... and by the end she was becoming less and less argumentitive and angry and she was calm.... she is still very bitter and hurt my what happened... and i can't say that i completely blame her... but we want to give her a way to be rid of all that anger and hurt and embrace the life of joy that the savior wants to give her. She agreed to have us back... she said "you won't change my mind but you can come back if you want"... i think that is a cry for help... she is lonely and wants someone to talk to... so she isn't turning us away... we can work with that... we will just serve her and show her love.

We began teaching this really neat young woman, she is the bast friend of a member in the ward... she is so incredibley mature... she askes the greatest questions and she said that she will have no problem being baptized once she finds out that it's true for herself.... and once she does she said that she whats to be baptized as soon as possible! How wonderful is that...! i am really excited to work with her! 
Yesterday, we were sitting in Gospel Principles and about half way through, a brother from the ward walks in with a young man and sists down... we imedietly identified him as a visitor since neither of us had recognized him. after the lesson, the brother introduces the young man and the class members on their way out all wecome him. Sister Hamilton and i introduced ourselves as the missionaries and he said he has always wanted to be a missionary... we talked with him a bit and introduced the Book of Mormon to him and we found out that he was actually on his way to a friends house when he saw the church and he decided to walk in and see what it was all about... he wants to learn more and he gave us his info and took a book of mormon and then the brother he walked in with invited him to stay for priesthood so he did.. and then after that, one of the members offered him a rid home... it was amazing to see the ward just step up and make this young man feel so welcome! We are going to begin teaching him this week!! WOW! ive never seen anything like thins happen.. ive only heard stories... but it ALWAYS seems that those that god prepares, find us... i was just so thankful that heavenly father let us see such a great miracle!  
well family, i love yall so much and i want you all to know how much i love this gospel! It has changed me! I LOVE my Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ! and i am having the time of my live serving them both!
i love you all

Sister Dannika Nielsen

Monday, August 12, 2013

What a great week! We can be the vehicles where by miracles can be preformed

What an exhausting week! We worked hard this week and it felt so good! i fell into bed last night with delightful exhaustion! What a great week!
We started exchanges last week... we go on two a week... Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday... sister Hamilton and i hardly see each other it seems. Last Monday night we invited one of our investigators to be baptized... he said no.... which we were totally expecting, but now we know why he doesn't want to be baptized, he wants to make an educated decision before he jumps in to it... which is perfect because the last thing we want to do is have someone baptized that isn't ready! as funny as it might seem, it is a blessing when people tell us "no" when we invite them to do things because they usually will follow up with what their concerns are... and then we can really begin to help them! Tuesday was zone meeting and sister Hamilton and i gave a training. and then after the meeting we exchanged with the roswell sisters. (sister merback is training there and she says HI!!) I came back to johns creek with sister painter and we taught some of our investigators... it was so much fun and sister painter in already a phenomenal missionary and she has only been out three weeks! wow the new missionaries just get better and better each transfer! I learned so much from sister painter! this calling is great, because i get to learn so many different ways of doing things... i really feel like the lucky one here.
Sister Wolfert came to our apartment on Wednesday and told us what all our calling really requires of us... that was nice to be able to finally get some clarification on what exactly we are to be doing. Sister Wolfert is the greatest mission mom ever she really has a genuine care and concern for all the sisters and elders in the mission. I have come to LOVE her so much! 
We had a few fun experiences this week... so last Saturday, we were tracting and we knocked on a door... the man who answered very warmly says "well come on in!!"... he then must have seen the surprised look on both mine and sister hamilton's faces because he then looked at us and said "you aren't here for the party are you?" we admitted that we weren't, and then proceeded to tell him our purpose for being there we told him that we were representatives of Christ... he told us that the party was actually an atheist meeting he then said "ladies you should leave because if i invited you in i don't think it would end well" we thanked him for his time and left... ha ha an atheist party ha ha funniest thing ever. sister hamilton and i had a good laugh with that Then on Wednesday we were tracting again and we had gone to a neighborhood that i had found while on exchange that i really wanted to do some work in.. so the first person we walked up to was loading a construction truck, he was really friendly untill he found out that we were Mormons... ha ha then the real fun started... lol He told us that he didn't think that a church that just rose up out of nowhere in the 1800's had any right to try and change all of Christianity which has been around for thousands of years he then said something about how we didn't believe in the real Jesus Christ and he then told us that we needed to read the bible and make sure we are worshiping the real Christ and then we needed to...are you ready for this... "repent from our Mormonism"... i had to try so hard to keep from laughing at him... i controlled myself, we asked him if we could say a prayer with him and his family and he said "absolutely not!" he continued... and said... "i am going to go pray that you don't go preaching your Mormonism to my neighbors... i don't want them to get sucked in" By this point it is taking all that i have to not laugh... we thanked him for his opinion and told him that we respected his beliefs and we walked on... we didn't really tell him anything because it would have only turned into a bash... which was obviously what he was looking for... so we just went on our way... and went to his neighbors house.. to indoctrinate them with our "evil Mormonism" Ha Ha when we got out of ear shot we both lost it and just laughed! i couldn't believe that just happened! We didn't get his name so we called him Bart the Bashing Builder Ha Ha!! what a good man he was though... he was very passionate about his own religion and Jesus Christ... but most defiantly not open to the restored Gospel... I find it interesting that even people who really do hate us and want nothing but to tell us how wrong we are... that i can still walk away laughing, but thinking how much their heavenly father loves them, and i walk away with a portion of love for them and can still find ways to admire them. I still feel saddened that they don't want to take a chance on something that will make them and their families beyond happy! 
Thursday night was a night of miracles... we had been telling the sisters in our zones to pray for, expect and look for miracles and then to report them to us! and we had heard some pretty neat miracles, but we had also been doing the same thing praying for and looking for miracles and Thursday night we were able to see a pretty neat one! We had found a man a couple of weeks ago and we stopped in to check up on him to see how he was doing... when we got there his entire family was there... and instead of turning us away because his family was there he invited us in to meet his family and he sat us down and they all asked us questions about the church... they were in and out of the conversation because they were having a family BBQ but they would come in and ask and converse then leave again... but Danny the man we met, he stayed in the room the whole time and talked with us... he asked us to read him something fro the bible and he pointed to our books (book of Mormon) so we used that as an opportunity to introduce him to the book of Mormon... we told him about it and then read Moroni"s promise with him and when we read it wa asked him what he thought it meant.. and he told us that he knew God was telling him that he needed to read it and pray about it and that if he asked and really wanted to know... then god would answer him.... we also read my favorite scripture with him Helaman 5:12 and he comprehended it so well i was so impressed with his ability to comprehend... he said he would like to come to church and that he wanted us to come and teach him more! WOW what an incredible guy... he is great! i know that he has a desire to change because he talks often about wanting to better his life and turn a new page and be right with god... i know he can, he just doesn't know where to look! I really hope that we get to teach him more.. i really hope that this is the will of the father at this time... Danny is such a great man and i know that he can become greater once he realizes his potential as a son of god and can unlock that potential by using the power of the atonement to it's fullest! Gosh i love this work!
Friday took me back to lilburn!! yay we had an exchange with the lilburn sisters and both sister hamilton and i felt that the new sister needed an opportunity to take over the area and since sister Cefalo and i had already been companions, i got to go be with sister allred in lilburn! I had fun back in my old area and i learned so much from sister allred and she too is incredible! We had dinner with my favorite family the Hydes! I am really excited for yall to meet them... if we come back for a family vacation we have to see them! 
Saturday was great... we decided that we were going to use a scripture in our contacting that day and so we had 10 people we had to talk and so we said we would use the scripture with at least 4 of them! it made contacting so much more fun! oh and we also met a lady who no longer considered herself a christian... we asked her what religion she was and she kinda got a crazy look in her eye and then in her high pitch voice she says " I'm a witch!!" and closes the door.... Ha ha man i love all the interesting people we meet every day! this is the greatest! 
Sunday was the best i don't think i have ever felt the spirit more strongly in a sacrament meeting on my mission until yesterday... we just had two sisters return home from their mission and they both spoke and they spoke with such power and such conviction the chapel was filled with the most warm and comforting feeling... it was such a powerful sacrament meeting... there is no doubt that those sisters were powerful missionaries and touched many lives where they served! 

Well Family, i hope Yall are still reading with me! I have loved reading the book of Mormon over and over. but this time is really special... this time will be one that i will never forget. Everyday i find a new reason to love the book of Mormon... this book has changed my life and i hope that yall are letting it change yours. I can see such a huge difference in myself from the beginning of my mission to now and i attribute it all to this Gospel! I KNOW that my Savior lives and the he paid the price of my human imperfections in full and i KNOW that our Heavenly Father is a kind, loving and forgiving Father, he gives us chance after chance to change and follow him he will not give up on us, he loves us! I KNOW that Christ's gospel was restored back to the earth with the help of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I KNOW that our Heavenly Father works through us to accomplish his great purposes... we can be the vehicles where by miracles can be preformed, i have seen many times on my mission where the Lord has truly used me as an instrument to help his children find their way in this life, me, he has used weak and shy and insignificant me... to bring about his greatest work "the immortality and eternal life of man" i get to take part in this work and what an honor it is to do so. To wear my Saviors name and represent him has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding works i have ever done in my life! Of all the people i have helped to bring closer to their savior, there will always be one convert that will be forever grateful that i served a mission... and that convert is me! I can't imagine my life with out having served a mission.
Words will never explain my joy and Grattitude for this gospel and the opportunity Ive had to share it!
Well family i hope yall have a great week ill talk to you soon

Sister Dannika Nielsen

Monday, August 5, 2013

OH MY WHAT! So this week was a crazy one!

we were late for district meeting on tuesday, but we got a new investigator because of it! so that's a plus! my new district is great!
after district meeting we went and tracted some more and found another new investigator! woo hoo! then we exchanged with the woodstock sisters... they are the STL's for the marrietta zone and so they helped us to learn the ropes of our new position! fter the exchange sister hamilton and i worked on putting together an exchange calendar for both roswell zone and lilburn zone... we are over both... i don't know if i told yall that... but we cover two zones for now. we are lucky anymore to be in bed early... we now work right up till 10:30 with figuring out plans for exchanges and calling our sisters and making sure they know who we are and tht we are there to help.. it also helps us to assess who needs exchanges sooner or later... we are also in almost coconstant contact with our zone leaders and the lilburn zone leaders and various district leaders to make sure we can get all the needs of the sisters.. it's exhausting... when 10:30 rolls around i am beat and beyond ready for bed.  6:30 comes WAY to early... but then we start all over again... this is fun work, but it is exhausting in every possible way! Thursday and Friday we spent over 12 hours in meetings.. they were awesome meetings the spirit was great and i felt totally pumped to take on missionary work! but feeling the spirit so strongly doesn't come without a price... by the end of each meeting i was exhausted. after the meeting on Thursday we took one of the STL's from athens zone back to our apartment with us and her comp went with the woodstock STLs so they wouldn't have to drive all the way back to their place, just to turn around and come back the next day for Friday's meeting, because our apartment is literally on the other side of the freeway from where i was in lilburn... but sister Wardel (athens STL) came with us and we went and taught one of our part member families.... and i was amazed at how well we all taught together... we blended so perfectly and the spirit was incredibly strong... i know that the family felt it! The stake president was there with us and after the lesson he walked out of their house and said "WOW, that was a great lesson, you sisters are the greatest teachers!" we told him that it wasn't us, it was the spirit... she said that may be true, but the lord needs awesome missionaries to teach his Gospel... and you three are AWESOME missionaries!"
That was so kind of him to say! we left the appointment and we still had about half an hour before we could go home so we knocked some doors... not a ton of luck, but it's all about being obedient... finally we went home and i was beat! I gave sister wardel my bed and i made a bed on the floor and i don't think i layed down for more than 2 minutes before i was asleep.... we had to be up early the next day...1 bathroom and 3 girls... all having to be ready by 8:00am for leadership training meeting the next morning... Morning cam way to fast... but we had a great day of meetings ahead of us... Sister Hamilton and i had to give a 45 minute training... you would think that after almost a year of giving trainings and talking in front of people that I'd be used to it....NOPE... it still scares the living day lights out of me.
Elder Giddens of the 70 came and spoke to us! It was great the spirit was high again, and again i left absolutely exhausted...
The rest of the week was spent weekly planning and planning exchange details and day to day missionary work... I've been tired on my mission, but this calling is taking it to a whole new level.... i am tired tired tired... but i never cease to be amazed at the miracles that happen as i am obedient and i LOVE being obedient... it truly does bring happiness!
I welcomed P-Day this morning... a time to relax and take it easy for a few hours... ha ha but we have a lesson with a potential at 3:00 today... :) We can sacrifice one hour... Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! :)
well family, how is our reading going? This week was actually kinda rough for me... i had to play some catch up... with all the meetings we had this week, we didn't have time to study in the morning... but i am all caught up and still reading through the Isaiah chapters.We are almost through them though... so hang in there... Family i have so enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon through with yall! This has been so much fun to do i hope that you are loving it too! i love yall so much! Well we are fixin to go play some killer bunnies with our district so ill let yall go 
Talk to you soon!
Love ya bye

Sister Dannika Nielsen