Monday, April 27, 2015

Singing and Norrland Milk

Hejsan Family and Friends,

This week Sister Savage and I decided we would swing by some older, less active women from our branch. I suggested we sing for them because we are both very muscial, and I know how happy the people in the old folks home were when I did that with my family back at home. It was so sweet! I felt so much love for these cute, kind of crazy old people. We sang Nearer My God to Thee to one nursing home, and a sweet non-member lady sang along with us. There was also a crazy lady who asked us if we were from the Church, and then proceeded to tell us "Well you better be quite then!" It was great!

I love the Gospel and serving! I'll be honest, some days I wake up and don't feel like going on, but at the end of the day I feel so much happiness. Happiness I haven't felt like this before! How can you get rejected every day, only talk to your family once a week, live in a place that is still 35 degrees at the end of April and feel this much joy? It's because I get to represent Jesus Christ all day every day. Yes, it's still hard. Sometimes you just don't want to talk to anyone ever again, but the joy you feel is amazing!

Funny fact for the day: the milk they drink here is local- the milk I drink comes from Norrland Cows. It tastes different than the milk in American. Maybe it's less pasterized? 

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Syster Nielsen

This is from Sisters Conference. Cowboy and the Tin Man. :)


More Sisters Conference- All the Sisters in the Mission.

I'm a real Oregonian... Tree hugger for life! They are so green here. You even have to buy bags to put your groceries in. They are super particular about their recycling...

Missionary Life in Action: Daily Planning.

Sweden looks a lot like Oregon! Look at all those trees!

This is the "Godishuset" (Candy House). They had like 2 more walls that looked just like this... I bet Sterling, Annika, Naomi & Landon would love this!

Look what they have here!! I know my Scandinavian Geography super well because of this game!! I already knew where Boden was before I got here and now I've been there!

Thinking of my family! I really miss you and display this picture with pride!

Isn't Sweden gorgeous?!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Red Houses and Green Trees

April 20th, 2015
Hej Hej Familjer och Vänner!

Sweden is så vacker (so beautiful) in so many ways. The people are absolutely gorgeous and the countryside is amazing. Here in Luleå we share a car with the Elders that serve in Boden. So yes, I have been driving a car around in Sweden! How cool is that? This week we had to go to Umeå for Districts Conference (it's basically Stake Conference but we aren't a Stake yet), and I drove all the way from Umeå to Luleå yesterday! It's about a 3 hour drive, and we were squished in our small 5 man car with us two Sisters, the Boden Elders and one newly activated member of our Branch. There are tons of trees everywhere (just like Oregon!) and they have lots of beautiful red country Swedish houses. Sweden is really beautiful. Also it is starting to get really light here. I woke up at like 4 or so in the night sometime this past week and it was totally light out. I'm getting ready for 24 hours of sun! But no worries, I don't see any end to wearing tights in sight.

I had an awesome experience this week. I have been struggling a lot because I want to be "exactly obedient." They talk a lot in the MTC about the importance of keeping rules, and I am by nature someone who wants to keep rules and am perfectionistic about it. I got out here and started to really struggle because of all the grey areas, and I struggled because of the missionaries around me who weren't doing what I thought they "should" be doing. For example, we have iPhones here in Sweden and as you can imagine, that is an interesting one with so many young adults with those devices- even on a mission. Anways, I was having a lot of guilt because I felt like I wasn't being "obedient enough." But God knew what I needed. On Friday, our Mission President came up to Luleå and interviewed each of us. I expressed to him my concerns and said things that I needed to hear. He explained that the Spirit of the Law is a real thing, and He helped me understand that I don't have to be so high strung. My obsession with rules has caused some friction between my companion and I, but I am realizing how important it is just to love. My Dad also explained to me that not keeping the rules drives the Spirit away, but so does contention with your companion. He is so right. My companion is incredible and so loving, she is just different than me. But that is a good thing. God knew I needed to be with her so I could learn to relax a little bit. :)

This week I taught a lesson to an exchange student from Australia! She is soo cute and had such deep questions. In less than 3 weeks I have taught people from around the world- Australia, Poland, Iran, Africa, Sweden, Russia. Wow! I'm traveling around the world all in one city.

I love you all so much!

Sister Nielsen

This is Sister Nielsen and I! It's even spelled the same way!

One more with both Sister Nielsen's.

This is at Sisters Conference! This is Sister Hong- the Sister that took me contacting the day I got to the mission field.

Me and my incredible trainer- Sister Savage.

Sister Savage fell asleep on a hymnbook this morning... I had to wake her up. #onlyonamission

This one is silly. This explains Sister Savage though!

I loved my Easter package!! Thank you, thank you!!

Downtown Stockholm- I was there for Sisters Conference this past week. Sister Savage and I had to fly from Lulea.

There is Always Tomorrow...

April 13th, 2015

Hej Family and Friends!

This week flew by! I am learning that a mission is not everything you think in your head it is going to be. I am not a perfect missionary and I have a lot to improve on. I am so grateful for the Atonement and tomorrows. We can always start again. 

The Culture here is definitely different! Syster Bradley (of course) was spot on. We walk down a crowded street and it is pretty much silent. Same goes with the bus. The Swedes don't talk to eachother like Americans do. Case in point was when this week a woman heard the missionaries speaking English and she came up and talked to one of the Elders. She said she was from America! Haha! Only Americans. Americans are just loud and open. The Swedish people are more reserved. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just different. 

One quick experience. This week a less active member came to Church. She was baptized about 6 ish months ago. She is from Iran and she used to be a Muslim. Her faith amazed me. She came to Sweden and commented on how helpful and nice the Swedish people are. She hardly speaks any Swedish, but sat through all through all three hours of Church in Swedish, and she was just so grateful to be there. Her faith amazes me! She says she joined the LDS Church because she follows her heart and it feels right.  Wow! I want to have her humility. The people here are just incredible. They strengthen my faith.

I love you all so much!! I'm sorry that this week is a short email.

Syster Nielsen

MTC Zone picture I never sent home.

Sister Beatty!!
One of my MTC teachers, Brother Whitworth.

Sister Haynes, another MTC teacher!

In front of the Sweden Stockholm Mission Home.

Luleå Temple!! Just kidding... :)

Aldste Bradley!!!!

We had to take a 4 hour train ride to Umeå for zone conference this week.. Perks of living super far away from everything...


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hej Hej From the Far Reaches of the North!

Hej Familjer och Vänner!

I made it to Sweden! I am officially assigned to Luleå, the farthest north they send sister missionaries! The field is white- literally. There is still piles of snow up here! But no worries, the Gospel is keeping my heart warm, even if my hands aren't. And yes, if you told me when I got my mission call that I would fit right in here, you were right. There are so many light eyed and haired people here in Sweden! I seem like one of them.... until I open my mouth and my American accent peeks through. :)

The people here really need the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We get rejected a lot here. People are even unkind to us.. It has been hard for me! I don't understand why you would be rude to someone. Missionaries still have feelings. :) Last night Sister Savage and I were tracting apartment buildings in Gammelstad and I cried out to my Heavenly Father in my heart. I just didn't want to be rejected again. It's draining! Plus, my Swedish is still a work in progress and sometimes people look at me weird when I try and speak it. Anways, I prayed to my Father in Heaven for help to be strong. I felt comfort and strength come into my heart and I was filled with joy last night. What a blessing! We didn't find any new investigators last night, but I received yet another witness that God is helping and lifting me in this work.

My trainer is Sister Savage! She has been on her mission for about 7 months. She is an absolute sweetheart! She seems like a White personality to me. I am very dependent on her right now because her Swedish is much more advanced then mine. But that is okay. I keep praying and working for the gift of tongues.

We teach a lot of immigrants here. I believe  that God made it possible for them to come here so that they can here the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that it brings peace to our lives! Christ is the way and we all need his peace.

I love you all! Thank you for your constant support and love.

Sister Nielsen

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Safely in Sweden

This week we received an email from Natalya's Mission President: President Beckstrand. He informed us that Natalya had arrived safely in Sweden and would be serving as a companion to Syster Savage. He also sent a few pictures. We are so glad she made it safely and is doing the Lord's work!


The missionaries from the MTC arrive safely at the Airport.

Glimpse of Sweden.

Syster Nielsen and her companion Syster Savage pointing to Natalya's first area. The farthest North area in Sweden. It's above the Arctic Circle. BRR.