Monday, July 16, 2012

Short and (Bitter)Sweet

Well....this is it I guess. I still don`t really feel like I am actually going home even though my bags are all packed and weighed and all that is left out are my boots my rain jacket and my triple and my backpack. I don`t really know what to write because I suppose we will be talking a lot on Saturday. We had a change of plans and we are actually going to the temple on Wednesday instead of Friday and I have to go to the temple all by myself because my companion can`t come and President didn`t want me to pay for a joven to come with that should be pretty weird. I will still be attending the sealing of the Carrapia Hernandez family and I am very excited about that.

I guess I just want to apologize before hand because I am going to be a very strange person when I come home. I am already starting to feel kind of frantic because I really just want to stay here and work and find, teach and baptize. But I will do my best and just like you ask that I be patient with y`all I will probably need to same. Well....I have a couple of other things that I need to do with this hour and so I love you all and I will see you on Saturday.


Elder Nelson

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Last Full Week

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                                          

I really can`t believe that it is Monday again. You just get so caught up in the week that you don`t notice the time passing and then all the sudden it is Monday again and here we are in the internet café writing the family again. Well I am gonna answer the questions first. The new offices are on the temple square. They built them in the apartments where the sister missionaries working in the centro para visitantes used to live...but there is no CV anymore so they built them there. The sign is on the bottom of the staircase because everything from the base level up to the 5th floor is the office. (The area doctor and the office couple and the secretaries live in the offices). The inside of the offices looks exactly the same as the picture of the Ostler family in visiting Elder Swenson. Originally (when I was an assistant) the offices were in Tecamachalco because that is where the Area Mexico offices are and that was where the church had space for us. But the offices now are right outside the Aragòn stake center and so it will be a lot easier for mail and everything.

This week we had a lot of good things and a lot of bad things happen. We had an assistance of 17 from Santa Ana Hueytlalpan this week in Sacrament meeting so things are looking really good there. We had three Melchizedek Priesthood eligible men attend (we need 7 to make a branch) and one young man was ordained a deacon. The bad part is that all of our investigators from Tulancingo didn`t go to church...which is funny because we only work 1 day a week in Santa Ana and the other 6 in Tulancingo. Go figure.

Also one thing that has been bugging me a little bit is that I sent a package home about 3 months takes a long time for packages from Mexico to get to America so it isn`t lost...but could you pray that it get there please? It didn`t have that much in it just the jeans and shoes and stuff that I didn`t want to throw away but that didn`t fit in my suit cases. Thanks.

Well the 4th of July I was in divisions with another American, Elder Quist, but we forgot that it was the 4th...such great Americans we are. It is such a blessing to live in the U.S. and have the order and freedoms that we have there.

Good for Allison, I think she will be a good missionary. Anyone is if they can learn to deny themselves and follow Christ. Tell her I said good luck and to tell her that the mission is a lot like a cross country race.

As for traveling on a matter of fact we are the only mission in all of Mexico to do things the way we do them. Most missions send missionaries home on Monday or Tuesday but since we are the best mission in the whole world we have to do things our way.

GOOD NEWS!!!! I just heard that the Carrapia Hernandez family (the first family that I baptized in Campestre Aragòn) is getting sealed!!! They are going to be sealed on the Friday 20th at 12 noon. The good news is that since the missionary going home session doesn`t start until 2 pm I get to go!! That is the best way to finish a mission and I am soo excited for them. I won`t be traveling to D.F. until the 20th I think but I haven`t really thought about it that much.

It feels a little surreal that this is my last full week of work. I still feel I still have a whole year left in the mission. I have been praying every night that I not realize how close it is and that I can keep my focus so that is an answer to a prayer. Every time I think about how this is my last full week it gives me an energy boost because I have to talk to everyone in all of Tulancingo in 2 weeks.

This letter is a little short because I really just want to go work. I know that the Lord is preparing souls for us to save in this moment and that thought doesn`t let me rest or slow down. When I peer into the face of my Savior Jesus Christ on that great day of judgment I want Him to be smiling. I am anxious to please Him and I know what He expects of me. I aim to please and serve Him...and I figure that everyone else I am trying to please will be happy with me if I can achieve to make Him happy. Thanks for your prayers....please pray that we can find solid investigators and families to leave for Elder Reynoso.


Elder Nelson 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Burning Witness

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                                       July 2, 2012

Sorry for making you hack into my account every week but I figure I might as well send pictures anyways since you can hack in. I sent the picture of me in front of the sign on the new offices. I don`t know exactly what you`re looking for or if you want one of me IN the offices but I still have one more shot to get the pictures so let me know.

This past week was a hard but rewarding week. On Thursday we had my last zone leader council in Aragòn. This was number  17 for me and I have been going to these for so long that I don`t know what I am going to do next month when I`m not invited. At the end of each zone leader council the zone leaders that are going home before the next council have to stand up and bear their testimonies…so this time it was my turn. I have seen so many great missionaries stand and bear powerful witnesses of revealed truth so I was a little nervous. I haven`t been nervous in a really long time and so it was kind of strange to feel that way again. As I stood up the precise words that I wanted came out and I felt the spirit so strongly witnessing to me that the Lord had made all my hopes and dreams come true. Ever since day one my main goal has been to become the missionary that God would have me be and that I would accomplish all that the Lord had prepared for me in the mission. I felt a burning witness that I had become what God had wanted me to become...I obviously have much more to go and I still have 3 weeks left to improve and repent. I am so grateful for a loving God who knows my name, who knows my desires and my interests, who knows my weaknesses and knows my strengths. I will forever be grateful for a God who loves me enough to chasten me and mold me into what He would have me be. I feel like I know and understand Christ better when He said "I came to do the will of Him who sent me."

President Hicken is coming to Tulancingo next Wednesday (the 11th) for interviews and so he will deliver the money in my interview. That is a cool story how everything worked out and I am glad that you got to talk to President Hicken. He is a great man and I love him so much. He has taught me a lot and I am grateful for that. It`s funny because he reminds me a lot of Grandpa. They both did the same thing, they were both successful they both get mad rather quickly if things are not perfect and they are both really wise. Elder Pukahi was a secretary when I was assistant and he now is training a new missionary in the area right next to the offices so I think they do divisions sometimes so that he can help in the offices with the visas. With the delivery of the money on the 11th that will give me one more P-Day afterwards to be able to get a couple of the way what color of hammock do Darci and Joe want? I don`t know if I can get exactly the color they want but I can at least try. I still don`t know where to get one...but I know that God answers prayers and I`m sure that I know somebody that knows where to get one. That is one thing the mission has taught me...if you don`t know where to get it--get to know someone that does. Nothing is truly impossible with a little creativity and improvisation.

I think that the analogy of being a tool in the hands of the Lord is great...but it goes a little deeper than that. In the process of sculpting and changing us God puts us in positions to be able to have influence over certain people. If we don`t listen to the Lord or follow His promptings then we will not have the proper influence or effect necessary to achieve the Lord`s purposes when we are called upon. I am glad that the Spirit (touches people) because while I can say words...the Spirit is the only one that can give feeling and change hearts.

Also so that you know the temple will be open until the end of July so I will be going to the temple on the 20th!! I am so excited for the temple I love it so much and I haven`t gone since December.

Well we have to go pay the rent and print some pictures so that we can start working at 6. I love you all and I am praying for you. Thank you for your prayers and letters and thoughts. My letter from my family is always one of the highlights of my week. Until next week,

Elder Nelson

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Santa Ana Hueytalpan

Dear Family,                                                                                                                         

Every week I think to myself that I just barely wrote this letter and that there is not much to write...then I start thinking about all the things that happen in a week and I realize that there really is a lot to write. 
This week we started a project with the ward in a little pueblo of about 7,000 called Santa Ana Hueytlalpan. There are several members there (inactives) about 40 minutes away from the church building in Tulancingo. There used to be a good amount of priesthood but they all are working in the U.S. This is the next closest pueblo to Tulancingo and there are a ton of little towns out there waiting for the gospel. We are going once a week with the priesthood from our ward to activate and baptize and hopefully create a branch. Tulancigo is a small town...but this place is really small. Most of the people work in the fields for the food that they eat and most of the town doesn`t have paved roads. There are cows and horses and chickens all over the place and it is awesome!! I would say that about 90 percent of the people have never heard of the church before so there is a twofold mission of preaching the gospel and establishing good public relations. The four missionaries went on Friday to check it out and see if there was potential. Everyone told us that we should be careful because the pueblo was a little dangerous seeing as how there is quite a bit of witchcraft in Santa Ana and that after dark every one carries pistol and shoots first and asks questions later. We left before it got dark but I am so excited to see the work finally roll forth in Insurgentes. Our ward (look at it on ldsmaps) is huge...about 7 hours wide and contains thousands of little pueblos and cities that need the gospel. We are growing from the center out and starting the work of preaching the gospel to all nations and tongues. The people in Santa Ana don`t all speak Spanish...there is a dialect callled Otomi. Usually the older generation doesn`t speak Spanish very well but all the adults and young people do. I don`t really plan on learning the dialect but I am picking up a phrase here or there. As we were visiting the less active on Friday several started to cry. They had been so long without a visit and felt a little abandoned. We had two or three families come again on Sunday from Santa Ana so I am really excited to see that grow.

We had my last Zone Conference on Wednesday so it was my last time seeing a couple of my friends here in the mission. Elder Reynoso and I were in charge of taking care of the food for the conference. It was a multi zone conference with a total of about 45 missionaries. We had a sister in the ward make guajolotes (the famous original thing from Tulancingo). It is a sandwich made with a large roll with enchiladas and beans and meat in it. They are pretty good and they are pretty cheap too. Normally it costs about 15 pesos so we fed them all for about 3 bucks a head.

I assume that I will go to the temple again but we get the calendar for July on Thursday in the Zone Leaders Council. The temple closes in July but I`m not sure which day. I really want to go to the temple again before I go. I love it in Spanish and I love the Mexico City Temple.
We are working hard and seeing miracles, time in the service of the Almighty just flies and I just wish it would never end. I`m anxious for in a couple months when Cameron has the opportunity to serve because you just can`t describe have to experience it. Thank you for the USB drive...I got it this week and I printed the pictures.

One last problem.....debit cards expire and mine has swiped it`s last swipe. I had a little money from my personal card in cash in my suit cases just in case and I used it last week at Teotihuacan...but then afterwards I went to replenish it...and the card expired in May. I haven`t been able to get a hammock yet because this part of Mexico doesn`t really use them that much and I haven`t found a place that sells them...but de todos modos (anyway) if I`m going to buy one for Darci and Joe I need a new debit card...kinda quickly. Just some food for thought. Thanks for everything you do for me. Thank you for your prayers.


Elder Nelson

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Short and Sweet

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                      

My companion´s real name is Elder ReidReynoso...but the Mexicans have a hard time with that and so he just shortens in to Reynoso. So sometimes I just call him Elder Reynoso because that is what all the Mexicans call him anyways.

To explain the new offices. They moved the offices from Tecamachalco to Aragòn right next to the temple so that they would be a lot closer to the mission. If you sent something to the old offices it is fine because they will just forward it to the new offices I think so don`t worry about it.

My clothes are not that bad. My shirts are sort of yellowish and some of my ties have stains on them but really everything is holding up just fine. My shoes don`t do too well with the crazy rain we`ve been having but they`ll make it unless you want me to buy a new pair before I come? As for my suit, I wear it everytime I go to church and whenever we have a meeting with I have worn it a lot. But I have really only worn my black one and have hardly used my blue one plus I bought a new one in Tepito a while ago because it was really cheap so I will be fine for clothes. On the black suit it is getting sun stained and the bottoms of the pants are frayed but it is still very useable. Plus I still have two brand new short sleeve shirts that you sent me that I haven`t even opened yet. That is a question I have for you though, do you want we to bring all my clothes when I come or do you want me to dump most of it? I was planning on dumping most of it but I guess if you want me to keep it I could.

Today Elder Reynoso and I went to Teotihuacan for the last time. I picked up a couple of things so don`t worry about souvenirs. It was really fun to go back, we are not allowed to visit converts from past areas or members or anything so I couldn`t check up on anyone but it was fun to walk the streets and remember the beginning of my mission. Well, this email might be a little short but I have something else I need to do and then if I have time I will write a little more.


Elder Nelson

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And the Rains came down...

Oh, Rats!
Dear Family,                                                                                                                                     

Well I got the letters and pictures from last week so thanks for that. I knew that Mom never missed a week and that`s what made it kind of weird for me. But don`t worry I had plenty of other things to do this week to keep me busy. I am officially going to finish my mission in Tulancingo. They announced changes today in the morning and I am also going to stay with Elder ReidReynoso until the end.  I am happy and also sad.  I loved DF so much and I hoped to go back for my last 6 weeks but I love my companion so it he will be a good last companion.

I saw the pictures of Cameron`s graduation and I just kind of sat there in shock for a second or two. That is just so strange. Also Elder Jordan went home on Friday...I also thought that that was a little weird.

The rains that Dad was talking about finally hit this rained ALOT. I sent some pictures. The rat was just rolling down the street struggling for air because the streets had turned into raging rivers. The sewers erupted and became artistic fountains of filth and on top of that it hailed. It started hailing first and Elder Reynoso and I got caught in the middle of the street so we just took off running looking for cover. There were some crazy rapids we had to cross to get back to the house to change socks and with every step the water splashed half way up my calf. It was awesome. I love stuff like that. Then later this week I was in Xicotepec on divisions and it rained there too. The difference is that this time the rain was warm and we were in the middle of the jungle so it was definitely much more epic.

In Xico we had kind of an interesting experience. Early in the day, like about 12pm there was a little girl playing outside in the yard (all dirt and garbage) who ran up to hill to talk to her Dad. Her Dad came out to see what or who we were and his face was painted completely white. He was a clown!! He actually invited us in. We had to work really hard not to laugh as we walked in the house just because we were going to teach a clown. We walked into the one room house full of old food and garbage and dust and began to teach. He actually truly had a need for the gospel and wanted to get closer to God. He accepted to go to church and to be baptized....I guess even clowns need the gospel.

We also contacted another man about 1 who couldn`t let us in right then so we set up an appointment to come back later that evening. The problem is that the streets don`t have signs and the houses don`t have numbers and the colonies are kind of weirdly we went up the hill and down the hill and across a river and kept looking for him. Finally we found the place where he lived...and he didn`t live there. So, thinking that God might have something else in store for us there we began to search around and knock some doors. I spotted a house on the hill and I felt like we should knock there so we went. The house was made out of tarps and sticks and had cardboard for insulation. The rain was pouring through the roof of tarps and into the house...and they let us in. They expressed a great need for getting closer to God and finding the truth and we got really excited because it was a large family. Then they told us that they go to Misa (mass) every week at 5 in the morning and weren`t interested in learning more about our church. We tried to explain but they just couldn`t accept. I feel like God put us there to give them the chance....but everyone has their agency and unfortunately they used their agency incorrectly. So disappointing...but that is life...that is eternity.

The Elders quorum is going to start reading classes so Eusevio can learn how to read better so we are excited about that.

For the testimony meeting we had them all gathered at the base of the waterfall and there is a rock (the rock where we took the group picture) that kinda looks like pride rock. We sat them all down in a circle and explained the significance of the activity and talked about obedience and diligence and then we each bore our testimonies about the mission and told them that the time was theirs to share what they would like to share (in 1-2 minutes because we didn`t want to be there all day). So one by one they got up and bore their testimonies about the work we do and the life style we lead. It was really cool to hear the testimonies of those who are truly consecrated. There is a true power in delivering yourself over to the Lord. Afterwards we gave them a little time to reflect and take pictures and things like that and then we took them down to eat in the restaurant of a sister in Huauchinango. We ate huaraches (thick foot long tortillas with meat and lettuce and salsa).

The Senior party sounds fun....but I`m not one for staying up until 4 in the morning anymore. I have been waking up at 6:30 and sleeping at 10:30 for two years now and my body is quite used to it. That just doesn`t sound that fun....

That is soo cool that Jackson`s family got to be there for a baptism. I would love to have all of you come see one of ours...but that`s not what God wants so I guess it`s not important. Well...time is running short so I love you all so much. It seems like every other day is a Pday because the weeks are just flying by so I`ll be emailing you again soon. Tell all of the returned missionaries hello for me,


Elder Nelson

Monday, June 4, 2012

Last Capacitation

Note from Peggy:  We have had a really hard time with myldsmail lately.  Sometimes we get the letters in pieces several hours apart.  We actually never got his letter this week, I had to hack his account to see if he wrote us, which he had.  Evidently, he never got our letter either.

Happy 21st Birthday!
Querida familia,

Well I assume that something happened or you didn`t have time to write or something. I guess there`s a first time for everything. In the future in something happens and you can`t write if you could at least send me a line or two telling me there wasn`t time and that you`ll write next week just so that I don`t have to wonder what happened. I know I`m coming home soon....but not so soon that you have to stop writing me.

Well, this week went really well. We had two baptisms, Eusevio and Ana. The other elders in our ward baptized a family of 4 and I thought the picture of all of us together was pretty cool. Eusevio is a 22 year old that we found through a ward activity. He just has a huge desire to fix his life and progress in the life. He wanted to be baptized so badly, but it was really hard to get him ready because he doesn`t read very well (about as well as a 1st grader). But he just kept on going and reading and learning and finally he was ready for Sunday. We had two baptismal services, 1 after the services and another at 6:30. Eusevio was baptized after the services with the family of four. Ana was the 15 year old that I told you about. She didn`t believe in God about 3 weeks ago. Her baptismal service was so special and so spiritual and she chose me to baptize her. She didn`t want to get baptized with the other 5 because she doesn’t like attention and didn`t want very many people to be there so we had a service special for her.

We had a council with the district leaders in the zone just before and one of the missionaries in the council was Elder Hopkins. He has been one of my friends in the mission since a long time ago and he goes home on Friday. It is really weird to say good bye to him and Elder Jordan. As he was leaving he said "this may be the last time I see you in the mission, but it is a good image to finish with--Elder Nelson dressed in white." I was reflecting on that during the baptismal service of Ana and I just felt the spirit so strong that I wanted to run outside and tell the whole world about the restored gospel. This is who I am, it is part of me. Then I thought, "How can I ever stop doing this?" My mission has become part of me and I don`t know how I can ever let it go. I don`t want to ever change. We are declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ unto the ends of the world and we are changing lives. We are changing the world one person at a time. I cannot fathom anything that could remotely compare to the satisfaction of being a full time defender and messenger of eternal salvation. There is not enough time in eternity to become fed up or bored with being a missionary if you truly understand what you are about.

I got the birthday package! We had the Zone Leader Council on Thursday the 31st and I received it on Thursday. I also sent a word document with the capacitation that Elder Reynoso and I gave. They chose us to was the last capaciation I will ever give and so we tried to make it really good.  President has a pyramid he uses to teach the process of conversion. The bottom in finding a new family every single day, then comes teaching the first lesson and inviting them to be baptised, then comes going to church, then progressing then baptisms then the temple then the exaltation. It is a pyramid because not every one that is found is baptized and not everyone that is baptized goes to the temple. He also has a three legged stool that teaches about the 3 pillars of the obra misional, diligence, obedience and the Spirit. They assigned us the topic of how the conversion of the investigators has to do with the conversion of the missionary (how the pyramid rests on the stool.) I can explain it later if you don`t understand.

I forgot to tell you a couple stories from last week. Last week Elder Reynoso and I were teaching a lesson. I was speaking when all of the sudden Elder Reynoso stands up and yells "Elder Nelson" pointing at my arm. I jumped to my feet thinking that there was some sort of bug on the couch or something but Elder Reynoso grabbed a pillow and whacked me with it. I was pretty confused until I looked at the ground and saw a spider about the size of a 50 cent piece. It had been secretly crawling over my shoulder while I was teaching and I didn`t notice. Needless to say the spirit left pretty quickly..but I didn`t die so I guess that`s the more important part.

On Saturday (two days ago) we found a new investigator named Irene. She is an older lady (maybe 65) who let us into her house and wanted to hear more about the gospel. She seemed very elect and accepted all her commitments (go to church and baptism for the 17th). We passed by for her the next day and she was ready and waiting for us. She loved church, and when she found out that there was going to be a baptismal service after church she wanted to be baptized! She said that she hadn`t brought clothes and so she didn`t know if she would be able to but she would like to. We explained that we would do everything possible to baptize her the soonest possible, but that this week might be a little too soon. Incredible right? Well, I promised I would respond to everyone who wrote me last week so I`m gonna end this email to write the other ones. My birthday went fine. A normal work day just the way I wanted it. Some members made me a cake so we went and ate cake with them but we also collected a couple references so that it wouldn´t be a complete waste of time. I`m 21...weird. I still feel like I`m 18 and just barely out of high school....I guess the time goes by quickly. Well, I love you all. I hope all is well and that no one got hurt or no emergencies happened. Tell Jackson hello for me and let me know about how his family’s trip went. Also...Mom I need those baptismal photos from me and Elder Bringhurst please. Thanks.


Elder Nelson 

P.S.  Also I forgot to thank Grandma N for the chocolate and the letter. Also thanks for the book. I have been reading it at night and it is really good. I love the quote "The best measure of the greatness of a man is how much he can become like Jesus Christ." Thanks you for the popcorn and fruit leather...everything is sooo good. Thanks love ya bye