Monday, August 28, 2023

Back to School Feast 2023-2024/Confidence

The 2023-2024 Nielson Family theme:
Last year, I took Lottie and her friends to a
While I waited for her on the couch in the lobby, I read a touching Instagram
 post by Elder Dale G. Renlund. 
He shared his heartwarming experience of visiting and ministering 
to the people of Guatemala City.
He met a young boy who asked him:
"How's Jesus"
Elder Renlund responded to him,
"Jesus loves you, and He has confidence in you, 
and you can have confidence in Him." 
This young boy responded with a big, knowing smile that filled my soul with joy.
I invite each of you to fill your souls with the 
knowledge that Jesus loves you, He has confidence in you, 
and you can have confidence in Him.
I experienced a powerful feeling while reading Elder Renlund's words. 
It was as if his words were directed towards me personally.
 The idea that God has faith in me has profoundly impacted my heart.
This is truly transformative, and I hope it will move Lottie and Gigs
 as they start the new school year.
On Saturday evening, the four of us sat down, 
ate good food, and discussed 
our goals, hopes, confidence, and dreams about the upcoming school year.

topped with brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry macarons

Of course, our table was NOT complete without our gorgeous
Particularly this year's theme star in Neopolton Ice Cream!
I can't wait to hang the framed theme on our wall, 
where we'll always see it and be reminded of its powerful words.
I shared the new theme a few weeks early with Claire 
in Arizona, my missionaries Jane in Portugal, and Oliver in Brazil. 
I asked for their thoughts on the theme, 
which I could share with everyone. 
Their messages were unique and beautiful, and I was deeply 
moved by their heartfelt words. As I read them aloud, 
I found myself struggling to hold back tears.

Claire said:
We're not perfect; sometimes, we're "slow to remember the Lord our God."
 But He will never turn His face from us. He loves us always, 
and He will bless us with help when we ask in faith, confidence, and humility.
I testify that we each have divine potential. 
That the Lord has great confidence in us and our future. 
We really can be confident in Him and His promises.
In this coming year, in the various phases of life that our family is in, 
middle school, high school, missions, college, work, 
and everything else in between, we can be confident that 
The Lord is with us and cheering us on. 
He is so confident in the Nielson family and what we're capable of. 
We can be confident in Him, too.
Sister Nielson (Jane) said:
On the mission, it is so ridiculously easy to compare EVERYTHING. 
Someone always looks better, speaks better, knows better, and teaches better. 
I think I have doubted just about everything about myself during my mission. 
All my gifts, talents, ability to speak Portuguese, ability to teach, 
my knowledge of the scriptures, and the personal revelation I have received. 
The one thing, however, that I never doubted was my testimony.
I have a loving Redeemer - who knows every stress, worry, sin, 
and trouble that I have, will, and am facing on my mission; 
this knowledge has given me the courage to trust.
Or, in other words, confidence in my Savior. 
Jesus doesn't want us to be embarrassed or doubtful of our skills all the time. 
He wants us to be confident people!
But, it is a different kind of confidence than high self-esteem. 
It is confidence in Him.
Elder  Nielson (Ollie) said:
...God knows it's hard. Life is busy, sad, and sometimes frustrating. 
Our dreams might now work out the way we want, 
or they might just take time (the Lord's time). 
Because of this, Jesus Christ carried out the Atonement.
So He can know exactly how we feel and how to counsel us. 
Because of this, we can have confidence in Him.
I love that it's a two-way street, have confidence in Him, 
and know that He has confidence in us. 
I love our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives, 
and I am confident that He will bless our family. 
I love y'all, and I think about you every day. 

Go, Nielson Family, Go!!!!!

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