25 January 2012

My Joy Is Full


Greetings from the good ole' MTC. The days and months go by slow but the weeks fly by. I still don't understand how that works but it does. The language is going well.  The things I struggle with the most are tenses, reading the scriptures in Portuguese and just straight up trying to understand when people talk to me really fast. I speak it just fine :) But I'm not worried! I improve every week and continue to feel the Spirit every lesson. Speaking of the Spirit, yesterday the General Primary President came to speak to us in Relief Society. She was amazing. She showed a video clip that you may have seen.  It is called "My Joy Is Full".  It’s just a short video of Christ visiting the people and letting them touch His wounds. I literally cried through the entire thing. The video was so powerful (please watch it) and so was her talk. We were able meet her afterwards and I seriously hugged her for an entire minute.  It was the closest I felt to hugging my mama and I lost it.

Thank you so much for you letters and emails.  I love you all.  The Gospel is true.


Irmã Nelson

22 January 2012

..things are done in wisdom and order

"There may be times when we feel overwhelmed, hurt, or on the edge of discouragement as we are trying so hard to be perfect members of the Church. Be assured, there is balm in Gilead.
Let us listen to the prophets of our day as they help us to focus on the things that are central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The Lord knows us, He loves us, He wants us to succeed, and He encourages us by saying: “And see that all … things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that men or women should run faster than they have strength."
 --Dieter F. Uchtdorf

18 January 2012

One Month Down


How is everyone?

Can you believe it's been a month? I miss everyone so much! This week went by so fast. The language is coming along and my knowledge of the gospel is improving. It's crazy when you're here for nine weeks all the Elders and Sisters that come and go and we still have so much time left in the MTC. In some ways I feel like I've been here FOREVER but with my small knowledge of Portuguese I feel like I've been here for only a short time. I seriously can't tell you how much all the mail I receive means to me. All of you're testimonies strengthen mine!

We got our new teacher last week, Brother Mateer who is from Scotland and served with Mac Cobb. He's a great teacher and takes the Gospel very seriously which is exactly what we want in an instructor. My other teacher which we've had since day one is also amazing. She served her mission in Brazil so her accent is a little different but we learn just fine.

Our district continues to get closer everyday and we had a little party on Saturday with all the stuff mom sent. My roommates were so thankful for the cards and lotion. I ran into Emily at the temple yesterday and I about died. She is such a loving friend and she brought me some diet coke! It was so nice to see her and take some cute pictures.

I'm still obsessed with my companion. We get along so well and quote movies and YouTube all day. She's so amazing in lessons and is so good at the language. One thing I've learned in a discussion is it doesn't matter as much if you are fluent or not, but if you invite the Spirit and truly show love to your investigators by testifying this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and our purpose in life is to return to Our Heavenly Father, they will feel the Spirit and that's why they continue to invite you back. They may not understand half of the things you said but they felt the powerful feeling of the Holy Ghost testifying our message is true.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity to be here. I thank my Heavenly Father over and over for all His blessings and for calling me to serve. I can't wait for Portugal. I can't wait to meet and fall in love with the people. We are ALL God's children and deserve to have this Gospel. And I'm lucky enough to bring it to them. I'm continuing to fall in love with the scriptures and I know without a doubt that they are the word of God. I love all of you so much.
You are all in my prayers. Keep the Faith :)
Irmã Nelson

10 January 2012

I am trying to be like Jesus.

WeeK Four


What's up outside world?  I miss everyone so much! This week was good, it flew by SO fast!  I can't believe I'm almost to my half way mark.  On Saturday I will only have one month left in the MTC!  I'm kind of in mourning though; half of our branch left and I was very close to many of the missionaries in the branch.  Big Nick (Elder Hopkins) left for Montana and John Sheen leaves for Oregon TOMORROW!   My friend Tysen arrived at the MTC this week so that makes me happy.

The Provo Temple finally opened so we were able to go this morning at 6:30am.  It was so great.  I've missed the temple so much. It definitely made my entire week. I'm bummed because everyone talks about how good the food is in the Temple cafeteria but it’s closed on Mondays which is our p-day. Our district gets very excited to have our Temple walk on Sunday because we are able to leave the MTC grounds.

UMMMMMM you can totally tell that we've been here too long. Our humor has gone way down hill and my district and I think the most ridiculous things are now funny and entertaining.  

My companion still rocks. She said this is the longest she has ever been around someone and she still likes me. :)
I'm getting better with the language.   Some nights it's discouraging when you think you should know more by now than you do, especially when someone speaks in Portuguese who is really good and you're like uhhhhh, what the heck did you say? I ONLY UNDERSTAND BROKEN AMERICAN TRYING TO SPEAK PORTUGUESE-PORTUGUESE!  I'm sure it will come so I'm not too worried.

On a more spiritual side, this week we were constantly being taught about receiving revelation through prayer.  It is so true!  If you pray for inspiration for your investigators and their needs you really do receive answers!!!  I love it.  It makes missionary work worth it.  We usually teach different investigators 2-3 times a day and my favorite topic to teach is the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I love inviting the Spirit into our lessons and helping them feel our Savior's love.

I have become obsessed with scripture study.  It's become my favorite part of the day.  I am in Alma chapter six and I'm loving it.  I seriously have such a testimony of the scriptures and of their truth. I LOVE IT! I received a letter from little Jenn today (serving in the Paris mission).  She seriously is one of the strongest Sisters I've ever met.  She is so spiritual and has an amazing testimony that makes my testimony stronger. 

Thank you everyone for your sweet letters. It means so much to know that you are thinking of me.  I pray for all of you so many times a day.  You are all amazing and inspire me to be a better missionary. It really is true about missionary work and obedience; if you obey with exactness you will experience wonderful blessings.

 LOVE YOU ALL!  Please send me pictures when you get a chance and it you want to write please do it through dearelder.com so I have time to read them.

Irma Nelson

03 January 2012

Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah! It's so crazy to think that I've already been here 3 weeks!


This week was good the Portuguese is getting easier. We have taught a ton of lessons and things are starting to make a lot more sense. The devotionals and firesides are so good and they always address the exact things I need to hear that day. It always relates back to our purpose as missionaries. I keep meeting people that have served in Portugal and I hear the BEST things about it and President Torgan. :)

Our branch is made up of mostly Portugal missionaries and some Brazilian missionaries who don't have their visas. But 21 of them are all leaving tomorrow from my banch. It's so funny we have this thing that started with my favorite sister missionary. She's tiny and from Ecuador and she curls her eyelashes with a spoon. The Elders were giving her a hard time so it turned into this thing where you sneak spoons into people's pockets, coats and purses without people knowing.

We get our new teacher tomorrow! We've only had Brazilian Portuguese speaking teachers and this will be our first continental (Portugal) Portuguese speaking teacher so they will actually speak the dialect we need to learn! I can’t wait.

Well sorry I don’t have much time and I don't have much to report other than I'm doing great, my companion is sweet, I'm in good health and my hedgehog is happy. I love how strong the Spirit is here and I continue to grow closer to my Heavenly Father. Thank you all for your love. It means so much to me when you write. Send me some pictures! I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Have an amazing new year!
Irma Nelson :):):):)

Merry Christmas from the MTC!

I don’t get to call home, there’s too many missionaries and not enough phones so don't wait around! today was so great i miss all of you so bad especially today but i have to be perfectly honest today might have to be one of the most memorable Christmas’s I’ve ever had. mostly because I’m not with you guys. (here I’m not allowed to say "guys" because we are all either elders of sisters) BUT YOU ARENT! so i can say guys guys guys ALL I WANT! HEEEEEEEEEEHE! guys.
ok well today was amazing we woke up and opened presents which was fun because we had a little charlie brown tree that is seriously 2 inches tall and we all gathered around it and opened our gifts. thank you mama for all the nice presents! Oh, and last night my district and i sat in a circle and went around and took turns reading the Polar Express (they got really into it) it made me feel a little piece of home and they all loved the bells, and Christmas hats and the twinkling Christmas tree. it was so funny, we plugged in the tree and one of the elders in my district got a string of Christmas lights and so with all of that up while we went in our classroom we would find random people just sitting in our room with the lights off looking all the twinkle lights and we'd come in like ummm can we help you and they’re like oh sorry is this your room? its just so pretty and festive. i just got my pictures developed of the day i reported of all of us and i about died. i love you all so much. okay this email is going to be all over the place I’m sorry but i have limited time so I’m just spewing out thoughts.
This morning Elder Bednar came to out sacrament meeting!!!! it was so cool he's such a powerful speaker. he talked about the "character of Christ" and i remember hearing him speaking on this topic before but it was so spiritual today that i was in tears with my companion at the end. before he closed he was telling us about selecting where the missionaries get to go on out missions and he was like you all aren’t just in this big stack in an office with someone pointing to a map and deciding where you will serve. he said they all sit down and carefully pray about each individual missionary and where they will go. it made me feel so special. i know this next year and a half are NOT about me, i am NOT serving for myself, I’m not learning Portuguese for my selfish benefit. i am solely here for the Lord. I’m learning Portuguese to bring HIS children unto Christ. because we ALL deserve this gospel. i don’t dress up anymore for myself; i don't put on makeup for myself anymore. i put it on because i am a representative of Jesus Christ and that’s what is most important. EVERYTHING we do as missionaries relates back to our purpose. to invite others to come unto Him. i was meeting with my teacher in guided study one night and she was just asking how everything was going and i said I’m tired, a little overwhelmed and a little discouraged and she said i know it’s hard I’ve been there. She asked me what helps you keep going? and i said the letters from my family and friends that encourage me to keep pressing forward. i need to stop thinking oh poor me, and like Bednar said to show 'character of Christ’. In moments where we would all turn inward (become selfish, self centered), Christ turns outward (love charity etc).
Irmã Nelson

Called to Serve

On August 5th, 2011 family and friends gathered around Whitney both in person and via webcam, anxiously waiting to find out where she had been called to serve a full-time, eighteen-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon opening her call, we were all overjoyed to find out that she was called to serve in the Portugal Lisbon Mission! Whitney was overwhelmed with excitement after learning of her new and challenging assignment. She immediately began looking forward to the day that she was to report to the Provo Mission Training Center on December 14, 2011, officially beginning her service.

It just wouldn't be right if Whitney left without saying bye to her Provo crew. Lots of hand shakes, tender words and funny memories were shared as she made her grand exit waving the Portugal flag.

Then on December 14th, Sister Nelson began the best journey of her life. After having two Polynesian missionaries carry her bags (not a bad way to start the day!), friends running through the MTC grounds to say goodbye and quick and sincere hugs, she was on her way... and she was beaming with joy.

Leaving behind her beloved family and friends, she is now devoting all of her time, talents, efforts, and whole heart into serving Jesus Christ and the people of Portugal.