Well....that's about it for this week. I hope you all have a wonderful first week of November. Know that you're in my thoughts and prayers! Love you all!XOXOXOXOXOXO bisous
Bonjour!!!Hey all...oh man! This week was INSANE! First of all...I had a dog chase me through a neighborhood and I also had a drunk French man flirt with me. You could say that I got the FULL missionary experience. Haha! I had my 2nd exchange in Nantes with Soeur Richards. Sorry, I don't have a picture because I forgot my SD card in our apartment. Anyways it was pretty cool though...Soeur Richards and I made the goal to find 1 new ami to teach. And it was so amazing because two hours before Soeur Mason and I had to head back to Vannes...Soeur Richards and I went contacting in some random French park and we ran into a lady named Corinne that had just moved to France from Africa. Anyways, we were talking with her and she ended up being really interested! She let us pray with her and it was super funny because as Soeur Richards was saying the prayer...Corinne would just randomly say "Amen" or "Hallelujah"! Haha...that was the first African person that I actually got to talk to...so as she was praying I was just like: "What the Heck?". Haha!We also had our water get shut-off this past week! Haha....that was an adventure! We came home around 9 and I tried to wash my hands and the faucet wouldn't turn on. We called Elder Martin and we tried to figure out how to turn it back on but it wouldn't work. We ended up talking to our neighbor and she said that a plumber guy had come around to all the apartments because there was flooding in the building...but we didn't know anything because we had been gone all day! So...he had turned off our water and when we called the company to try and have them come fix it...they said the soonest they could come by was the next Wednesday. (This was Tuesday night at the time.) It was crazy because we had district meeting the next day and we were supposed to go straight from there to Nantes to our exchange. It was funny because just a few hours before...Soeur Mason and I had shared the talk "Grateful in any Circumstance" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf with an ami. So, as we were in our apartment...not being able to shower or go to the bathroom...Soeur Mason and I made a list of things that we could be grateful for:) We ended up making apple crisp for District meeting (it didn't require water:) and when we got back from our exchange on Thursday...we found that our water was working again! IT WAS A MIRACLE!!! I have never been more grateful for a shower in my entire life! And we didn't have to run 15 minutes up to the gare station to go to the bathroom:) Prayers are answered!!!:)It was a pretty eventful week. We also had a little Soirèe D'Automne for our branch for Halloween. Which was pretty fun. The highlight of my week though was when Soeur Mason and I went contacting and 2 teenage girls came up to me and asked me if I had any cigarettes and I understood them enough to be able to say "Non"....:) HOORAY!!!
Well....that's about it for this week. I hope you all have a wonderful first week of November. Know that you're in my thoughts and prayers! Love you all!XOXOXOXOXOXO bisous
Hey Family and Friends!Sorry, I have no catchy french things to say:( This week has been pretty eventful! Soeur Mason and I along with the Elders had the opportunity to do a service activity...which was awesome! We went to a member from Lorient's brother's house to rip off wallpaper. Super complicated...anyways....I got to heat up walls and scrape up old wallpaper. It was the first time I got to wear real pants since I have been in France! Wow, what a feeling!!! The members gave us some bread afterwards with some cheese:) I loved it! Soeur Mason and I also got to eat lunch with Christiane this week. Do you remember Christiane? She has the fake teeth that fall out sometimes? Anyways...she invited a friend over to eat with us and we were super excited because we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to teach her a lesson. So, we went over with a lesson in mind and when we got there....we found out that Samia her friend was actually Muslim. And with one of the mission rules, we aren't allowed to teach Muslim's:( That was kinda lame but Samia was still super awesome and it was wonderful to meet her. Also this week, Soeur Mason started teaching me how to drive stick shift! WHAT?! That was never on my mission call paper! AHHHH!!!! It was so crazy! I have been driving all around town! I pray super hard everytime I wind in and out of a round-about. I feel like there are a lot more than when Soeur Mason was driving! The curbs just keep jumping out and the streets are super small. It is uber tough. I am totally freaking out now, but I now that after my mission I will be able to look back and say, "I can't believe I did that!", but I will have done it and learned so much...well, hopefully:) It's still super freaky. Good thing there are only 2 two area's where the Soeur's can drive. Haha!
Yesterday at church...two of our ami's came! It was super amazing! We had Julie come...it was her first time and we also had another ami named Sylvain Batista. We teach him and his girlfriend Karène. So, we had both of them there and Sylvain came up to me after Saint-Céne (sacrament) and they told me that he was really glad that he got the chance to come to church this week and that he wanted to try to come more often! Ahhhh!!!! It was super amazing! And Soeur Mason told me that Julie loved church too! She told me that Julie thought it was extremely rude when people were on their phones while people were talking and that it should be a rule for baby's not to cry. Haha, I thought that was pretty funny:) I am so glad that they could come. It was wonderful to have them there to sit by. I sat by Françoise during relief society and afterwards she turned to me and asked me how the language was. Honestly I wanted to cry....but I said, "C'est difficile pour moi et je ne comprend beacoup. Mais, c'est bien. Je suis essaie chaque jour." (it's difficult for me and I don't understand a lot, but it's okay and I try each day)<---that is an estimated french guess:) and she just looked at me and smiled and said, "vous avez deja progresser beacoup". Or in other words she said "you have already progressed a lot". She kept talking to me about how I am so much better than when I first came to Vannes and she told me that each time I bear my testimony even though I don't understand a lot, she feels the spirit so strong. Sorry, I didn't know how to type that in french. It meant the world to me. The past few days have been really hard but I am trying to be strong and optimistic. I knew coming on a mission was going to be hard but for some reason I figured that I would be able to just talk to people. I figured talking about the gospel would be the hard part. I'm realizing that it's the other way around. The work is hard but I love the people!Well....that's pretty much it on my end. Thank you for all the love and support! I love you and I hope you have a wonderful week. Stay happy and know that you're in my thoughts and prayers!!! Talk to you next week:)XOXOXOXO
Salut ma famille et mes ami's!!!So...how goes it??? Well...this week has been kind of tough. Both Soeur Mason and I got super sick and it's been pouring rain! Mais, C'est la vie! We got to talk with a bunch of awesome people though which was great! Yesterday, we met with one of our ami's named Christiane. She's really nice and talks really slow which is great for me to try and understand. It's kind of funny though...Christiane kind of has a problem smoking and because her real teeth are so bad...she has fake ones. But the fake teeth move around as she talks. So everytime we meet with her I have to force myself to look everywhere else but her mouth. Haha, yesterday though....as she was talking to me, her teeth fell right out of her mouth! And she was like "Oh la la! Excuse moi!" Oh my gosh!!! I was dying! Yeah, it was a fun rendevous!:) Also this week, Soeur Mason and I visited the Sène area to visit some houses and we ran into a member of our branch named Soeur Le Tendre. So, we stopped and talked with her for awhile. Every-time we see her she gives us a lot of bisous kisses....but she also likes to wear lipstick. So, it was kind of awkward because like 3 hours after talking with her....Soeur Mason and I went back to our apartment and we both realized that we had lipstick on our cheeks! We had been talking to people all afternoon with big red splotches on our faces....oh man it was super awkward. We can laugh about it now that it's over:)Well....things are going great. Soeur Mason and I got yelled at by a french lady the other day and as she was swearing at us...I realized that maybe it's not such a bad thing that I don't understand the language. Haha! I call it a "Blesson"....a blessing in a lesson:) Well....I heard a quote the other day that I loved and wanted to share with all of you. It's used in a talk by Sister Elaine Daulton...she said: "What e'er thou art, act well thy part"....I loved that! I know at times all of us get discouraged as we go through hard times in life, but no matter what we're going through or how hard life gets...I know that as we give it our all, the Lord will make us into the things we cannot make of ourselves. I like reading in Moroni 7 about faith because its a good reminder to me that having faith in Christ is also trusting in His timing. It's not always easy and I'm not perfect at it...but as I have been trying to learn french and bringing people into the fold of the Gospel I have come to see that I am not alone. Whether they be big or little I have seen so many miracle in my 3 months and I am extremely grateful for my faith in the Savior. Thank you so so much for all your support and love, it truly means the world to me! The past few days have been kind of hard but I can't imagine being anywhere else. I love these people and who they are. We get rejected on numerous occasions but even when people are being awful, I try to see them in white (as children of Heavenly Father). I know that even though they are rejecting the gospel now...someday they will look back and wish that they had done things different. Well...yeah, that's pretty much all for this week. I love you all and love hearing from you! Please keep writing me! Have a great week and know that I'm praying for you!!XOXOXOXOXOXOXOBisous!
Soeur Hannah Nelson
Bonjour ma famille et mes ami's!
This week has been great!!!! Francoise got baptized on Saturday and it was beautiful! I almost started crying when I saw her all dressed up in her white dress. It seems like that one day has made everything else that has been difficutlt, worth it. I was so amazing to be a part of something so special. Yesterday, when she received the gift of the Holy Ghost...she couldn't wipe the smile off her face. I feel so blessed to have been able to get to teach Francoise! So many people told me when I opened my mission call that I wouldn't see a lot of baptisms....but here I am in my 1st transfer and I have already gotten to see this miracle! I feel like she has taught me more than I have taught her. I love her so so much!!!! I think Heavenly Father knew I needed her in my life to keep me going. She has such a sweet, strong spirit. Elder Mataele (the elder who baptized her) was actually the one who found her in Vannes...and when she was in the baptismal font, it seemed more like she was pulling him because she was SO ready. She gave me the biggest hug afterwards. It just reminded me why I decided to come on a mission.This past week I also had a few mangezvous (dinner) appointments...its a teaching appointment where they also feed you. Oh my goodness! I cannot tell you how hard I was praying to finish those meals!!! I actually had to hide some food in tissue in my bag because there was just too much! All the food is amazing, but the problem is French people like to dish up the food for you. And they always give you WAY more than you can actually eat. And its super hard for me because I'm so tiny! Soeur Mason and I were just like praying for each other the whole time! As we walked home, we were moving so slow....I think I gained probably 5 kilo's in just one meal. I also ate 1/4 of a pan of baked alaska that Elder Mataele made for District Meeting...(all the elders were impressed because they didn't think my little body eat it all. I was the only sister that actually ate the full portion) Julie is doing great...she always has a ton of questions, which is awesome & she told us yesterday that she wants to keep seeing us. Christiane has been coming to church and she asks to see us every week which is good. There are so many ami's and I don't have enough time to talk about each one. I love them all so much & it is such a blessing to get to be with them! Thank you for all your support that you give to me. I am truly grateful to be serving here in France with these people!!! I love you all! Have a great week!!!
Bonjour Ma Famille et Mes ami's! Comment ça va?! How did you all like conference? Well....I watched it in French so I'm not gonna lie, I didn't understand most of what they were talking about! But...it was still wonderful to hear and I loved having the opportunity to experience it in another language. It was super fun because all the songs from the Tabernacle Choir were in English and all the french members were trying to sing along...haha it was awesome! We got to watch the Sunday morning session with the Branch President and his family. He served his mission in Provo Utah....so, he speaks English pretty well. After the session he made crêpes for us....super AMAZING! Soeur Mason and I have a habit of quoting movies as we walk around....we have started making a list. I often find myself humming disney songs too. Its fun to keep myself going:) One of my favorite things here in France is listening to little french kids. A lot of them try to sing American songs but they end up sounding so different because of their accents haha! I had a few little kids playing with my hair the other day when I went to visit a member family. One of their little boys actually ran up and gave me a big hug. I love meeting people and wish so badly that I could understand what they were saying to me!So....this week has kept Soeur Mason and I on our toes. We got followed by a few drunk people. In the grocery store the other day...we had 2 drunk men cut in front of us in line, and we actually had a little old lady fighting for us! It was crazy!!! That was pretty much one of the most eventful days from this past week. A few of our appointments feel through...but conference made up for it! I hit my 3 month mark on Thursday. Its crazy to think how fast time is flying! I got asked how long I have been serving a few times...and it feels so weird to think that I've been gone from home for 3 months. It feels so surreal sometimes! Kind of like I'm in a different world or I'm dreaming....but I'm working in my dream. Well...I'm sorry my email is super short this week! I don't have a lot of time today. But I hope you know that I love each of you and I live for your letters and emails. They mean the world to me! Thank you so much for all you do and for your wonderful examples! I promise I will write more next week. Have a fantastic week and know that I love you! Bon Semaine!!! Au Revoir!BisousXOXOXOXOXO
Salut Ma Famille et mes ami's!Well....I can now officially say that I have served a full transfer in France!!! YAY! This past week has been so crazy! Soeur Mason and I traveled to Paris along with some other bleu's (new missionaries) for legality. I got to see Soeur Bell which was so fun! As soon as she saw me, she ran over to me, picked me up in a big hug and said, "I have missed picking you up Nelson!" Ah, it was so fun to spend some time with her! It is so cool to see where all of the different missionaries have ended up. Some of the new missionaries that came to France at the same time as me are going to be training this next transfer! Bon Courage to them:) I don't think I could do it! So, this next week is General Conference...which is awesome! I am super excited! Soeur Mason and are supposed to watch the Sunday session with the branch president's family. They are all french so we will see how much I can understand:) So on Friday night, we had a pretty cool experience. Soeur Mason and I were walking towards a Menimur neighborhood to try some porting next to a less active's apartment...But as we were walking we just kinda felt stuck and weren't really sure if Menimur was where we should be going. So, we just stopped and said a prayer to try and receive some guidance. After the Prayer, Soeur Mason asked me where I thought we should go...and nothing specific was sticking out to me...but I just kinda felt like we should keep walking, to wait for an answer to our prayer. And not even 5 minutes later...we ran into 2 young girls who stopped us and said: "Est-ce vous etes Mormon?" (Is it that you're Mormon?" And in France....I'm gonna be honest and say that doesn't happen very often! So, Soeur Mason and I just kinda stopped to gather our bearings. Long story short...the 2 girls named Sarah and Sophia just moved from Portugal to Vannes 5 months ago with their family. They are members and they have been trying to find the church but they didn't know where to find it in Vannes. Sarah is 14 and Sophia is 11 and they have both read the Book of Mormon! They really want to go to church and so we are going tonight to talk with their parents and see if we can find some way to get them to attend on Sundays. It was crazy because the neighborhood that Sophia and Sarah live in was right next to the less active's apartment that we were heading to. CRAZY! Its so fun because in the moment, I don't notice these little miracles that are taking place...but looking back, I can see that Heaven'y Father has a plan to allow every little thing to work out.I got a blessing last night from my district leader; Elder Mataele who will be going home this week. It is really comforting to know that no matter where I am or how far away I get...I can always count on the priesthood to give me comfort and peace. I'm seriously gonna miss Elder Mataele and his awesome example. It is amazing to see how close all the missionaries get in just 6 weeks. We are all one little family!
BisousXOXOXOXOXOXOXO Soeur Nelson
Bonjour ma famille et mes ami's!This week has been very long and hard but also very rewarding!!! Every week at church the members in our brance here in Vannes ask me how I feel about the language and I say: "Le langue est très jolie mais super difficile pour moi!" (The language is very pretty but super difficult for me) I try my best to talk with everyone...I understand more than I can speak. I'm okay getting little sentences out like "What do you think this verse means?" or "Have you ever asked yourself this question?"...but when people actually start speaking to answer....its like a hip-hop song playing through on fast-forward. I usually just end up nodding my head and say "oui" and then turn to my companion. It is getting better though...little by little:) Soeur Mason and I met with an ami named Christiane two weeks ago that was recently baptized but no longer comes to church. She has a little bit of a mustache above her upper lip....so when she gives me bisous its pretty disgusting! We met with her and talked about faith (Moroni 7:33) and she went off talking about how some birds are okay to eat but some aren't and how she loves all the animals in the movie "The Restoration"...and Soeur Mason and I were just like "Whaaaaat?!" I don't understand French very well...but I could totally tell that what she was saying was not your average conversation. But then out of the blue on Saturday, she called us and told us that she was gonna come to church! Super random but great!!! So, we sat with her yesterday and we are supposed to help her fold some laundry this week. So, hopefully she continues to come to church. We also have our ami Francoise getting baptized on Saturday...we are super excited! This week is super busy but its gonna be great! We also ran into Julie last Monday...who was the girl I taught for my first lesson...but she ended up dropping us. She ran up to us in Centreville on P-day while we were shopping and asked if she could meet with us again! It was so great!!! I even carried on a conversation with her about Batman and Superman! Not your typical missionary conversation but we also talked about prayer:) She is great and I hope things keep working out for her:) I love all the people here! We have been stopped by a few guys and random drunk people will stop to talk to us....it makes for some good stories! I'm sorry this email is a little short....Soeur Mason and I have another rendevous and I have to cut it short...but I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week! Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!!! Thank you for all the letters and emails:)XOXOXOXO
Salut Famille & mes ami's!Sorry, my French is very limited:) I hope everyone is doing really well! I'm sorry, I don't get a lot of time to write. But I love love love hearing from all of you! So, tomorrow is my 2 month mark!!! CRAZY! There are definitely days where I feel like time is flying...and there are others where it's just like "how did I get myself here?". I had my first experiences with exchanges this past week! I got to work with Soeur Bingham from Nebraska, which was pretty fun. She is an awesome missionary & I loved working with her! Soeur Mason and I also ended up getting a flat tire this week which was super....we had to call the elders to come help us...seeing as the two of us couldn't change the spare or let alone lift it. So, we got stranded at the church for awhile. I also had my first big Zone Conference:) It's so fun meeting all the different missionaries from around the world & seeing how you're all together one big team. So, in my personal study the other day....I was reading in one of the many Liahona's in the apartment and I read a little poem that I really liked. It goes like this:
" I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight. That to somebody's need made me blind; But I never have yet Felt a tinge of regret, For being a little too kind."
I really loved that poem....and it made me want to start a goal for myself. I know that I can't really communicate my feelings very well in French. But I figure I can serve the people by smiling and being happy each day. I decided to challenge myself to smile at someone EVERY single day for the rest of my mission. I probably won't remember tomorrow the little things I do for people today, but what I do may have a lasting effect on them. I am working hard to just stay optimistic! Sometimes the days suck & you wish that you could change the outcomes...I have come to realize that you can't control the things that happen to you, you can only control the way you react to them. Francoise is still set to be baptized on the 20th...WOOT WOOT! We are uber excited for her!! We have started planning the program & are trying to make it special. We spent all day Friday doing a "Finding" day. We went outside from 9-9...just talking to random people and trying to find new ami's. All of it is way out of my comfort zone; but it is a good challenge. I think trying to approach people in French, has given me more confidence to do it in English:) Soeur Mason & I taught Patrick and Francoise this week about Prayer. I tried my best to tell them how since being in France, it has been really hard for me to talk to people because of the language barrier. But I have been saying beaucoup of prayers. I told them that even though its been difficult for me and that Heavenly Father doesn't always answer right away or the way I am expecting--I still know that He hears my prayers. I think that most of the answers to my prayers have been through the people. I don't know how I would be able to have the courage to talk to people without some extra help from Heavenly Father. I don't always realize the miracles in the moment...but looking back on each day....I can see that even through the smallest things, I have received GIANT miracles!I hope all of you have a fantastic week and know how much I love you and pray for you! I would be here without you....thank you so so much for everything!Bonne Semaine!Bisous!xoxoxo
Bonjour!!!My second week here in France has gone by! I'm not gonna lie...some days go faster than others. I am starting to get a feel for the missionary life; I have spent most of my days walking through the rain and I even got smoke cigarette smoke blown into my face! On Wednesday, all of our appointments fell through...and on one of the doors that I knocked on; a man opened the door only wearing boxers and sandals with tube socks! Hahaha...I was dying! Today...on my way to email...I saw a man walking with his wife in high heels. I am definitely going through a culture shock:) But it has been fun! I am getting to better know the members of the branch here in Vannes. Our ami's: Patrick and Francoise made it to church with us! It was so fun to see them there. At one of our appointments with them this week, Francoise said: "Soeur Nelson, you are so tiny...but you have such long eyelashes! Oh la la!!!" Haha, she also made me a cute elastic bracelet...she is super sweet:) I love her! She is set to be baptized on the 20th of this month. We are super excited...she seems to be glowing with the spirit already. Soeur Mason and I had a cool experience last night while we were porting some houses. We had walked for an hour after our bus ride and found that we were kind of lost. We walked by some nearby houses, and we figured we would just go ahead and try knocking on a few. Long story short...after having like 20 slammed in our face...on the 21st door a cute little old lady wearing leopard print everything answered and invited us in! MY FIRST DOOR ACCEPTED!!!!!!! Her name is Emlie...she is a little poet and artist. She had ballet shoes and pictures all over inside her house. I attempted to talk to her about dancing and told her that I used to be a dancer too. She even seemed to understand what I was saying! She shared one of her poems with us about how God is invisible but how she had been searching for Him all her life. We invited her to pray with us and she accepted. We prayed for her son who has been facing some tough problems lately. After the prayer...she got a little emotional and touched both Soeur Mason & I on the cheeks...and said "I don't think it's a coincidence that I met you. I know you can help my son." It was SO amazing! We got her number and she invited us back to meet with her later this week! AHHHH it was so cool to feel the the spirit working in our prayer. This week we also met another new ami named Alba...she is from Cuba. We went with the elders to introduce ourselves to her on Saturday night. She was really sweet and seems really excited to have us back. As we were leaving after our rendevous...we were walking away from her apartment and somebody fired a gunshot! Hahaha...oh man it was crazy! The elders turned to us afterward and were like; "yeah, this part of town is pretty ghetto." Haha...crazy stuff! Well...I love you all & hope you have a wonderful week:) I would love to hear from you if you ever get a chance. Mail makes my life now! I love each of you and pray for you daily. Thank you for all the love and support!!!! Bisous, xoxoxoxoSoeur Nelson.....(this is a picture of the 1st patisserie I tried called 'tentation':)
Bonjour all the way from France!!!!How are you doing? Man, it has been a CRAZY week! I finally left the MTC....hooray! At the airport, Soeur Bell and I missed the boarding time because we were talking to our families. So, we almost missed our flight. I ended up sitting next to a man named Jason, who is from Manchester England. And the whole flight, he ended up watching Lord of the Rings.( One of my favorites) Man, Satan really knows how to tempt me! But, you will all be impressed to know that I kept my eyes fixed on my own screen as I watched the little barely-moving airplane track our flight for 9 1/2 hours. When we finally landed in France...they actually ended up losing my carry-on...so, my companion and I got stuck for 3 hours in the airport, waiting for it. All the other Bleu's (new missionaries) got to leave, while we were left behind. I actually got to meet my mission president in the airport....not the ideal setting I was expecting, but oh well! Afterwards, my companion and another elder that lost his bag too...got the opportunity to contact on a train. I ended up giving away my first french pass-a-long card to an English couple. They couldn't read it, kudos to the short Soeur missionary for the effort!:) When we got to the church headquarters in Paris...we found out where we would be training and who would train us. My trainer Soeur Mason; is about my size. She is 20, from Fresno California. She is in her 7th transfer....and she has been very patient with me, so I am extremely grateful to her and for all she has taught me. We are both the tiniest sisters and are serving in the tiny ville called Vannes (Rennes). A little city with little sisters...but BIG things are comin! The elders here give us a hard time for being so small. We get stared at a lot, but I just figured it was because of my plaque. Vannes has only had sister missionaries for about a year and a half. We are the only ones until the next ville, almost 1 hour and 45 minutes away. Our branch is in a tiny little building complex. The members are awesome! I have knocked on SO many doors. We call it porting here. pretty much every door smells of smoke. I have yet to knock on one that hasn't. I taught my first lesson to a girl named Julie the other day in a park...actually, Soeur Mason taught the other day...and I just nodded and smiled:) Julie actually ended up dropping us after that lesson, but its okay....we still pray for her. We also have a baptism coming up! For a member named Francoise. She is AMAZING! She is set to be baptized on the 20th of September...and she is super excited. Tomorrow will be my second lesson with her and her husband Patrick. I showed them some pictures of my family and they were laughing at how small I am compared to the rest of my family. They always like to feed us after our lessons. Haha, it's pretty funny. Soeur Mason has gotten me into the habit of ALWAYS eating dessert after a meal. It is always an expectation here. My little body isn't used to eating and then walking so much! Sometimes it feels like I am walking hills in San Francisco rather than streets in France. I am getting some sick calf and thigh muscles though. You would be impressed! The people talk super fast and I am having a hard time with the language. Hopefully I get better soon:) Well, Bonne Semain & I will talk to you later!!!Xoxoxo,Soeur Nelson
New address: I would love to hear from you!Soeur Hannah Nelson6, rue Honoré Daumier 56000 VannesFrance(This is my grandma= Soeur Nielsen(blond) my mom=Soeur Mason & I)