Sunday, March 20, 2011

Main Mission Goal

My main goal while serving in Kentucky is to find and baptize the Turtle Man.

The KLM Mission

Here's some things you should know about the Kentucky Louisville Mission:

  • First of all, it's actually referred to as the Great Kentucky Louisville Mission
  • KLM has a temple in Louisville and it's beautiful 
  • Not only is most of Kentucky in the mission, but also parts of Illinois and Indiana. Here's a map:
  • I'll only have the current mission president, President Glende, and his wife for one transfer (6 weeks). After that President W Richards Woodbury and his wife will come in.
  • I spoke with an Elder who had recently returned from my mission last month and he told me that sisters are usually in the countryside instead of cities.  He also said that there is a Sister Area that is called a Zebra area because one of the companions speaks English and the other speaks Spanish.
  • The weather is hot and humid in the summer and cold and humid in the winter.
  • Famous people from Kentucky: Kit Carson (aka the man from the Kit Carson Trail talked about in Nevada's State Song), George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Florence Henderson, Ashley Judd, Diane Sawyer, William Shatner, Abraham Lincoln, Casey Jones, Billy Ray Cirus, Naomi Judd, Wynonna Judd, Brian Litrell, Nick Lachey, Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay), and of course, Colonel Sanders.

  • My roommate and friend, Lauren Pieper, and my Grandpa Buck are both genuine, certified Kentucky Colonels.
  • The Kentucky Derby is being held on May 7th of this year and May 5th of next year. 
Hurray for Kentucky!

Called to Serve

I've been wanting to serve a mission for as far back as I can remember.

 In the LDS church, girls can submit papers (an application) when they turn 21. When I was 20 I started filling out my application so that I could leave as soon as I turned 21; but because of health reasons, I was told I shouldn't apply.  It was hard to be told that a dream of mine wouldn't become a reality because of issues beyond my control.  I was pretty upset.  Three years later in December of 2009 (I was 23), I decided to try and apply again. It took me a year to get the approval I needed (most take about three or four weeks), but I finally got it!
My family knew I was in the long process of seeing doctor after doctor and talking with my bishop and other church leaders but I didn't tell them when I finally got the approval. I wanted my mission call to be a surprise.  Instead of getting my call sent to my home address I got it sent to my best friend, Michael's address.
Here we are the day Michael got home from his mission sharing an awkward handshake

I submitted my full, final and approved application on November 30th. Then I waited three grueling weeks.  I avoided my parents questions of my approval status by saying, "I'm hoping I can get my call soon, but I don't know when." They were getting very antsy and frustrated for me.  Near the end they were wanting to make calls themselves to see if they could pull any strings to speed up the process.  But I held them at bay not wanting them to make a call and then find out that I actually had been approved.
FINALLY, on December 23rd, the big white envelope appeared in Michael's mailbox. I took it and drove to my church parking lot and opened it all by myself.  Then I called Michael and asked if he wanted to help me get the surprise ready for my family. He and his family all pitched in and within a couple hours I had was ready to give my family their "Christmas Presents that we have to open tonight because (you'll) want them before Christmas Eve". (That was the lame excuse I made up and told my family.)
Later that night, my family gathered around as I handed a present to every family member.  Each present had a number on it and I told them that they had to open the presents in numerical order.  The first present had the word "Sister".  The second had "Nelson". The third said "has"; and the fourth said "been".  Once the fifth was opened and the word "called" was read aloud, everyone had caught on and was scrambling to get their presents opened.
By the end the presents said, "Sister Nelson has been called to serve in the English Speaking Kentucky Louisville Mission leaving March 23rd."
That white thing I'm holding is my call

Also by the end, we were all screaming and crying.
It was a very, very special night.
They're all wearing tags that say "Future Missionary"