Hey everyone! Okay...so I'm actually writing this email on Saturday.
Um...we actually ended up being put on lockdown encore. Long story...I
will explain (don't worry mom!). Things have been insane this week;
especially today because we found out about transfers!
So, let me back up a little bit. Last Monday we had our zone activity
with all the Belgium missionaries. We all met up here in Liège and
played a whole bunch of games together at the church. I got to wear
jeans for the first time in forever! What a rush!;) I'm actually
surprised they still fit; I have lost a lot of weight since the last
time I got to wear them. Miracles all around! Holla!! We had our last
district meeting of the transfer on Tuesday. (I will attach a picture
below of our awesome district.) Elder Kaohoni did a great formation on
Christ being the first gift and as we are preparing for the Christmas
season/40 day fast, we can think of something to give back as a gift
to Him. I really liked it!
Soeur Hansen and I were able to go into Paris on Thursday night to
pick up her legality on Friday. Things are a little more tense with
everything that happened, but it was nice to be back. Boy do I miss
Paris! We got to stay with the soeurs of Versailles...Soeur Walton and
Soeur Woolley! We had a ton of fun. We all ate baked potatoes for
dinner ensemble. Keepin it classy;) We all did transfer prophecies to
guess what would happen with the repertoire on Saturday. Not even
close to what happened, but I'll get to that after...
Friday we headed off early to go to the prefecture. It was raining
really hard, but it was as beautiful as ever. And afterwards Soeur
Hansen and I walked around my favorite place in all of
Paris...Consecration Hill!!! Yay! It was actually kind of a stressful
day! We had bought day passes for €11 to get everywhere we needed to.
But on the way out of the station I realized that my day pass had
fallen out of my coat pocket! So, freaking out...I went to buy two
T-tickets to get me out. Well, I am so used to just using my navigo
Sent from my iPad
Then today (Saturday)...oh geez. Where to begin? My mind is still
trying to figure it out. So...we are sitting there in the middle of
personal study and the phone gets a text along with the others soeurs;
which means it's a message for the zone. The Z.L.'s informed us that
Belgium's security level had been raised to a 4...apparently the
highest there is. There had been more terrorist threats in Bruxelles
and other parts of Belgium. So the government asked people to stay
indoors. We were asked to avoid big crowds/glares/centrevilles/Muslim
populations...basically our sector. Long story short...we stayed
indoors all day. Cute Soeur Redd called us to check in and when she
found out that we had divided food rations, she and Redd showed up
awhile later with oranges and chips and a cake. (We're totally
Americans;) We are being taken good care of! We cancelled all rdv's
and ended up finding out about transfers by phone calls.
Which leads me to the finale of my email. Are you ready?! So...we are
sitting there around 10:45 doing more studies after we had found out
about staying inside. And Soeur Hansen looks over at me and says..."Oh
crap! We missed 2 calls from the A.P.'s!!"....bad news. If they call
you on repertoire day that basically means you are either white
washing a ville or training. All missionaries go into panic mode on
repertoire day!! It's awful! But anyways...next thing I know, Soeur
Facer walks in the room on the phone and says: "Soeur Nelson, Elder
Lattin wants to talk to you." So like any normal person would do; I
started wheeling myself away in my desk chair away from her and her
outstretched hand with the phone! Course the apartment is only so big
so they forcefully made me take the phone and this is how the
Elder Lattin: "Hey, is this Soeur Nelson?"
Me: "Actually, she left..."
Elder Lattin: (laughing, idk why?) "Soeur Nelson, are you trying to avoid me?"
Me: "No silly!"
Elder Lattin: "Well Soeur Nelson, President Babin and Elder Amaya and
Elder McBride and I have all prayed and fasted, and we feel inspired
to call you to train this next transfer. Will you be willing to do
Me: "Are you sure ?"
Okay anyways, the conversation went on for awhile and my thumbs can't
type very much more but yeah...I have been asked to train my 2nd bleu!
All the other Soeurs have been calling me Maman Nelson. We ate that
cake that Soeur Redd made to celebrate saying "It's a girl!"
Ahhhhhhhh!!! Not really a celebration though, I'm freaking out! Soeur
Hansen is going to Valenciennes and Soeur Facer will be leaving for
Torcy. Basically me and Soeur Cornetta are staying together here in
Liège and my bleu will be going into her trio when I die in 5 weeks. I
get to have my daughter kill me!! Bah how crazy! We're basically going
to be getting lost everyday for 5 weeks because I still don't know my
way around here...but it's going to be a fun adventure. I am supposed
to teach her like I know what I'm doing, bah haha...pray for me!
Well, that's the summary of my crazy week. Tomorrow we are on lockdown
again unless something changes. Both wards are together for sacrament
for an hour but we are to leave right after for security reasons. We
are hoping that things clear up soon! I haven't had time to myself in a long time and I'm not sure what to do.
Oh side note...because of the
threat last week I was able to finish the Book of Mormon in French!!!! I read it all the way through! Yay! And then I was also able to finish Jesus the Christ with being in today. I'd say it's been productive:)
I'm sorry this is a really long email! I love you all and hope you
have a great week!!! Stay in touch!
Pic from Brussels gare...got ice cream and hot chocolate!
Cou cou toute Le Monde!
Well, yeah this week has definitely been unforgettable. I don't know
how to put into words everything that has happened or the feelings
that I have experienced alongside all the other Elders and Soeurs
here. Thank you for all the prayers that have been passed along. We
have been blessed with many miracles because of them!
Last Monday night (my 16th month mark)...we had a joined mangevous
with Elder and Soeur Redd. We were invited over to la famille
Kappepula's. It was a really cool experience! Soeur Kappepula ended up
sharing with us her conversion story and it was so amazing to hear the
way Heavenly Father touches each of His children individually. I will
give you the brief rundown...she talked about how when she and Frère
Kappepula were first married; he was Mormon and she was catholic. And
she happened to run into some sister missionaries in centreville. When
they offered to share the Word of God with her she invited them over.
Haha, well...when the missionaries came to their house...Frère
Kappepula answered the door and was super excited that his wife had
invited them....haha, Soeur Kappepula thought that the sisters had
planned the whole thing with her husband...so she kicked them out! A
long time passed, but the sisters kept calling her and she eventually
let them come back again. During the first rendezvous, she kept
throwing questions out and her husband tried to help the sisters
answer but she told him that she didn't want it to come from him...she
wanted the sisters to tell her. The sisters answered most of the
questions, but it finally came to the point where they told her that
they weren't the ones she needed to ask and if she wanted a definite
answer, she had to go to Him herself. Later that night before bed,
Frère Kappepula was saying his prayers and Soeur Kappepula was holding
her rosary to do the catholic prayer and she basically decided to do a
prayer from the heart and told Heavenly Father that if what the
sisters were teaching was true...He needed to show her a sign to let
her know. Well...that night Soeur Kappepula had a dream that she was
in water dressed all in white and Frère Kappepula was right next to
her smiling..after she had come out of the water a man she had never
met before came up to her and gave her a Livre de Mormon. When Soeur
Kappepula woke up she started screaming and yelling at Frère Kappepula
and just crying...according to her, she told us that she was wondering
why she had ever married him;) After he got her calmed down, she
explained to him what happened in her dream and she got even more
irritated at him when he started smiling. Haha! The sisters came over
later and Soeur Kappepula told them she didn't believe her dream.
Frère Kappepula told her that it was the sign she had asked for, and
if she really desired the truth...she would ask again and if the
message was true, she would receive the same dream. Well...long story
short, Soeur Kappepula tried everything she could to try and not fall
asleep that night:) the next morning which was a Saturday; Soeur
Kappepula told her husband to call the sisters over. When they got
there, she told the sisters she wanted to have all the lessons so that
she could be baptized the next day after church!!!! Bahhhhhh! How cool
is that?! The sisters stayed there all day and the mission president
was actually the one who came over to do her baptismal interview! And
so, right after sacrament meeting...she was baptized and one of the
members came up to her and gave her the Livre de Mormon just like her
dream had showed. What a cool story right?! I had goosebumps:)
Sorry...that was a lot longer than I expected. We also had zone
conference on Friday. As a mission, every one of the missionaries have
united in doing a 40 day fast until Christmas Eve. Not in the sense of
eating exactly (though we have decided to do that too...), but as an
equipe each of us are praying every hour. We are praying to give back
something important to each of us before the end of the year. We have
the faith that in doing so we will be able to hopefully find one new
ami each day until Christmas. 40 new Amis! And Soeur Hansen and I have
already seen he blessings...we have already found 3 new Amis this past
It was crazy because the day that it started was the day we found out
about the terrorist threats. I have talked to Soeur Ellis a few times.
One of the bombing incidents happened right next to where the elders
in St. Ouen live. We're all safe, but for the moment we are to stay
inside unless we have scheduled rendezvous. Adversity going strong,
but we are doing alright.
So...to to finish off. Yesterday for our Sunday we were allowed to go
into Brussels for our stake conference. Honestly...my thoughts weren't
really all there. We were all still a little freaked out about
everything going on. But it was really sweet because during the entire
meeting, about two rows in front of where we were sitting, there was a
little girl who kept turning around and looking at me. So trying to be
nice, I smiled back. Well, she kept doing it about every 5 minutes for
the two hour meeting. About halfway, she tried to mouth something to
me, but I couldn't understand. After realizing that I couldn't
understand, she made a little heart with her hands and smiled at me
again. So, I touched my eye and then my heart and pointed at her
trying to do it back. And she smiled and turned back around. After the
meeting she came up to me and gave me a paper origami and told me she
had made it for me. Her name is Amandine:) She told me a little bit
about her family and I gave her a big hug. And then right before she
left with her family, she came up to say goodbye and she gave me
another hug AND shook my AND did Bisous:) When she gave me a hug her
sister came up and tried to pull her away and she held me soooo tight
until she was taken by force:) Amandine is one of those dear friends
that I have come to find and I am so grateful for her sweet little
spirit that has helped remind me why I am here.
The church is true and obedience brings blessings! I love you all and
I hope you have a great week!! Please keep praying for Paris!
So...I don't know if everyone has heard, but there has been some pretty scary stuff going on in Paris and even a little bit in Belgium. All missionaries are supposed to stay inside for the moment. President Babin gave us permission to write and let you know that we're safe. We are hoping that everything clears up soon, but thanks for all those who have emailed me...I appreciate all the love and support!!
Bonjour toute Le Monde!
Alors, this past week...I'm not even gonna be able to do it justice.
It was seriously insane! We started off by doing our usual Jazz on
Pday-they're pretty low key here compared to Paris. We just walked
around and went shopping. And I ate my second famous mitriette
sandwich! (They're these super big sanwiches filled with meet and
frites and covered in sauce...), basically a deep fried heart attack.
Yeah, it tasted real good:) And after Pday had finished, Soeur Hansen
and I had the fun experience of taking me to another doctor
appointment, because I have been super sick. It was seriously the
sketchiest thing of my life!! First off, this Doctor André Lémoine is
his name...or something French like that...he has is office only open
from 5-7 at night. Super trippy. Second, we walked in the building and
we are shuffled into the waiting room with pea green colored carpet;
where there is absolutely nobody, and end up sitting there for twenty
five minutes until this short little man with eyebrows drawn on by
crayon walks in and starts pointing a flashlight at me. It was a long
night to say the least...but the good news is, I am feeling much
Well. With that aside, Tuesday...we had district meeting. The STL's
came and stayed with us and did an exchange with Soeur Facer and Soeur
Cornetta. And we got to go to FHE with the J.A.'s chez Elder et Soeur
Redd. Then, Wednesday morning we had a rdv with our Bulgarian recent
convert named Kristellina. She has cancer and we haven't been able to
see her much because she has her chemotherapy in Brussels. But it was
really cool because we taught with a member from Romania named Krasmir
who speaks English as well...so we had me and Soeur Hansen and Krasmir
who were speaking English. Him and Kristellina speaking Bulgarian. And
all of us speaking French. Just one big triangle! Bah, it was pretty
sweet! After every time he would explain something in Bulgarian, both
Soeur Hansen and I would just give a big thumbs up and say bravo!
Haha...he is a boss of a teacher! Well, from what I can tell:) So,
after our rdv...we met up with the STL's at the Liège gare...okay,
this is gonna be the crazy part of the story...donc, bear with me! So,
we get there and we are waiting around for our train, and the big
board shows that apparently the one that we are supposed to be taking
to Brussels has had a grev (strike...which has been happening a lot
lately) and the other one coming is supposedly going to be 45 minutes
later...which created another problem for us because we were supposed
to catch a connecting train from Brussels into Villeneuve D'ascq where
our exchange is supposed to happen. So, either way we're all gonna
have to change our tickets to get into France. This is around 4:00...
...we end up taking the 45 minute later train...and run to try and
exchange our tickets because we're not sure when the next one into
Lille is going to be, and we were all four of us scheduled to have a
rdv with a family around 6:30. So, we're all basically freaking out!!
We talk to this cool Belgium lady who tells us that there is a train
coming in ten minutes that will take us in Lille direction but it
somehow cuts through Belgium and stops in the ville of Ghent. She also
tells us that there is another train that is set to leave in 15
minutes, but it is another 45 minutes behind schedule. So, basically
we all end up deciding on the Ghent train; so, we book it from the
ticket office up to the voie where the train is...and we hear a
whistle! So there we are...4 sister missionaries, carrying our huge
exchange duffel bags running down the platform; shoving people (so
Christlike I know...); and running head first into the train. We all
tackled each other and barely made it with less than five seconds to
spare! Prayers were heard that day!! So, we ended up spending fifteen
minutes in the other mission. We're super rebellious:) But...the
craziness doesn't end there...oh no. So, we are sitting there next to
the train doors looking like hobo's (because there isn't four open
seats for us), and the ticket dude checking our train ticket comes and
tells us that all passengers riding into Lille direction are going to
have to get off because the train we are on is going to split and go
further towards a different destination! So, I swear it felt like
five seconds later...we're all jumping off the train again, running to
the never ending end of the train trying to find the last three cars
that are supposed to go to Lille. Okay, I dunno if you know this...but
I'm really short, so my tiny little legs were barely hanging on. And I
was still a little sick so I was feeling like I had just been
steam-rolled. You can get the idea...
So, once we finally found the end of the train...we are sitting there
along with like two other people. And we are just praying that this is
the right train. And the announcer dude comes on the intercom and
starts speaking. And we are all listening and looking blankly at each
other and not understanding a word that he's saying-so, our anxiety
continues to heighten when we realize that we are sitting there in
Ghent, Belgium...listening to announcements in Flemish.
But then the dude sitting just derrière de nous starts speaking in
French and says that he is going to Lille and then we all started
laughing. We were able to make it to our rdv around 7:00 with a Hindu
family who showed us how to eat food with our hands:) it made for a
good time after our running and worrying was over. I had a good
exchange with Soeur Rasband. We were in the MTC together so we already
knew each other. We did every kind of missionary work and had a ball!
We walked through a strike; ate baguettes; walked down a canal without
knowing it...until the smell hit us; contacted and prayed with a ton
of people and finished off etching beautiful macaroons in a gorgeous
park! What a dream I live! It was amazing to get to go back and visit
Lille. I miss it so much! Even the smell of the dirty metro full of
We ported a ton this past week. No luck just yet. We got some
potentials though...we'll see what happens;) we helped our ami Sandra
set up her new 48' screen tv. Oh the skills I didn't know I would
learn on the mission! I also gave a talk yesterday in sacrament
meeting. The bishop came up to me beforehand and asked if I was ready
and I pulled the "Oh crap! Was that today?!" card...he thought that
was funny...well AFTER I told him I had one prepared:) I talked about
prayer and amazingly enough I got an answer to my prayers because I
didn't throw up in front of everyone. I'm glad it over! We have zone
conference and interviews with President Babin and stake conference
this weekend. It's gonna be a busy one again. Bring it on!
I got the exciting news that I am an aunt today! I am so excited to
set my new little niece Emmaline Jean! Thank you for all your love and
support! The past few weeks have been harder for me and it's nice to
hear from you. I love you all! Have a great week!
Us without seats, after being thrust into the train...
Happy Halloween everyone!!!
Well...this week was a little crazy! The days kind of blend together,
so I'm gonna try and put together what I can remember. Soeur Hansen
and I have basically been contacting the world up here in Liège. Kind
of funny to watch us strolling down the rue....the smallest with the
tallest:) last Monday night, we taught F.H.E. for the adults. We
talked about individual worn and the importance of all of us being on
the same team. And if we ever question our self worth, we have
individual blessings given to us by our Heavenly Father to remind us
who we are. And afterwards we all are food....so that was awesome!
Tuesday, Soeur Hansen and I went through the area book and found a
whole bunch of L.A.R.C.'s (less actives and recent converts) to pass
by--so we spent the afternoon walking around a big ville called
Seraing trying to find them. Don't ask me where that is, because I
honestly couldn't tell you! We passed by around three, all in
different parts of town and finally we decided to try one last one.
So, we walked up to the door and rang the sonnerie but we didn't get
an answer. So we were standing there waiting and right when we started
to turn around, a car pulled up and a guy for out and said, "Bonjour,
est-ce que vous cherchez quelqu'un?"...and we told him who we were
looking for. And the coolest thing happened! He let us in! HE LET US
IN!!! Turns out the lady named Marie that we were looking for is in a
wheelchair and couldn't answer the door. But, long story short. We
were able to talk with her for awhile and share our favorite
scriptures. She has been having a tough time with her faith for a long
time but I was able to share one of my favorites Ether 12:27 with
her....and share my testimony about how the Lord works with our
weaknesses to make us strong. Sometimes He just needs us to be a
little more humble before we can be something better. Just like the
French language:) yeah, I have a big testimony of that one!
Wednesday, passed by some people and contacted and we are now in the
process of helping one of our less active members to stop smoking. Her
name Christiane. We are working to help her get a temple recommend.
Haha she gets a kick out of joking about my shortness. We're working
on her though:) and later that night, we ate dinner with the bishops
family. Frère Mantua...or something like that. They are one heck of a
sassy family! Apparently because we ate there, I am required to give a
talk next Sunday. They were teasing me all night! Pray that I can
speak French for ten minutes straight next Sacrament meeting!!
And Saturday, we had a big fête d'halloween to celebrate with the
J.A.'s(young adults) in the wards. We did a bunch of activities....one
of which included using toilet paper to do the mummy contest. Guess
who they picked for the victim? Yeah, apparently they thought using a
short person would allow them to finish faster. #shortpeoplewin.
Well, that was most of our week. I have been a little sick encore. I
don't know if I ever really recovered from last transfer, but so I
have been a little out of it this past week and we are gonna be going
to another doctor tonight. Hopefully they can fix me up a little! We
are working on getting some new Amis. Please pray that we can find
those who have wondered here in Liège. Through prayer, we see mighty
miracles! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!!
Above are some pics from our Halloween PARTAY....
Cou cou toute le Monde!
I hope all is well with everyone!! Wow, okay so this week passed by
freakishly fast and I'm trying to remember everything we did. The days
seriously start to mesh together when you're doing missionary work:)
and I love it! I will try and recount all that has happened.
Donc, last Monday for Pday we did emails ensemble at the Redds
apartment...that was fun. I love them! After that we went to a
cathedral right by our apartment. And I ate gauffre with chocolate
bars on the inside:) yummy! Then we came back and had a nap. It's
funny coming here after Paris. I'm so used to running around metros
and RERs trying to see something, and here it's relaxed. Big
adjustment, but fun. And afterwards we were able to do a lot of
contacting and we were able to pray with a lady named Sarah. It was
Tuesday, we actually had a conference in Brussels where we were able
to hear from Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson and Linda K. Burton and Elder
Kearon. It was super great!!! All in English, which was super
different from what we're used to....but it was seriously so good!
They talked all about self conversion and how Christ is the way to
find happiness in this life. President Babin also spoke and he focused
mainly on two things. 1) The overall mission goal...which is when it
comes time to leave the mission, we want to be able to say that we
have truly converted ourselves to the Lord. And... 2) What is the true
definition of success? He talked about finding happiness in life of
what we are doing now. I loved it!! It really made me think of how
blessed I have been with the villes and the companions that I have
been given. And not just that, but everything that the Heavenly Father
has given me in my life. And one way that I can show my love for Him
back is to be happy and grateful in what I am called to do. Not every
day on my mission has been fun. There are definitely moments where I
question how I got myself here, but I am so grateful for the tough
moments because it has shown me how strong I am and we need to have
the learning days to recognize the really good days. There is so much
to be grateful for! Grateful in any circumstance like Pres. Uchtforf
'"We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our
problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much
of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God
that there is rain?
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are
pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of
faith we look beyond our present-day challenges. Being grateful in our
circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God
and hope for things we may not see but which are true. By being
grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, “Not
my will, but thine, be done." True gratitude is an expression of hope
and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always
understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will."'
I am so grateful for that! Haha!!
Well...this email is turning out kind of long sorry! I just wanted to
end by sharing a funny experience that we had the other day. So, we
have this ami here named Sandra. She's from Africa, and super nice.
She's got four kids...with the coolest names; Harmony, Gloria, Divine,
Prosper:) haha! It's super funny when she yells their names when she's
mad...you can't really take it seriously:) Anyways, so we were there
at her apartment the other day...teaching her a lesson and we were
just wrapping up by sharing the short video called 'Because He Lives'
with her...and her kids were everywhere. Seriously everywhere! They
could not hold still. There were three other random kids that were
there too, I don't know where they came from. But anyways, it was just
crazy! (Oh I forgot to mention that she had just fed her kids dinner
too...rice and big chicken wing things...) so, we were sitting there
and right at this part where Christ walks amongst the people...and at
the exact moment where it shows His face, Sandra's son Divine tried
running away from her with his chicken wing in his mouth and without
taking her eyes off the iPad screen she yelled, "DIVINE...DONT YOU
DARE MOVE OR I BEAT YOU!" And he stopped right in the doorway of the
room with his cheek full of the chicken wing and just fell on the
ground and laid there. Haha! Oh my gosh, I can't even do it justice.
It was the most hilarious thing ever! You had to be there...I kept
looking over at Soeur Hansen, trying to stay composed but I just lost
it. It's a really good video though, if you ever get a minute...you
should watch it! Haha, well...that's about it. I hope you all have a
great week. Remember to be happy and be grateful! I love you all!!!