Monday, August 24, 2015

You Only Grow in Your "Uncomfort Zone"

July 13th, 2015
Kära Familj och Vänner,

This week was really a great week. I have heard that this is the coldest recorded summer in Luleå for 50 years or something like that. But it's okay. After reading a little bit of what Sister Helmick is going through, I am grateful for the nice cool weather. Also, this week I had to eat a raw salmon sandwich... Literally a piece of nice and raw fish on top of bread. I prayed really hard that I would be able chew and swallow... And I am still here to tell the story. 

I also have just got to say how much I LOVE Syster Harkness! Oh my goodness, she is incredible! She is so good for me- she is logically minded and I tend to think emotionally. She reminds me when I feel down and depressed, like I am not doing enough, that we will NEVER be able to do enough. It isn't possible without Christ. She reminds me that and reminds me to stop stressing about little things. She is absolutely incredible! I think she is a red personality with yellow? I haven't quite figured it out yet. She is very charactered. She is one incredible missionary. 

On Tuesday I had a really defining experience for me. I really am grateful for it. It all started on Monday night when we got on a train ride headed to Umeå for a training with the Assistants and President and Sister Beckstrand. I was feeling guilty and anxious the whole train ride because I felt like I should talk to someone on that train but I didn't know how to go about it. I sat in that seat and picked at my split ends and slept because I wanted to avoid the feeling of needing to talk to someone. Over and over again it says in the scriptures "open your mouths" and things like "declare the Gospel to every creature" and such. I got off the train on Monday night and I hadn't talked to anyone and I really hated the fear inside of me. I sat in the meeting the next day and felt like a failure as a missionary and I hated the fact that I have so much fear! Yesterday we got on a about a four hour train ride to head back to Lulea and I made a resolution. I wanted to talk to at least one person. I sat on the train, with the many trees flying by and I said to God in my heart "okay Heavenly Father, I will just talk to one person on this train and offer them a Book of Mormon. But that is all I can do today." I also thought about what Noelle had challenged me to do- she challenged me to do something way out of my comfort zone. Going up and sitting by someone on a mostly empty train and offering them a Book of Mormon was waaaay out of my comfort zone. But I decided to do it. I got a Book of Mormon from Elder Halterman and I made Sister Harkness come with me and with my heart about to jump out of my chest (I was SO nervous) I walked up the train and sat down across from a man. I started talking about the Book of Mormon in Swedish. I offered him the Book of Mormon and he declined, but with a smile on his face he said he could look it up online. I gave him a pass along card and returned to me seat. I was so happy I was able to conquer myself! It was literally so scary for me, but it was so worth it. I felt the love and how proud my Heavenly Father was of me that I let me love for Him overcome my fear of man at least that one time. As I walked back to my seat, Elder Halterman looked at me with a huge smile and mouthed something like "yes!" He has been working on bus and train contacting too and he has been an inspiration to me to keep pushing myself. Something I learned recentely is that God does not expect perfection immediately, but that we keep pushing ourselves a little harder, a little bit more out of our comfort zone. I believe the most growing happens in our "uncomfortable zone." It defines you as a person and what you really are made of. I am not perfect- trust me. I don't talk to everyone. But I know God is proud when we show Him that we love Him more than we love the fear that is inside of us. 

I love you all so much! Keep pushing yourself to turn outwards, to think of others instead of yourself. I promise that there is a happiness to find that can't be found any other way.

Syster Nielsen

My Mission President and his wife. We had a special training this week. I love both of them sooo much. They are like my long lost grandparents.

Sister Harkness and I! I literally love Sister Harkness. I could not be happier- she is the PERFECT companion for me! And look how cute she is too!

Mom this is specifically for you! Look at this gorgeous tree. I am also thinking of Grandma Hansen too- she would love this. :)

This is Moa. She is in the branch in Luleå and she is headed next week on her mission to England. She gave her farwell talk yesterday. I love this girl! She will be an incredible missionary.

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