Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It really hurts my heart to think about leaving the people that have touched my life here.

Well.... i am sitting here staring at the computer  and this email isn't writing itself.... but i don't really have much to say... this week was pretty much normal no real fun stories to tell this week. 
We are still working with our 9 year old investigator. he is so much fun. I just love him. The other night, we were over at his house for dinner and then had a lesson afterwards... the lesson was just the baptismal interview questions, so it went pretty quick, then when we finished, he said... " i made a game, do you want to play it with me?" so he brings out this little board game that he drew on a piece of paper... he said "i made one like yours." it was the cutest thing ever! so we played it with him. 

It really hurts my heart to think about leaving the people that have touched my life here. We had stake conference this last weekend and i was able to see all the families form the Lilburn ward... i loved getting to see them again, but it was so sad to think that i will soon be saying good bye to them.
There is a song that talks about missionaries being torn when they leave their mission... and that is the perfect was to describe it... i love my family, and i am excited to see them, but i also love the people here and i don't want to leave them.

Well family i hope yall have a good week ill talk to yall later
LOVE ya!       

Sister Dannika Nielsen

Monday, January 13, 2014

I have so benefited from the testimonies and faith of so many faithful people here in the south

Well this week was transfer week, so I have a new companion her name is sister haderlie! she is great, she is from San Diego! this is gonna be a great transfer!
I have so much to tell yall this week... some you wont believe and some that wont be so hard to believe! ha ha
Monday started our week, we weren't expecting for sister Snyder or I to be getting transfer calls one because this is my last transfer and two, sister Snyder just finished being trained... but we were surprised with a transfer call! Sister Snyder found out that she was going to sugar hill. sad days :( we had so much fun together! but such is mission life! 
Tuesday came and we had zone meeting... we were kinda bummed that we had an appointment right after the meeting so we weren't able to go to lunch with the other missionaries :( but what happened after our appointment you will never believe.
So we decide to go to lunch since we didn't get to go with the others. we went to this place that our ward mission leader suggested.. super great! anyway, we are getting out food, and I make eye contact with this very nice black gentleman, so I say 
"hi how is your day" he says hi back and we continue getting our food, then we bump into him again and he asks about our tags. so I introduced ourselves as missionaries and told him that we share a wonderful message about Jesus Christ and ask if he wanted to learn more... and he said "yeah, do you have room at your table??" In my mind im freaking out thinking is this really happening... are we about to eat lunch with this man? OH MY WHAT!! 
But, being the "dignified" sister missionary that I am, I reply calmly..."of course come on over."
we ate lunch with a complete stranger and taught him about the restoration.... then we sat and talked about god and Bob talked about his faith in god, it was really a great conversation he has really great faith, he is such a wonderful person. That was totally meant to happen had we not had that appointment, we would have gone to lunch with the other missionaries and therefore not need to have lunch then... and we would have never met bob! how amazing is that! there are no such things as coincidences in this work. the lord has his hands in all  things! We were able to get his info so we could set up a time to visit him again and hopefully begin teaching him... the lord needed us to meet this man so he used the appointment after the meeting as a way to make that happen. 
I LOVE the south! Most People are so willing to talk about their religion and about God and Christ. I Doubt that would ever happen in the west... people are so closed off about their testimonies and about their faith... which is so sad, because I have so benefited from the testimonies and faith of so many faithful people here in the south... and most of them haven't been members of the church! Our testimonies and faith are meant to be shared, that is how they grow! I have really come to learn that as a missionary. We are not sent here merely to learn on our own, but to learn from one another as well.
Wednesday brought transfers, I lost sister Snyder, but gained Sister Haderlie! and she is great, I am enjoying our time together so far. We went and visited with two of our investigators that night and put them both on date for the first of February...! yay! Hopefully we can help them stay on track for that date!
Thursday we put our 9 year old investigator on date for the 8th of February. we are in the middle of teaching him the commandments and I have made up a game to help teach him the commandments... when I brought out the game, he got SO excited! I was so happy to see that! i really wanted something that would grab his attention and keep it... and my board game did EXACTALLY that! I can't take all the credit though.... the spirit had a lot to do with the idea! :)
Friday we weekly planned and tracted and got rudely warned by one lady that the neighborhood was a "no soliciting" neighborhood (good thing we aren't soliciting)  and that we probably wouldn't have any luck because people were at work. I asked her if she had the day off and if that was why she was home and she rudely said "no, i don't have a job and unless you want to find me a job, im not interested." so i asked what kind of work she did and told her that our church has employment specialists that might be able to help her put her resume out to find a job. she wasn't very nice when she said "no cuz then you would just want me to join your church and im catholic and not interested" so i just told her "well actually ma'am we believe in helping all of gods children regardless of their faith"  She didn't have much to say after that. It makes me laugh when rude people don't have anything to say back because you are just being kind. We did find a new investigator in that neighborhood though! :) then we were kicked out by a grumpy man who threatened to call the cops on us for soliciting... i politely told him we would leave... ehhh some people.... i wonder why he was so grumpy, something must not be going right in his life! So sad.
Saturday we tracted some more and we walked into a large group of young black men... upon walking up to them one acted like he didn't speak English while the others quickly hid in the garage, we have that effect on people... ha ha kinda funny! anyway, thinking his attempted "i no speak English" would get us to just keep walking... i looked at him and said "oh, Well what language do you speak?" that shut him up pretty quick and he tried to say it again and i just called him out right there I just said "you are lyin to me." Laughing, he admitted that he was... and then we were able to talk to him about the church... this only led to him beginning to hit on us... so we quickly invited him to visit Mormon.org and walked away.... haha... i just love meeting so many different people... it's great... ha ha!
anyway, that is what my week consisted of... pretty great! makes you want to be a missionary doesn't it! :) well i sure love it! so many memories!
well family, i hope yall are still reading along with me! We are almost done, can you believe it! and it didn't even take us that long at all!
well i hope yall have a great week ill talk to yall later

Sister Dannika Nielsen

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Must Say!!!!

I have to admit, i am getting a little excited for Dannika to come home, but i tear up every time i think that these letters will someday come to an end. I have watched a very scared young woman go out into the mission field afraid to talk to people, and i have watched and read as she has blossomed and been able to have promises fulfilled that if she would just open her mouth, the Lord would put what needed to be said there. Time and Time again, she has professed of the reality of this promise being fulfilled.
I am going to miss the missionary letters. I really had torn feelings in the beginning when i saw her struggle with fear, anxiety and depression. I cant count the times when i wanted to fly to Georgia and save her....But She didn't need my Saving....She needed to trust in the lord and learn that he loved her for the sacrifice she was giving, and he helped her to not only find words, but to be an awesome missionary. He helped her to see that we don't all have to think or believe the same....the Lord loves us all. And I can venture to say, she has grown in ways that she never would have, if she would have stayed home.....
WE are so thankful for the missionary letters home, and re excited to have her home and moving on with her next step in life.....

Service is such a wonderful thing!

So this week was pretty good, we tracted a lot it seemed but we met a wonderful lady! So we start tracting this street and nothing to promising, and id was close to dinner and it would have seen so easy to just stop and drive to dinner and be on time, but I had a thought "just one more" so I turned to may comp and said "lets knock this last door and then we will leave for dinner" so we did and I am so glad we did. 
We met Michelle and when she opened the door she was surprised to see us, because , she later told us that he dad had passed about six months earlier and then one of her clients that she does home care for passed just recently too, and it has really been hard on her and she has been struggling! She said that she was just praying for a message of peace and then we knocked on her door. we told her about the book of mormon and she became excited and said that she would love to read it but she didn't have money to buy it from us. she became even more excited when we told her that it was free. she opened the storm door and said well then ill take it thank you so much! 
I was so glad that we followed that prompting, we were a little late to dinner, but that is not nearly as important as us being able to be the means by which heavenly father reached out to a beloved daughter to show her that he is mindful of her needs and that he cares! it was so wonderful to be there! 
Then later last week we got a call from the sisters in the Johns Creek ward where i was last serving. and they said that a family from that ward had a service opportunity for us. their daughters mother in law who lives in lawrenceville was getting ready to go through chemo and she needed to have some help disinfecting everything... so we coordinated with the family and were able to meet them and help this wonderful woman. She isn't a member of the church, but when she called to talk to sister beckstrand in form the ward, she said, i know im not a member of your church, but i have seen the way that yall help eachother out and i was wondering if you would be able to find someone to help me... sister beckstrand immediately thought of the missionaries! 
So after we helped her out on Saturday evening i asked if we could share a message... she agreed and so i read mosiah 18:8-10 and talked about how when we as members are baptized we covenant to serve our fellow men and that we take this covenant very seriously and then i thanked her for allowing us an opportunity to serve! and she began to cry and then she said, im not even a member of your church, but you still came to help me. she was so grateful for our help. it felt so good to be there helping her. I just love that God is no respecter of persons. Just because she isn't a member of our church doesn't mean that god loves her any less, and isn't willing to help her. He loves all his children and wants to help them any way that he can. I am so grateful for the service that i was able to offer, and for the opportunity i had to keep my covenant to serve those in need. this wonderful woman really did me a favor, by being humble enough to ask for help! what a wonderful thing!
Well family, i hop that yall are having a good week and that yall are still in the book of mormon with me! 
I love yall 

Sister Dannika Nielsen