Monday, March 16, 2015

"When we try and take control of things God should control, we won't ever win." -approx. Sister Mecham quote

Hello Family and Friends!

Isn't that Sister Mecham quote awesome? She has some really profound things to say. I write them down sometimes because they are just that great!

Last Thursday something really cool happened!! We went to TRC (Teaching Resource Center) and we go to teach a girl in Swedish that had gotten back from her mission in Sweden super recently. TRC is where we teach members in our language we are learning. She asked me where I was from and I said Portland, Oregon and she says something like: "Do you know an Elder Bradley?" Her name was Sister Sarah Bass (something like that) and she knew Stefan! And I just taught her in Swedish. Small world. Also, Elder Johanson in my District is in the same ward as Brian Clayton. Random connections.

Something I'm learning here in the MTC is the need for more listening and less preaching. I already was aware of this concept before I got here, but it's really a true principle. Real listeners are hard to come by but people willing to "preach" to you are not. I want to be a real listener. That's how you really change people. Everyone wants to be understood, everyone has needs that come from inside themselves. Lots of missionaries preach; not as many sincerely listen to the needs of others. God knows those needs and when we really listen and ask sincere questions, we can show people we care.

Last night Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve came and talked to the MTC. I felt the Spirit bear witness to me of the divinity of Prophets and Apostles. Elder Cook talked about how they assign mission calls. It was fascinating. He talked about how he gets strong feelings inside. He said that he will sometimes feel strongly that a certain missionary needs to be with a certain mission, a certain language, or a certain people. It was fascinating.

I got to go to leadership training with Brother Hartman this week. He taught about the colors and how they respond to rules. SO COOL. He drew a circle and it represented the rules. He says that Reds follow those rules because that's just what they do. Then he drew a circle inside of the circle and said Blues make more rules and follow a higher law than they actually need to. He drew a line going outside of the rules circle and said Whites watch to see if anyone is watching before they fudge the rule circle. Then he said that yellows don't even see the circle. :) haha! So funny. It is beyond amazing to get taught by him. Everyone in our Zone seems to LOVE him. He really has a way with people and he really connects with us.

The Swedish is really coming along. Sister Mecham and I probably could teach a 30 minute lesson with only scriptures and pamphlets in Swedish. I'm doing my best to learn the language and the Savior is making up for what I can't do. 

I love you all so much!!

Syster Nielsen

Natalya's Schedule

My bed is the top one.

The bottom of a desk in the Swedish room. Recognize that name?

In front of the Temple

Natalya and Sister Wadley

Natalya's desk.

SO many washers and dryers.

Brother Taylor Hartman.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

God Answers Our Prayers.

Hey Dearest Friends and Family!

Wow, I have THE BEST family and friends in the world.  I LOVE getting letters, emails, dearelders. It's wonderful! I love you all so much!

The MTC is.... an emotional rollercoaster. I've heard it said that if on a mission you aren't tired when you get back to your room at night, you aren't doing it right. Let's just say I'm exhausted a LOT. If that's the criteria for being a good missionary, I guess I'm doing pretty well. :) 

Miracles just happen here in the Missionary Training Center. Yesterday, Sister Mecham and I were teaching our investigator, Fredrick, all in Swedish. It's a miracle how much I can say out of my head in only about 2 weeks. It's the gift of tongues! Anyways, I was really trying to remember the word for "want" in Swedish. I really needed it for a question I wanted to ask Fredrick! I said a prayer in my head asking God for help to remember this word. Seconds later the word "vill" came into my mind. That means "want(s) to" in Swedish. WOW! What a miracle! I had been studying it and God helped me recall it in my mind. What a tender mercy.

Another miracle that happened this week happened on MondaySunday I had a really hard day. I was down on myself and feeling miserable. There is a rule here in the MTC that we are supposed to be in bed by 10:30. Our room wasn't doing well at that, and I decided on Sunday night that I would make sure I was in bed as close to 10:30 as possible. I got to bed on Sunday night around 10:30 and WOW. I had a FANTASTIC day on Monday. I think it was a direct result of my obedience to what God has asked me to do. On Monday I was able to teach my investigator, Kirsten, a lot out of the Swedish in my head. I took some notes to the lesson, but I was the least dependent on notes I had been thus far. God really watches out for me.

Sister Mecham and I are doing great. There is some kind of bonding that happens when you teach together. It's high stress going into lessons, speaking a language you have only been speaking for less than two weeks. We ask the investigators questions, but we can't always understand their answers, nor do we always have the vocab to best respond. That's why having the Spirit in a lesson is so crucial, especially when it's hard to even communicate. I've had to rely on God so much.

God really answers my prayers. When I even pray about little things I'm struggling with, I have felt him lifting me up so much. I've received comfort and strength and I'm excited to share that reality to those who need comfort and peace in their lives.

I love you all sooo much!!

Sister Nielsen

Natalya ran into Elder Hinckey!

Natalya also ran into Elder Tidwell!

I ADORE getting letters. I kind of get made fun of for how many I get... :)

Our classroom! The Elders are kind of goofy.

Here is most of the Swedish, Danish, Belgim/Netherlands, Norwegian missionaries. We had a couple gone because they were sick. The guy in the grey suit on the far left is actually from Norway and is going to the Netherlands. He speaks PERFECT English.
Natalya ran into Elder Stott as well!

Syster Nielsen & Syster Mecham

I've been getting a lot of questions about the food... Here is an example.

Sister Mecham gets letters from her fam. :) Happy day!

What eating as a Zone looks like in the MTC.

Among the many things to choose from at the MTC, Eternal Life is an option.