February 27, 2010

Write Chanelle!

As you all know since reading her last letter...it sounds like she could use some extra love from family and friends. Even though her mission president set a rule of only writing family...she still can receive letters from friends so don't use it as an excuse!

If you want her address please e-mail me at: ShannaNeilsen@gmail.com or add her as a friend on facebook (which my mom is taking over) and her address will be right under her profile picture. From reading Chanelles' letters she sounds like she has a great attitude about everything. What a great example she is!

February 23, 2010

Mommy!! (February 22, 2010)

Hey family!

I hope that you got my short letter home. It has my new address and a picture I think. Or maybe she just put it on the blog.
To be really honest, It's crazy here!! I really mean it. They have a new approach that no other missionaries do in any other mission. This is total inspiration from the mission president. We are to invite other to come unto Christ, pray, and read the book of Mormon and be baptized all at the front door! It is the boldest thing I have ever done in my life. I ask people to prepare to be baptized as they are smoking in one hand and have a beer in the other. It is so crazy! and the other part is that some people actually say yes not fully knowing who we are or what our religion is about or why they have to change, but they just do it. some of them take time but most of them stop cold turkey and are baptized in two weeks. You only have to come to church twice before you are baptized and on the second Sunday you come is usually when the baptism is held.
Some times I look around and think, there is no way i can do this. This is crazy and no one will care about what I have to say because they can't even fix what they have now. I'm in Kingsland Georgia, west side of the railroad tracks or off the 95. This town is just one big trailer park. you talk about an extreme home make over! You haven't seen nothing yet. These people need homes. They live in homes that have fallen apart and are filthy and full of drugs, alcohol, and everyone smokes. You can assume at the door of every home that someone in their family does one of those things. Thats why i say that it is so crazy. These people have nothing to their name. Nothing! and here we come expect them to change and come to church and be baptized in two weeks time because God loves them and wants them to. It makes me want to cry to see what i see every day. But the best thing is. What do they have to lose? Nothing. They know God loves them and they know how to pray because they do a lot of it so we just ask them to give up what they already know they should. We are doing more than giving people the gospel but we are changing lives from the inside out. You have to be bold with these people because they know it's true but don't want to change so you have to push them in order for them to do it.
There is a young boy name Danta'e that i met that was baptized before i got here. He has done everything under the sun and had been living on the street and some friends Traylor when they would let him. The sisters were tracting in one of the trailer parks one day and found no success so they left without finishing the lot. They were then praying about where to go a couple days later and felt they should go back to the lot and finish. Unknown to them, danta'e was too scared and shy to talk to them and stop them from going home so he prayed they would come back and kept praying hoping they would find him. Luckily they did and he was baptized two weeks later. I asked him how he felt now being in the church (The church has really stepped up to help. They give rides to church, clothes, food, and watch out for him and take care of him) He said " Ya i like it, I got family now." I love him with all my heart and i would adopt him if i could and take him out of here. I feel that way about everyone i meet. But this is what the gospel has done for his life. He still lives in a trailer but at least he is not on the streets. He is out of drugs and we continue to help him makes it through. He doesn't know where his parents are because he moved out when he was 15! Life went downhill from there. We met one on his friends last night who kind of did the same thing. He had just got out of jail for doing drugs and is trying to clean up his life and sees that Danta'e has done it and thinks he can too. If we can just start with one hopefully it will have a domino effect on the rest because of his example. This is how crazy it is here.
Oh and Mom don't freak out, I am safe and live on the nice side of the neighborhood. We have two young men that live next to us and split the house kinda so I feel safe with them next to us, even though there not members. But it's cute and i like the apt. I get my own bathroom! The water here is terrible and everything taste how this place smells, because the water smells like that and we use water in everything. I think i got the smell down. It smells like eggs, wet dog, sulfur, and some kind of mildew. It's really wonderful. lol So I'm going to buy water today;)
Yes the kids can write me here at this e-mail. The president doesn't have rules on that part but we have kind of made a pact to write off all our friends in sacrifice of the mission. Oh and we sacrifice music too. I know crazy right!! That's what I've been telling you, it's crazy here. I can totally still write the family and they can write me so I'm hoping to get letters soon. and I want and e-mail or letter from Shanna. She has time and I miss her!
My ward here is a little different. No one really sings so when i sing normal I'm the loudest one. It's kind of embarrassing. My ward is small just because everyone moves in and out and most of our converts have gone inactive so we are trying to fix that. This place is next to a navy base so that is why people move a lot and there are a lot of Mom's and no Dad's. (Oh and everyone here has babies with dad's they don't know and five kids with different Dad's and everyone lives together here and have kids like there married but they're not. It's again, Crazy!)
We were taught the same thing in relief society yesterday too. It was good. I really love relief society. It's one of my favorite parts, one because sacrament is chaos looking for your investigators hoping they come and if they do answering all their questions and concerns; two because gospel principles is spent making sure your investigators stay and you can't answer the questions in class and three because finally I have time to sit down relax and enjoy relief society, unless someone is getting baptized then we have to fill the font and make sure the person is ready. Sundays are one of the most stressful wonderful days of the week. I love it.
I don't really know what else to say. Oh my companion's name is sister Johnson and she is a hard worker but I think she compares me too much to her old comp that just went home, sister Carstens. I think she gets frustrated too easy and her sarcasm is mean rather than funny. Our district leader Elder van Gendern agrees with me. We both don't understand it yet so we laugh until we do. His comp's name is elder bishop (really) and i don't really get him either but oh well. I'll learn to deal with it and if I don't like them It's my fault. They are hard workers and i trying to fill their old comps shoes. It's not even a week here, so I'm sure God will help me in making her shoes fit or making better shoes that fit and stay. I want gold solid converts that stay in the church after they are baptized and not go inactive after they are baptized. God has a plan for me and people to find. He will help me figure out why he sent me here. I just need to be obedient and press forward in steadfastness till the end.
I got a little Trunkey last night (that means thinking about home or missing something from home.) I miss my family. You all have been the biggest strength to be throughout my life and continue to be while i am here. I want letters from you and pictures and everything else. It's nice to feel that my family is behind me. I love hearing that you all are ok and doing really well. I'm going to send some pictures home on a cd so you can see all of my comps from the MTC and the picture there. I haven't really taken pictures here because the president doesn't like us taking too many pictures except we can on P-Days. We only can listen to motab but now no music at all because of sacrifice and we work out every morning. Run a half mile, 30 lunges, skip/ high knee for 30, 10 push up's, and 60 sit ups. It's good for me. I'm still in shape and hope to stay in shape plus this mission is 95% tracting. I tract in high heels believe it or not. The elders make fun of me but they don't hurt my feet and they look cuter than the flats. So I'm doing good here. I'm loving the work, cause let me tell you, it is work. They say that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It's true. I hit the pillow at night and i am out. I sleep better than ever before out here. It's nice.
Umm Write me a letter if I forgot something. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon. God loves you and will always answer your prayers. You just need to listen and pay attention to how he answers you. Continue to do the work there by going to the temple, going out with the missionaries and talking to your friends. I just found my mission scriptures/chapters as people call them here. It's D&C 33-35.It gives me strength everyday to talk to everyone I can and be bold and do not spare anyone. Read it and find your strength. I love this gospel with my whole heart and my testimony of this work only shines brighter as I see miracles of God's love for his children. Keep going strong, be a duck and love each other!
I love you all!!!!
your SISTER Pedersen

February 19, 2010

Letter from the Mission President

Good evening!

We just wanted to let you know that your wonderful missionaries have arrived safe and sound to the Florida Jacksonville Mission. The group has just finished dinner at the mission home, and are currently being interviewed by President Newman. After interviews, we will be taking a group picture which you can view later tonight on our blog at:
FYI ... P-days for most of the mission are each Monday, and they will be able to email you then to let you know where they have been assigned to serve. (Just a reminder ... when Monday happens to fall on a national holiday, those who use the public libraries will not have access to a computer, therefore, they usually email on Tuesday instead.)

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for all you have done to prepare this great group of new missionaries. We look forward to getting to know them as we serve our Heavenly Father here in the Florida Jacksonville Mission.


Sister Newman
Florida Jacksonville Mission

Last Day (Feb. 16th 2010)

Well i sent a big long letter to you and it deleted it because the computer decided to refresh itself~ Stupid!! I dont have enough time to write you so.. i dont know what to do.

I love you all. I got your package and loved it.
Please go on my facebook and find Heidi Quiel and tell her I would like if she could write me. I need her address.
I leave tomorrow morning at 4 am and I don't know if they still allow people to call home because someone told me we couldn't, so we'll see. I should be in Florida at 2:30 because we have a layover in Atlanta. I hope i get to call home so I can just tell you what my letter said. lol
I have loved my time here and am sad to leave but find that i'm excited to go as well. Some people hate it here but it's all in the attitude.

Christopher, your going to love it here. We have a new set of two districts and i love them already. Our other half of the district left on Monday so me and my comp. have been here for two days alone. I was sad at first but i feel if they didn't go first it would have been harder to leave here without them so it's a little mercy from the Lord.

Oh our last speaker was C. Scott Grow, He was good but i'll have to write you what he said later cause I dont have time but i love you all and tell sister Hokanson and the Coffman's that I'll write back soon.

Shanna I love you!!! I hope you know how much i think about you while i'm here. There are so many sister missionaries that remind me of you. It makes me instantly love them.
Oh i sleep with the butterfly every night and think of home cause it smells like you. (home) Please take to heart what i wrote in the letter home. It would mean alot to me if you would and it would help our family.

"Dont let a problem to be solved be more important than a person to be loved" President Erying

Tyler should totally come teach here~ He would love it and you get paid.

I love you all thank you for your support!!!!!

February 11, 2010

No Time!

I have hardly any time to write but here it goes. There is a letter coming to you but it is addressed to Christopher because it is his letter and he will share with you some of the things I have said but some of it is personal and if he wants to share it he can. I miss all of you like crazy. a lot has happened here at the MTC. three to five different districts came in and out of the building this morning. One of them holding is Elder Beaulieu Leaving for baltimor. It was crazy to see him. He is all grown up. He is was across the hall from me and I saw him daily. We took pictures that will come to you soon. I have also seen sister Susan Swanson, and Rachael Schwartz who are living in my building. She just got here this week. I have also seen two other people an elder and a sister from my dance team tweo years ago. it's weird how many poeple i know here.

Oh mom this is very important I need to have my immunizations faxed not mailed to the mission office here at the MTC or I can't go on my mission because I need a shot and they don't know which one, so do that as soon as you can. it has to be in by Tuesday so I can have the appointment Wednesday. Also, what happened to the undershirts? I'm dying here. Actually I'm so cold I need every layer I packed which is not very many. so cold!!!! Tell everyone I love them. I'm sorry Dad I haven't forwarded this to you because it will kick me off and I will lose the e-mail. This computer is timed.

But you will be jealous Elder deter F. Utchdorf came to speak to us my first week and Richard R. Hinckley came the second week!!!! It was amazing. They both talked about being a duck. Christopher will have to explain that one to you from his letter. They also talked about being the best you can be and get up and go to work. totally awesome!! I loved it. and yes Mom I'm taking notes and soaking it in. I have a another devotional tonight so I'll have to tell you who comes tonight. Oh and I leave the MTC the 17th at 4 in the morning and on the plane at 6. Crazy. I'm NERVOUS AND CAN'T BELIEVE IT! This is an amazing work! I love it so much i dont want to leave. I'm loving to learn everything but I'll learn alot more serving the people of Florida. I'm excited! I still love my companion and I found a lifelong friend in her. Mom she is on face book. her name is Talitha Cutler. She said you can find her and look at pictures. she's awesome.

The temple is amazing here. I get to go again today after this. I love the temple so much. If you can't go on a mission go to the temple. I wish i could live there and maybe someday I will. I love this work and I have grown and learned more here than ever in my entire life!

For Christopher and Kenny; be a duck, work together love each other and serve each other. Learn this now so when you get out here it will be a piece of cake.

Oh I have a calling as the new coordinating sister. i'm in charge of all the sisters in my zone. It's so fun, even though there are only four, we have only elders coming in. 16 to be exact! I'm loving it.
I'm up at 5:30 every morning exercising and you should be proud because I hate it! lol. it's a struggle but at least i'm not getting fat. lol.

Tell McKenna to send me pictures I love her, the boys are awesome and I can't wait to get their letters. I love you all and pray for you day and night!

your sister and daughter,
Sister Pedersen

P.S. tell me about the Coffman's!
Oh and e-mail me my mission home address I didn't write it down to give to people.
Dad I love you!!!!!!!!!!! Mom you know I do.... lol

February 2, 2010

My First Letter!

Just so this blog is easier to read I will be putting quotations around Chanelle's letter. Today someone from the MTC called my mom for something and mentioned how Chanelle absolutely LOVES being a missionary. We all couldn't be more happy for her. The sister that called my mom also bore testimony over and over again of how incredible a mission really is and how you are effecting more people than you will ever know. She said her family has grown so close while she has been serving a mission. I know that through Chanelle's mission our family will grow closer and the love of the Lord will penetrate our hearts.

"I only have 20 min's because I had to set up my account so I'm sorry if this is short. To start off, I LOVE MY COMPANION!!!! her name is Sister Cutler, she is so cute. She is a mix of four people. Sheryl Robinson, Corrine Hudson, Sister Bennion and me. imagine that! Crazy Fun!! She is funny. We laugh all the time and have great conversations together. Did I mention that she is 29. She doesn't look like it at all! She is from Utah and strong willed, but that makes her a hard worker and strong in what she believes in. My District is the same if not better. We have four elders and four sisters. I guess that is very small compared to some, but it is fun. There is are district leader Elder Inman and his companion Elder Anderson. they are the strong one's in the group. On time, always planning and thinking of ways to improve. I could learn a lot from them and continually do. Next is Elder Van Dyke and Elder Lancaster. They are the quiet ones in our district. next is Sister Stolp (yes, stop but with an L) and her comp. Sister Edwards. It used to be a three some with sister Stolp because sister Edwards was sick but then she Came in and took her away from us. lol She is the quiet one out of the sisters. and when I say quiet, I mean normal.

I love it here and am having a lot of fun learning and growing in the gospel. There are so many things that I wish I knew before, so Christopher, I'm making out a list for you. I have three other roommates that are learning Spanish so they are talking in Spanish all the time. So I guess I get my language part of the mission in a small way. They are awesome girls. They leave after I leave and they have been here longer than me. I don't think I could have lasted that long here. I love it here but I feel like I have already been here a month. The first day seemed like three! It was weird. there is so much to take in everyday. I'm now getting the hang of it.

I have to go but I will write a letter also with this e-mail. I love everyone of you and pray for you day and night. This gospel is true and it is amazing to see the growth you find in just one week. The mission president, President Smith says, "all the learning you will do here would have taken you 47 years to gain otherwise." I could not believe it. I have such a testimony of this gospel and what it does for people in their life. Teach others to come to Christ by being obedient to his work and share the gospel. He needs each and every one of us. He cannot do his work without us. If you feel you can't talk to random people, go to the temple. There are blessings in every aspect of this gospel no matter where you work or serve. You will bless someone's life just by being you ."

I'm still trying to work out the kinks in this blog so bare with me. If you have any questions you can e-mail me at: ShannaNeilsen@gmail.com. If you want her address add her as a friend on facebook or e-mail me.

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