Where do I begin? So much to say! First off, I almost wet myself as I was reading about the "Nelson Family Spanking Tradition". Haha. Poor BIL[<---brother-in-law]. Well done, Val! [Insert from letter telling her the story: After we swam, ate, gave gifts, and sang, the kids (started by Val) all insisted that Nick go through the "spanking machine" as part of the Nelson family tradition. He was very reluctant and finally gave in because, after all, it is tradition. So, everyone stood with legs apart in a line, and he crawled through as each one spanked him pretty hard. When he was done, he stood up and said, "That's the most embarrassing thing I've ever done." Whereupon Joel said, Way to go Nick - you just completed the FIRST Annual Birthday Spanking Tradition!!" Nick about DIED!! "No!!! AGH!!!" And he covered his face with his hat and turned bright red. It was pretty funny. And it was all Val's idea. She's truly becoming a Nelson in every sense of the word.] We have to do that to all the new in-laws that join the family.
Also, thanks, Dad for the detail about Lorenzo's vomiting and other explosions and the pandemonium that ensued. It makes me miss yall, but it makes me really happy to hear about it all. Thank you, Mom, for the package. I got it this morning. Hurray for General Conference! Thanks for the balls and games and toys, too. I've been trying to teach Johnathan how to juggle so it'll be great to give him some of those. I'm hoping to get more pictures of some of our adult investigators like 6'8" Jackie Sturgill or Willard and his smile, but they're harder to convince to get into a picture. I'm glad you met a man named Harry Peacock. I'm glad I got to see the gorgeous Emily Lloyd Andersen and her hubs. I can't wait to hear from Rex about his Patriarchal Blessing. Rex, do you mind sending me a copy when you get one? Mom and Dad told me a little about it and it sounded very special, just like you. Teen, I need pictures of your recital. I need pictures of Violet's spots. I need pictures, before and after, (Whoopi then Simon Cowell) of Dahl's hair.
The miracles that I'm seeing here, both personally and for others is such a blessing. I wish you could all be here with me. My words don't seem to do them enough justice. The removal of my allergies is something that I have to remind myself of every day as I cringe at the sight of a cat or dog and then remember and pick them up and nuzzle them and kiss them and then breathe in deeply and wait and nothing happens but the animal licking my face or something. No sniffling or itchiness or watery eyes or anything! And to top it all off, being able to smell! Yesterday in Relief Society we went over Obedience and 1 Nephi 3:7. If the Lord commands you to do something, he WILL prepare a way. He has prepared one for me. He could have sent me somewhere else and kept my physical conditions as they were, but for some reason wanted me here, in Kentucky, and has strengthened me and healed me so that I could accomplish the work that I've been called to perform. It reminds me of the first part of 2 Nephi. I echo what is said there: Awake! Arise, O Zion! O how great the goodness of our God! O how great the plan of our God! O the greatness and the justice of our God! O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! O how great the holiness of our God! My brethren and sisters, remember the awfulness in transgressing against that Holy God. O, my beloved brethren, remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. O, my beloved sisters, come unto the Lord, the Holy one, remember that His paths are righteous. O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins, remember the words of your God. Let your hearts rejoice!
The Lord has been answering my prayers like crazy lately. Little ones and big ones. Tender Mercies and Full on Miracles. One night this week I had said a prayer asking for a specific piece of comfort and answer but had been interrupted by a call from my District Leader before I could ponder the answer or recieve the comfort. The next morning I got a letter from Grandpa Rex and the first two paragraphs were the specific answer and comfort I was looking for. How wonderful that I have a Grandpa who follows promptings and a God who prompted him to write the letter a week before I would ever offer my prayer!
This week has been a good week. I've really delved into the material from Elder Skouson's talk and have gained a completely new perspective on the atonement and I'm so excited and humbled by it. I've taken notes and I'll send them to you. Also, Sister Ralph had another talk that she said, "is pretty good. I don't know who it's by but it's great." Guess who it turned out to be: Ed Pinegar. And it was a good talk. One thing I really liked that he said was actually a quote from someone else, I think. "Faith is the Power, Love is the Motive, Obedience is the Price, The Spirit is the Key & Christ is the Reason." He said that in regards to missionary work but it applies to everything we do for the Lord. He also said, "If you want to be perfect, repent perfectly." He also said "You can't teach faith unto repentance until you live faith unto repentance."
Kentucky is a beautiful place. You've never seen a sunset till you've seen a Kentucky sunset. The same goes for the sunrise. Haha. It makes me think of Jane Eyre when Mr. Rochester asks Jane to watch the sunrise with him on the morning of his wedding and she gets all upset and then they profess their love to each other. Anyways, it's GORGEOUS out here. The green isn't the green I was expecting. It's more lime green and lighter greens. But it's really greens of every shade all mixed in together. The mountains don't look like mountains at all because you can't see a SPECK of brown. They're just COVERED in trees. Also, we've had fireflies in our yard lately. They're pretty magical. We caught one in a jar and watched it light up and then go out and then light up again. I hope yall get to see some someday. The thunder has been CRAZY. Last night, Sister Ralph and I were both woken up several times because of the thunder. It didn't even sound like thunder. It sounded like metal crashing against metal but on a ginormous scale. It sounded like a war outside. Plus, it was like a strobe light with all the lightning. The air is so thick, too. Willard described the air out here pretty accurately, "Here you gotta chew your air up before you can swallow it." It's true.
We had an interesting week with Willard. He has been sharing the gospel with his friends, devouring the Book of Mormon, accepting every commandment we throw at him and calling himself a member. BUT, he still doesn't think he needs to be rebaptized. No matter how many times we go over authority and priesthood and all of that stuff, he still thinks the man who baptized him had the authority. We also found out a big sin in his past that he's been hiding from us. He didn't kill anyone or anything, but it was really depressing to hear about it and I can understand why he didn't want us knowing about it. I told him he needs to correct the situation in order to completely repent of it. He said he couldn't. I told him he could. He insisted he couldn't because it would hurt too many people's feelings. I called him a coward. He told me he's not a coward and I told him, "Willard, I love you. You're one of my best friends. And you're acting like a coward." I went to apologize for it later but the Spirit told me not to halfway through my apology so what I ended up saying was "Willard, I'm sorry I called you a coward... but you are acting like one." That night I was worried that I'd offended him and he'd stop his lessons but the next day he apologized and said he'd been worried that I was offended and would want to stop teaching him. Things are a lot better now that he's being completely honest with us and he has started taking the steps he needs to take to right his wrong. Every time we see him he's read like 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon. He LOVES it and can't put it down. He's the biggest BYH. He's bringing a friend to our lesson tonight so she can hear about the truth.
Jackie Sturgill is set for baptism on Saturday and still hasn't smoked. I'm getting pretty excited because he'll be my first adult baptism. The other three have been kids. We're hoping to have Judy Jones and Willard baptized in July.
My favorite thing I read this week was in a letter from Lindsey about Nixon and Miles fighting over a seat. Nixon told Miles, "Miles, you're acting like a Lamanite!" Haha! I felt like telling Willard that the other day. It's cool, we have four people in our teaching pool right now who have Lamanite blood in them. Willard is one of them. So, I guess he really was acting like a Lamanite.
Being a missionary is SO awesome. The things I learned about the atonement this week have kept me in tears every time I think about them. Our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit are changing my life even more than they already had before I was ever even born. Everyone should serve a mission.
Extra Blessings: Grandpa Rex, Nixon, Miles & Lindsey, Sister Brandley.
Word of the Week: Yournzez (yourn-zizz). It's the plural posessive form of "you". (A combination of yuns and yours). Example: I've heard about yournzez golden Bible. Did yuns get yournzez car situation figured out? I can't remember if yournzez church starts at 9:30 or 10.
Thank yuns for yournzez prayers and support! I need it and appreciate it! The Church is TRUE! Share it!
Love, Sis Nelson