Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm Toilet Paper on the Counter

Inspiration that struck me while I was...well I'll let you figure that out. Toilet paper. Instead of replacing the roll on the holder, have you ever just placed it on the counter? After some introspection, I discovered two main reasons for this behavior. Number one, I am just "too busy" at the moment, and number two, I feel that I have sufficiently satisfied my duty to the person that follows if I just stick the roll on the counter rather than putting it properly in the holder.

On a six-ply level- How easy is it for us to live our lives this way? Filling our lives with everyday to the point that we are "too busy" that it is all we can do to just satisfy our duty to the next guy. Lately, my toilet paper's been on the counter, and there it will remain as a reminder for me to take a step back, laugh, and count my blessings. Take a step back because heaven's perspective is always better than your own. Laugh because its time to cut yourself some slack, and count your blessings because they are given with love and in abundance.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Heroes: My Older Brothers

There are some events in life that are so significant, you use them to measure time. There is the time before the event, and then the time after the event. One such event happened in my family four years ago. It was a usual beautiful summer day in my hometown, I was at work delivering pizzas and as I was just about to leave to take a delivery, my uncle comes into the restaurant and pulls me aside. He says, "Alex, you need to go to Grandpa's and Grandma's as soon as you can, you're mom sent me find you. Nathan's been killed." My world seemed to stop at that moment. 
Nathan Winder

When my brother Nathan was about two years old, my parents adopted him from a Korean orphanage. He became a citizen of the United States soon after that and following graduation from high school, he joined the army and served his adopted country with all of his heart. In January 2007, soon after finishing medic school, Nathan was deployed to Iraq.

I don't know a lot about the politics of the Middle East, and I am terrible at keeping up with the current events of what goes on over there, but I do know that my brother believed in what he did there. I know that he cared for the people that he worked with, both those that served a long side him, and those they worked to help. Soldiers have always been special to me, simply because they are willing to sacrifice so much, and a lot of times, it is for people they don't even know.

As I think about the tragic death of my brother, it helps me, in some small way, comprehend the atonement of the Savior. Jesus Christ is our older brother. Though we may not know him personally, he knows us, and loves us. He gave his precious life for our freedom, not the freedom that our soldiers have fought and died for, but a greater freedom from death and sin. Because of the Savior, I know that I will be able to see my brother again.  In Alma 7:11-13 it says

11. And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

 As Alma, I have a testimony that these things are true. Jesus Christ lives, and he has done all of this for us. He has suffered everything we could ever feel, and he is there to help (or succor) us with our own suffering. I have felt His love for me several times, and never more than when I felt the ache of Nathan's death. I am grateful for the ultimate sacrifice of my brother, that those in Iraq may have the chance at freedom, and also for his service to this country.

We celebrate the freedom we are blessed with each year on the Fourth of July, because of these men and women that have given their blood for our freedom and our rights. It's my hope that it's not just once a year that we remember and celebrate the freedom that Jesus Christ has given us, that we will use the atonement and not let His sacrifice and suffering for us go to waste.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How's the adjustment?

Home from the mission.

Got off the plane- cried.
Was introduced to my new soon-to-be-sister-in-law aka, my best friend
Joined the army
Got a nano
Grew a mustache
Rejoiced in my jeans
Wore cowboy boots to my talk in church
Shunned movies
Played the guitar
Met Mitt Romney

Ok so I made some of those things up. It has been so cool to catch up with everyone. My mission has truly shaped me so you should check out some of the older posts to see what I did as a missionary.

So I think I'll keep this blog going..and try to keep it somewhat spiritually oriented. Any suggestions? Anything you'd like to hear about?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sculptors of Life

“Sculptors of life are we, with our uncarved souls before us. Everyone of us is carving a soul.”
-President David O. McKay

Here are just a few experiences that have shaped me.
I guess I'll claim 'em ;)
My family
Dad taking time for me-shooting hoops, reading to us at night when i was really little. Mom calling us together for family prayer. Brian picking me up from a curb after I'd bombed a test and taking me to ice cream. Kevin, growing nasty mustaches. Yearly birthday letters from my Grandparents wishing me happy birthday and sharing their testimony of the Savior. Working in Grandma and Grandpa Stubbs yard. Yeah, wasn't a fan of that one at the time but it taught me a lot :)

Coolest girls I know
Good Friends
The kind that make you laugh at yourself. The ones who challenge you to be more than you are but accept you where you're at.
Snowmobile. 4 feet of snow. Me and my brothers. Stuck.
Making mistakes, overcoming grief, standing up when everyone else is sitting down, pulling out of stagnation. Giving it to Jesus Christ and applying the gospel teachings to my life. There always seems someone to turn to when I'm at a low. One time, my mission president's wife just called me up out of the blue and asked how I was doing. Little did she know, I had been praying all morning for an angel.

Richard Pape, Steven Jones, me, Sister Nielsen, and Sister Kao
Being converted as I help convert others. Just one example, being able to see Steven accept the gospel of Jesus Christ just months prior to his death. He accepted the truth so quickly and happily. His strong and simple faith was a great example to me. I know that I will see Steven again as will his family.

I realize that the greatest gifts in life truly come from family and dear friends. All centering in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this is the way to things that are real and true. Herein lies true and lasting happiness.

"Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others."
-Elder Wirthlin

I know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ allows God to sculpt us into the best we can possibly be-even as He is (Moroni 7:48). Because of Him, life is good. It is beautiful. We can have joy even as we carry great burdens.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Here's your sign...

We saved a turtle.  Some might call us hero's, others just good citizens.  I prefer just to be called a
missionary: one sent to do charitable work in a territory or forigen country.  It all happened last week we were driving down a typical country road.  Thanks to Sister Stubbs' sensitive eye we dodge our reptile friend just in time.  These are the country roads mind you so coming to a complete and sudden stop is not considered an unsafe move.  Just the thought of leaving him there with one and a half lanes of road to still cross made us ill.  We found a comfortable box to put him in, made sure his seat belt was secure, and kept a watchful eye out for a safe home.  Turtles do not belong in the middle of the road.  We played the phone a friend card, and with some help from Google I'm sure, they informed us that our little friend, who we lovingly named Gary, belongs in a muddy wet habitat.  Having a slight understanding of what kind of environment we were looking for, and where to find it amidst all the farm land we pressed on.  Not five minutes later we came to a road sign...GARY LN.  Hello red flag, I think we will stop here.  Not twenty feet from the sign was the ideal home for any turtle named Gary.

I admit my missionary nerdiness regurlarly.  Now is no exception.  As I thought about this experience I thought a lot about all the people that I often talk with about signs and answers from God.  Might seem crazy, but I am grateful for the GARY Ln sign because it is hard to say how long we would have been looking for a home for our beloved friend.  He could have died on our watch!  And really we have more important work to do.  I consider it a serious tender mercy from Heavenly Father.  People are constatnly looking for signs and answers to help them better understand what God wants for them.  Too often we are watching for some giant display from the cosmos or a literal sign on the street to tell us what to do.  Although that would be super convenient its not how it works.  Heavenly Father requires faith, and patience to hear the gentle whisperings of the spirit that are sent to give us answers.  I am reminded of a group of peole in the Book of Mormon:

Helaman 16:
13...there were great signs given unto the people, and wonders; and the words of the prophets began to be fulfilled.
14 And angels did appear unto men, wise men, and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy; thus in this year scriptures begn to be fulfilled.
15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom saying:
16 Some things they may have guessed right, among that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.
22 And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wroght among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land.

Everyday God sends us the answers that we are begging for.  As hard as it may be to admit it we all at times harden our hearts and depend on our own strength when the signs are there.  I testify that if we watch with a sensitive heart we will recognize the answers and the signs from our loving Heavenly Father. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Choose your own Adventure

I love this video because of her personality and testimony! The gospel is for everyone and it helps us take on our individual goals. I know that the gospel helps me be my best self and live the dream!

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to help one of our friends quit smoking. She is so determined, she even let me film her crushing her cigarette! I know that she will succeed and that it is through her faith in Jesus Christ that it will happen. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of her adventure.

Please share how God has helped you live happily!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who's Got Your Back?

Christmas last year was my first Christmas away from home. My parents were going to send me a package and they asked me what I wanted for christmas. I told them to send me Emma (see above with bazooka and utility belt), my teddy bear. You might be thinking 'lame.' I thought so too, but then I met "Blankie," Sister Nielsen's blanket, Sister Patterson's sword (yes she slept with it), Sister Winder's chocolate, Sister Barnes' turtle, and Sister Austin's sock (don't ask).

We all have things that we lean on when we get sad, discouraged, scared, lonely, etc. These things, though of value in their own right, can bring only temporary relief to our trials. God gives us a way to overcome and have lasting peace through the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is also known as the Comforter John 14:16-17;26 because it is the peace that comes when we cast our burden on the Lord. It is the still small voice that guides us to truth, and leads us to safety when in danger.

He sends us the Holy Ghost or the Spirit to sustain us in our trial. The Spirit tells us there is more to life than what is before our eyes. God has a plan for each of us individually and specifically, He knows our potential and restores our hope through the Comforter.

I have felt the Spirit through feelings of peace, love, and a desire to be more than I am. Recently, I have felt the sadness that comes from the passing of those that are dear to me. Though that grief is necessary, I felt great comfort in taking it to the Lord. I know that the Spirit is real. I felt it as I prayed. I actually feel stronger and have more desire to live and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Member Missionary Work: More Than Just a Good Example

As a missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is our job to share the gospel with everyone we see. We have volunteered to do this for eighteen months because the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought us the greatest happiness we have ever known. Knowing why we're here, where we were before we were born, and where we're going after we die brings us peace. As children of God, we are all entitled to this knowledge, and to the blessings that accompany being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but with these blessings, also comes a great responsibility.

Sharing the gospel can be terrifying! Believe us, we know! It's hard to talk about something that's so dear to you because you don't want it to be rejected. We also hear that there are two things you never talk about with people, politics and religion. However, these are the things that are important and matter in life. When we are baptized into the church, we all make a covenant with our Heavenly Father that we will share the gospel with others, not just be good examples, or wait for our friends to ask us about the church.

In the February 2011 Ensign, there was a wonderful message about sharing the gospel entitled How Great Shall Be Your Joy by President Henry B. Eyring. He teaches of the happiness that accompanies sharing the gospel, and about the duty we have as members, not just missionaries, to share the gospel with others. The promises given to those that put forth the effort are amazing. God has promised us that we will have the Holy Ghost help us know what we can say (D&C 18: 16-18)We are also promised that if we exercise our faith, we can be led to those that are prepared to hear our message.

As missionaries, we have seen miracles as members get involved in missionary work. We are grateful for those that make sacrifices to help the work roll onward. Wonderful bishops, ward mission leaders, and other auxiliary members spend hours helping the full-time missionaries with their efforts. Without them, our work would be in vain.

What blessings has the gospel brought into your life? Who do you know that need those blessings in their lives? What can you do today to share the gospel with others?

Please let us know if you know someone that has questions about the church. Or if you have questions about sharing the gospel. Part of our job as missionaries is not only to share the gospel, but also to help the members be more effective in their efforts to reach out to their friends.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Love Utah

I was raised in Utah-the greatest snow on earth. I have been LDS all of my life. Most of family are members of the church. Perhaps, I was raised in a bubble with protective parents and there is a lot about life that I just don't understand.

So it makes me wonder: what it would have been like if I had not been raised a mormon.

Would I have been willing to:
All this to join a church? The list of sacrifices people make could go on.

I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had as a missionary to help me to gain a better appreciation for those who overcome hard things for the sake of joining the true church. I learn from their sacrifice. I pray for them and cry with them as they struggle.

People tell me all the time that "you just don't understand," and they are right. That is why I am on a mission. I know that I do not understand where people are coming from, but there is one who does understand- PERFECTLY, and He is the one of whom I invite all to come unto.
The message I want to share is that it is in the midst of these trials that we develop our personal faith in and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Only He perfectly understands. He is the one who has overcome ALL things and knows how to help you to do the same.

I was reading in 1 Kings 17 of the story of Elijah the prophet. He was told to go to a widow for sustenance. When he met her, the widow was preparing for the last meal she and her son would have before they died of starvation. I love the way vs. 13 goes: "Fear not, go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son." Imagine the faith of Elijah to ask such a thing of her. Imagine the faith of the widow to obey, and she did. The scripture tells us that because of her faith they did eat many days.

I testify as we put God first in our lives and go forward with faith, those seemingly large obstacles will diminish in size with the blessings recieved from accepting the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Feed my Sheep"

How do we show our love for the Savior Jesus Christ? In John 14:15 he says, "If you love me, keep my commandments."   In Matthew 22 He tells us what the greatest commandments are: to love God, and love others as we love ourselves. In Mosiah 2:17 learn that when we are in the service of our fellow men, we are only serving God. So, to show our love for others, and more importantly God, we can do service. 
    How better do we show our love for him, and our gratitude for what He has done then to serve others?  When Jesus Christ was once talking to his disciples, he asked them if they loved him, they of course said yes. Jesus Christ then told them - "Feed my sheep". 

What are some of your ideas? How do we feed Jesus Christ's sheep?  

What are some experiences you have had of acts of kindness? Whether you were giving, or receiving?   
What can you do this week that would show your love for the Savior?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shout Out In Walmart

The other day we were walking through a Walmart when out of nowhere this lady shouts to us, "Jesus is Lord and Savior!" (southern accent) Recognizing our attire, no doubt, this woman knew who we were.

What went through my mind was first, Why is someone shouting? My second thought was What does she mean? Either she thought we didn't believe in Jesus Christ so it was a quick attempt to save our souls, or she was really excited to see us 'youngins' out spreading the word about Jesus Christ and wanted to add her witness to our own unsung sermon.

We assumed the latter and shouted after her "Yes ma'am! Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior!"

We do believe in Jesus Christ. In fact, that is what our message is all about. We teach people how to come unto Jesus Christ. The same Christ spoken of by the mouth of the apostles in the Bible. The same Christ who died on the cross and was risen three days later. The Christ who atoned for the sins of the world. I know that He lives. I know He is here for us today. Because of that faith in Jesus Christ I know that the heavens are still open. Jesus Christ's church is here today functioning under His direction through a living prophet Thomas S. Monson. That is our message to the world. I have prayed for myself to know. Will you pray to know that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today?

Exciting things happen in Walmart when you're Mormon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Cupcake Bus

Today is Sister Barnes brithday! She is a sister missionary that lives in the same apartment we do. Birthdays have a way of making you think about time, and how it passes so quickly. It may cause you to reflect on what you've done with time so far, and how you can better use your time to do things that will last.

How I use my time now will affect my future-

How does God want us to use our time? In Alma 34:32 we are taught that now is the time for us to prepare to meet our Heavenly Father, which gives us a purpose to life.  If we spend our time doing what God wants, will we eventually be blessed? There are countless scriptures and testimonies of prophets that help us understand that if we keep the commandments, we will prosper in the land (see 1 Nephi 2:20, Alma 37:13, Alma 50:20, 2 Nephi 1:9, and for a longer list, click here). Our job is to exercise faith and experiment on their words. This is how we gain our own testimony (or knowledge Christ's gospel).

It's our tesimony to you that if you use your time the way God commands, you will be blessed. Greater happiness comes as we live the commandments and follow the living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Pray and ask Heavenly Father his will concerning your life, and He will answer. God loves you. You are His child and He wants you to be happy.

Picture taken while on our travels -  (c) February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

All Things Denote There is a God

Alma 30:44
... The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Deep Thoughts of a Missionary with a Minor Concussion

My name is Sister Nielsen and I have a concussion.
So there I was, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, laying in the middle of an icy parking lot. Yep, I'm totally graceful!  
Here are some of my deep thoughts since the incident.

Why am I really here?

Why are we here? I don't mean, Why are we here in Hopkinsville?, or What are we doing here in this parking lot? What I want to know is, What is the purpose of life? Life is full of hard experiences that cause us to pose these questions. Where can we turn for answers? The scriptures are a great source of information and truth. In John 15:11 Jesus Christ teaches us that we are to have joy, the same is taught in 2 Nephi 2:25 - men are that they might have joy. What brings us true joy?

True joy comes from how we spend our time. Often we get caught up in our day to day. We get "too busy"; going to work, the gym, the grocery store, school, and dealing with kids. Sometimes we feel like all we can do is survive. But when we take a step back, we realize there is something more. True and lasting happiness comes from our Savior Jesus Christ and following Him.

I know that through faith in Jesus Christ, we can stay focused on what is truly important. He gives us the courage to change our lives for the better, and as we do our best, there is a strength beyond our own that helps us retain this true happiness.

There is so much more to God's plan for us. To learn more about this Plan of Happiness visit
Turns out, there is more to learn than to just walk carefully on ice.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Sister Stubbs, Sister Nielsen, and Sister Winder are missionaries with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  We fulfill this purpose as we share the things we love and know to be true, and those things that bring us the greatest happiness.

We hope that through our experiences and the things we share, you too can grow closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and enjoy the blessings of the gospel.

If you have any questions, you can find us on facebook -  Sister StubbsSister Nielsen , and Sister Winder. Or, you can visit
Ya'll come back now, ya hear!