As the capstone to her studies, Nelson traveled to Ghana during the Spring of 2006, to document the faith and sacrifices of the pioneering saints in Africa. The trip was chaperoned by Richard D. Hull, a faculty mentor. Classmates GayLynn Pettersen Ribeira, Emmalee R. Glauser and Jesse Bushnell also participated in the trip.
Paintings inspired by the trip were displayed in the B.F. Larsen Gallery during fall 2007, and the artists were invited to discuss their work as part of BYU Women's Conference 2008.
In 2006, Nelson was awarded an Oscarson Discovery Grant which enabled her to relocate to Scottsdale, Arizona and intern at the Meyers Art Gallery.