Monday, November 29, 2010

People that God prepares can´t be Denied the Gospel

Hola Familia!

Well, it´s p day again! This past week was Thanksgiving, and it was such a big deal here in Mexico that I forgot about it. No turkey, no potatoes, nothing but tortillas. But the good part is that I like tortillas. That is one of the major cultural differences here in Mexico, the Holidays are really different. Christmas isn´t really a big deal either because most of the people celebrate the Day of Kings instead. The Day of Kings is the 6th of December I think, and it is the day when the 3 wise men showed up in Bethlehem. The really big holidays are the days when the people celebrate and worship the saint that they named their pueblo after (San Juan, San Martin....). These holidays are called ferria, and there are carnivals in the streets and flea markets (tjiangeys). Tons of people dress up in traditional Mexican clothes and there are dances performed in the Plazas of the Pueblos. Loud music and fireworks too. Also they have special Masses for the Saints, and the parties don´t stop for days. Kind of cool, but it makes preaching really difficult when no one is home and everyone is drunk. As for poverty here, I don´t think it is quite like you imagine. There are people that are really poor, but the majority are middle class. The thing is that middle class here in Mexico is a lot poorer than middle class in the U.S. Most people don´t have cars in Teotihuacan (Tay-o-ti-WA-con). People have money to eat, and pay the rent, but not a lot of people have the money to go on vacations or buy T.V.s. Most of the kids go to school. For fun, a lot of them play soccer. They also like to hang out in the plaza. A lot of kids have to work, but they work in the stores that their parents own. Everyone works.

Mom, I really haven´t gotten sick, nor am I sick. I am lucky, at least until I get transferred into the city. I went to DF to sign some papers for my visa because there are problems and the most likely is that I´m coming home next month....just kidding. I signed them so that it could be extended from 6 months to one year. Don´t worry, that probably wasn´t funny for mom, but I thought it was funny. Also, there is a piano in the capilla, but I don´t play it because there simply isn´t time. I could practice for a half hour, or we could find people and help them make covenants that will give them salvation for eternity. It is a matter of priorities. There are 2 sisters in our zone, but there aren´t very many in the mission. We have the visitors center at the temple and so we have more sister missionaries than the other missions, but it is more dangerous for the sisters. There are no North American sister missionaries.

My frustration with the language is neither understanding nor speaking. I can speak and understand well enough, but I want people to focus on the message, not on how I am saying it. The truth is there are times when the Spirit is so strong that I don´t even think about what or how I am saying things in Spanish, it just comes out. But Elder Llanos is helping me. He and I are going to perseverar hasta el fin. He doesn´t want to go home, because I guess after a while the mission becomes a second home.

Cameron, I have been getting your dearelders, sorry if I haven´t responded very well. We get dear elders every 3 or 4 weeks, so I kind of have to piece together all of them into one response, but keep writing. I love getting your letters. Sounds like Homecoming and Mormal went well. Dances are really fun, I always really enjoyed them. You are a good guy Cameron. Read your Book of Mormon every day without fail. It is an incredible book that will change your life each time you read it with a real desire to follow Jesus Christ.

I got Grandma Nelson´s letter and loved it, I am still waiting for Grandma Andy´s. We will go to the temple to do a session the 21st or 22nd of December. I get my phone call the 24th or 25th of December, we still don´t know all the details for how or how long the call can be. I am soooooo excited for that phone call. As for letters I print them off, read them, date them and then put them in my binder for letters. Yes, I had my 1st haircut, yes they used a straight razor to shave my sideburns and neck and yes it made a little nervous. But everything worked out well.

Ok, the miracle of the week. On Tuesday we were contacting waiting for an appointment when E Llanos decided to knock on a door. Fernando opened it (26 years old), and told us to come right in. He had always seen us walking in shirt and tie and wanted to know what we taught. Turns out he is searching for the purpose of his life and what happens afterwards. Perfect! We taught the Plan of Salvation and he agreed to a return appointment and to pray about our message. Then he missed our return appointment, and his sister kept saying he wasn´t there each time we went back. Then on Saturday night we were walking down his street because we felt like we should follow up on a reference. Fernando was waiting in his door step for us. We didn´t intend to find him, but he said "I felt like you guys were going to look for me, so I decided to wait for you out here!!" How cool is that? He said that he received a very ´´satisfactory¨´ response to his prayer, and came to church the next day. People that God prepares can´t be denied the Gospel.

Mom, I love you. I try every day to be the missionary you think I am. Dad, thank you for your letter I loved it. That stinks about BYU...but wait till we kick them next year. I love your letters, thank you for the example you are of a righteous father.

Darci and Joe, thank you for your letter. I loved it. I love to know how you are doing because I pray for you every day. I will pray for your job Darci. Don´t feel like you have to write me all the time, but once in a while I like to know how you are. I love you both so much. Sounds like everything is going well for you two, as it should. Keep doing the right things and the right things will keeping happening for you.

Grandma Nelson, sorry I haven´t responded yet to your letter. I love you so much. Thank you for all the cookies and memories you have given me. I know you miss Grandpa, but thanks to the Atonement and the ordinances you have completed and covenants you have made you will see him again. You will live in peace and happiness with all of us one day, keep that vision and keep doing the right things.

I love you all,

Elder Nelson

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miracles Happen Everyday

Querido Familia, November 22, 2010

Snow!!! That is really weird for this time of the year. It isn´t going to snow here. They say it is going to get colder, but really it is only cold in the mornings. Speaking of cold, this week the baptismal font was really cold. We baptized a woman named Sonia this week. She is a former Testigo de Jeovah, which means she knows a lot about the Bible. Her sister is a member of the church and has talked to her multiple times about the Church. Her husband died about a year ago, and this kind of sparked her interest in the Church, because Jehovah´s Witness don´t believe that families can be together forever. She basically only needed us to give her the opportunity to be baptized, because once she found her testimony of Joseph Smith asking her to be baptized was like giving candy to a baby. She has two kids, and both are still Jehovah´s Witness, but I think with time they will accept the gospel too. But anyways we baptized Sonia this week, but the boiler (heater) for the font was broken. Usually the water is cool, but not cold. This week it was like ice. But she went all the way under, and now I can say I baptized in ice cold water.

No, I have not received the package. But if you sent it the 1st of October then it should get here around the 1st of December, or the next time after that when we get pouch mail.

Transfers happen every 6 weeks, cada cyclo, or cycle. We don´t use cycles here, we use months, but changes happen every 6 weeks. If we have changes then we get a phone call on Sunday night and we have to report for changes on Tuesday. I think what will happen for Elder Llanos is we´re going to get put into a trio because Elder Llanos leaves 2 weeks after changes are supposed to happen. Then when Elder Llanos leaves I will stay in Teotihuacan with my new companion. But I don´t really know, anything could happen.

For Kolby, there are 3 ways to eat using tortillas, 1 is where you tear the tortilla into pieces and drop it on whatever you are eating (there are tortillas for every meal here) and then use the tortilla to take a handful of the food, kind of like edible gloves. The second and most common way is to put salsa on the tortilla and roll it up all by itself, then use it in between bites of the food...we use a fork in this method. The third way it to put whatever it is that you are eating on the tortilla and roll it up like you would a burrito.

For my pictures, I don´t know...I will research it this week and get back to you.

Knocking Doors is not a very effective way to find people that are truly interested in the Church. The best way is references from members. But the truth is we do a lot of street contacting, people walking by on our way to an appointment. It is not a miracle that people let us in when we are knocking doors, that happens a lot, it is a miracle that they weren´t just being nice and were actually interested. But there is a story to go along with this one. Last week we baptized Sarai. She is 17 and lives with her aunts and uncles...(here in Mexico families live together or really close, lots of times the entire block will have the same last name). We found her by knocking on the door of her sister, who lives in a different house. Lisbeth let us in and Sarai just happened to be there. The first time we taught them we asked Sarai to give the closing prayer, which she did, but she broke down in tears half way through. I felt the Spirit so strongly that night. Then we set an appointment to come back and check on their prayers about Jose Smith and The Book of Mormon. But when we came back they weren´t there. We tried to find them all week, but we couldn´t. Then they showed up to church (Lisbeth and Sarai) all by themselves! We talked to them about why they came to church, and Lisbeth said that she didn´t intend to go to church. But when she was getting ready to go play soccer with her friends something inside her said, " ARE going to church instead." So she called Sarai and they went. Everything went well, they progressed really smoothly until the baptism. They both passed their baptismal interviews and we made plans to pick them up for their baptism, but when we got there to pick them up Lisbeth wasn´t there. We called her and she said that she had stayed the night at her Dad´s house in another city and wasn´t going to make it to her baptism...we were kind of dejected. That was an understatement. But Sarai made the decision to go forward with the Baptism without Lisbeth. Since that point Sarai´s testimony has grown soo much. She was confirmed this past Sunday and I am really excited for her.

That is really exciting that Jase is finally in Mexico. I don´t really know where his area is, but it is not in my zone. Presidente likes me too because I knew Elder Rhoten. I´ve heard stories about Elder Rhoten, he was one of the "great ones." He was assistant until he left. Oh, and don´t worry about me being humble. I was severely humbled the first couple weeks in the mission by the language and even still I have problems with it. One thing I have a perfect testimony of is that God knows each of us. He knows our weaknesses and our strengths. He knows what we want and what we need. He knows what we can become someday. I know that with out Him we would not be able to do anything, literally anything.

I had an incredible experience last week I wanted to tell you about but I didn´t have time. Last week in our District Meeting Elder Llanos gave a lesson about the Atonement. He had us close our eyes, and he put on music. He had us imagine our family. One of the best memories we had, I thought about the Cabin at Thanksgiving, and he had us think about the love and feelings we had at that point in time. I´m not very homesick anymore, but that made me start to tear up. Thinking about all the incredible experiences we have had as a family, and about the amount of love I have for all of you. I never knew how much I loved each of you until I left for my mission. I don´t know how to describe it, but we will be a forever family, we will live in peace and happiness in the Kingdom of God someday. I will make sure of it. After that he had us empty our minds and think of white, then in the middle of the white he had us picture Christ in his Glory. He had us imagine Christ embracing us, I cannot describe the feeling I had when I imagined that. Overwhelming joy, peace and more than anything love. Love so strong and so pure I cannot describe it. I felt the spirit and love. I lost it, I cried for the first time since who knows how long. Then he had us imagine the crucifixion, and how our sins must have pained Him. It changed my mission. It changed my life. If we truly understand the love He has for us, and is we truly understand the Atonement, we do not have a reason to sin. We do not have a reason to even want to be disobedient. I want to make it back to Christ, I want to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. I don´t ever want to sin again, because I love Him so much.

Well, time runs short yet again. There is never enough time to write everything I want to, to tell you about all the incredible miracles that happen everyday.

Please tell Aunt Janet that I got her DearElder and loved it. I wish I had time to write back, but for now I only have time to say thank you.

Also, I want to hear how Darci is when she has time, I know she and Joe are really busy right now. I love you all. Read you scriptures everyday, and say your prayers. Know that you are praying to someone real. I love you all so much.


Elder Nelson

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ramses, Brook and the Family Martinez Avila

Dear Family,

Ok, 1st things 1st. Cameron turned 17 last week....I didn´t forget. I just got so wrapped up in the other things I was writing that it slipped my mind. I had been thinking about it all day, so sorry Cameron. I hope you had an awesome birthday. 19 isn´t that far away so get ready.

Second thing that slipped my mind is Ramses. He was baptized the 31st of October, he was my first baptism on the mission, and was confirmed the following week. He scared us really bad though because he showed up late to Sacrament meeting, we thought he wasn´t going to make it. Also, this internet cafe...I´m sending a couple emails so you can see all the pictures...

This is Ramses and his family.

This is Brooke, a girl of 8 years whom I baptised, but doesn´t count for numbers because she was only 8..

And this is the familia Martinez Avila, whom we baptised (all of these were baptised Oct. 31st). They were the family that showed up to church all by themselves. They are going to be such a strong addition to this ward, and in one year they can be sealed for time and all eternity!

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A Righteous Warrior in Israel

This is Sofia, the girl of a less active member whom we taught and baptised the 7th of November. The Mom (dalia) had been inactive for a long time, but discovered that her life didn´t go very well when she didn´t go to church....who would´ve thought.

The rest are of the Pyramids!!! We went today and they were sooo cool. The land of desolation! They were sooo big, but the stairs were sooo steep. for the questions. We take our laundry to a lavanderia where they do it for us because we don´t have the machines or time to do it on our own. I don´t know if they wonder about garments...I was a little worried the first week, but I´m sure they´ve seen stranger things. About the guitars question, I had a dream last night where I got to play guitar until I couldn´t anymore because my fingers were hurting too bad, it was the best. But then I woke up and realized that it was only a dream. That part wasn´t so awesome. I miss my instruments, I don´t really get to play guitar or piano ever because we always have better things to do, like give people opportunities to make covenants with God that will bless them throughout the eternities, stuff like that. Bugs...there are a ton of grasshoppers here, and people eat them. I haven´t seen any scorpions, but there is an occasional spider, also a lot of earwigs. Sorry my grammar is really bad today. Elder Llanos is a pretty good goalie (portero in Spanish) and we have played basketball once, but that was rare...futbòl is king here in Mexico.

This week was really fast. The time is really weird here, it´s almost Thanksgiving and we only have a month until Christmas!!!! People here don´t celebrate Thanksgiving, so I guess missing Thanksgiving for my jaw was good training. I feel like I was writing my email to you for last week yesterday, but it has been a whole week. This week we had splits with the Zone Leaders Elder Guzman and Elder Hall. Elder Guzman worked with me in Teotihuacan. It was my test. He had to see what kind of progress I had made and what kind of missionary I was. We worked sooo hard that day. I learned a lot. The night before the splits I was really nervous because...well it was a test. I wouldn´t have Elder Llanos to help me out if I got stuck, and Elder Guzman didn´t know the area so it was up to me to get where we needed to go. But God blessed me, everything turned out really well and I learned a ton. The most important thing I learned is that I need to learn a lot more. But God has blessed me a lot, and I feel like I am doing well. We also had to go to immigration this week in DF to sign some papers for my visa...and I got to ride in a subway!! It was really cool. There was so many people I couldn´t move, and don´t worry we didn´t get robbed.

This week we baptised a girl named Saraì. We found her knocking doors, which in and of itself is a miracle. During our first lesson we asked her if she could offer the closing prayer and she broke down in tears in the middle of it! She and her sister Lisbeth were going to be baptised this Sunday. Lisbeth went to visit her Dad, but didn´t make it back in time. We were really dissappointed because Lisbeth was the more valiant of the two, but Saraì went forward with it anyways. It was so awesome. I could feel the Spirit so strongly during her baptismal service. People can be completely clean, a blank slate. All because Christ loves us sooo much. It´s going to work out with Lisbeth, because this week we are going to teach her son, and she wants him to be baptised too. God knows everything, and He has a reason for everything. This week we have 4 people scheduled for baptism!!

Ok, I´m running out of time so I will talk about them more next week.

Melissa, thank you for your email! I loved it . Elder Llanos is pronounced like Elder Yanos. I actually am taller than most of the people here, so I have to watch my head going in and out of houses. Foods that I miss, anything that Mom cooks, like mashed potatoes. Melissa I love you, read your scriptures everyday, say your prayers in the morning and in the night. God will look after you.

Kolby, I love you. Practice your piano and your Spanish. You will make a good missionary if you want to. Get to know the Book of Mormon because that is basically all we use, the Bible is good, but not as good as the Book of Mormon. I pray for you every day and think of you when I see the kids playing soccer in the streets.

Cameron, Happy birthday!! I love you. I feel bad because I wasn´t always the best brother to you, but I love you. You are a precious soul to God, and a very talented person. Don´t let anything get in the way of your preparation for your mission. Read your Book of Mormon everyday, don´t ever miss a day.

Darci and Joe I love you guys too. I pray for your success everyday. Sometimes I feel like I´m not grateful enough for your example. But I love you.

Mom and Dad, in my patriarchal blessing it says that God loves me as much as has been shown by the love of you two. That is true. I love you so much for everything you have done for me. I wasn´t always easy to live with, but I realize now how much I love you and how much I want and need to learn from you.


Your righteous warrior of Israel (I like that title)

Elder Braden Nelson

Monday, November 8, 2010

He Contacted Us!

¡Hola Familia!

Greetings from Teotihuacan. Well, one more weird thing I ate this week, mole rojo. They say it is everything that they happen to have in the kitchen thrown into a pot and simmered for hours. It looks like chocolate...but it tastes like someone burnt something and added water, stirred and heated. It is a sauce that they put on chicken or flautas. Not good...but I ate it anyway.

Well this past week was Dia de los Muertos, and it was a little crazy. The day is actually two days, Monday and Tuesday. It is a Catholic holiday where the people honor those who have passed on by putting flowers on graves and making offerings. The plaza (huge square in the middle of San Juan where people sell things, and eat and hang out....kind of like a park but without the grass and playthings) was covered with burning candles and skeletons in sand and pan de muerto. That is a bread that they make for the holiday, it is really good. Then afterwards everyone goes to drink and party, and the kids ask for candy and money like an American Halloween. Traffic is really crazy because no one works and the kids don´t have school. There are cultural type performances, people dressed like Lamanites dancing in the plaza. It was a little dangerous because everyone was completely wasted, which makes sharing a message about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ a little difficult, and we had to go back to the apartment a little early so that we didn´t get robbed or something. The holiday is good, because it is for honoring the dead, the drinking is not so good. It is like two days without laws because the police are partying too.

To answer Mom´s question, Elder Llanos actually was called to the Veracruz mission. He has a problem with his intestines (they are narrowing and closing) and needs to have surgery. They tried to send him home, but he refused, so they sent him to our mission because we have the best hospital in Mexico here. He is going home in the end of December, so he only has 2 months left. We are going to work like locos and perseverar hasta el fin. Oh, and his accent. Most people actually think that he is from Mexico, so his accent is basically the same as everyone else´s.

We have a mission standard of 1 lesson with a recent convert or less active member per day. So we work with them quite a lot. It´s good because usually they have lots of friends that aren´t members and we always ask for references. It is awesome when they come back to church and renew their covenants. Lots of them don´t come because of work, or because they don´t like someone in the ward. But we explain that baptism is a covenant with God, not other people in the ward. The reason we go to church on Sunday´s is to renew covenants and fulfill a commandment. We have a duty to reverently and happily renew our covenants each week.

For Dad´s question, I have no idea where Elder Warr is. He´s not in my zone so I have no way of knowing or finding out. But I´m sure he is doing well, he is an awesome missionary. We only have zone Conferences every three months or so, our next one is at Christmas. We get to go to the Temple at Christmas time, because the Temple and visitor´s center is in our mission. I am so excited to go, after the MTC where we went practically everyday for the last three weeks before I left I miss the temple and it´s tranquility. I have been reading the Ensign on the temple, and I love it. We do not realize how great blessings we have in the temple, we do not realize the incredible significance of temple work. I want to be a temple worker someday. Oh, and also I really only speak Spanish because Elder Llanos doesn´t speak English.

There are a lot of tourists at the pyramids, but they are all from Mexico and the only other white people I´ve seen are the other missionaries. The other gringo missionaries like to speak English to each other, but I usually don´t stand in the "gringo circle" because I was called to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.

The weather here has been cold. That´s kind of weird I know, I´m freezing in Mexico. In the mornings it is frigid, but by the time we go out to work it has warmed up enough to where I can wear short-sleeves. But the sky hasn´t been cloudy a day since I´ve been here, and so in answer to the question "am I getting a tan?" Yes. I have a farmers tan really bad. But I still look gringo, somehow no matter how tan I get I don´t think I will ever really look not gringoish. I have been using sun-screen (that was for Mom) but I still get sunburns on my nose. Sometimes I look like Rudolph, but whatever, it is all for the Lord. I actually haven´t gotten sick at all yet. There aren´t many taco stands in Teotihuacan, and I think that the rule is: if you eat off the street, you get sick. But I have been really blessed in that way.

For contacting we have really done everything. We knock doors, we street contact, and we ask references from members. The references from members are usually the best, but we have knocked a lot of doors. People here are willing to talk and so we usually get a lesson or two a day from knocking doors. We try to talk to everyone, on buses in the street, knocking doors, in stores...etc.

Ok, I couldn´t send pictures this week, but next week I promise. We had a baptism this Sunday. Our goal is to have at least one baptism every week. We baptised Sofía, the daughter of a recently activated member. This week we have two more planned for Sunday. I will tell you about them next week. Something really really awesome happened this week. It was 6 pm and starting to get a little dark. We were walking down the street quickly because we were going to be late for an appointment when this man approached me in the street. I thought he was drunk and was readying myself to run, but I decided to talk to him. He asked if we were the Elders of the Church...and we answered yes. He then told us that he had been searching for the Chapel for months, but couldn´t find it. He said that he was ready to make changes in his life, and took us to his house where we met his wife (inactive member) and their newborn child. He contacted us! Juan Miguel is now progressing as an investigator and is really ready to change. He´s giving up alcohol and drugs, and he´s going to be married to his wife. They are in a "union libre" .....they are not married, but live together. That strengthened my testimony that people are waiting for us to find them. There are thousands of people ready for the gospel we just have to find them.

Also, we had a ward family home evening where Elder Llanos and I gave the lesson. We told everyone to bring potential investigators. Jose Gonzalez showed up, and we invited him to church the next day. At church we set an appointment for later Sunday. We showed up Sunday night and taught the restoration. The Spirit was so strong with him and us that lesson. I could feel that he could feel that our message was true. So we invited him to be baptized on the 21st, and he accepted! 2 days, one lesson and he is going to be baptized! How cool is that.

Well, I´m out of time, next week I will try to tell you about more people that we are teaching. But the teaching pool is doing well, we are busy. We need to be busier though, we can always do better, work harder, baptize and teach more.
Cameron and Melissa I got your Dear Elders. I love you both, thank you for your letters. Cameron it sounds like everything went well at Homecoming, good job. You´re a Nelson so of course it went well. Melissa, remember those girls and how pretty they were. You are just as pretty. But the thing to remember is this, The Boy that you really want to date, or that you really want to marry wants a girl with a testimony. You are beautiful inside and out, but the inside is more important.
I love you all, until next week

Elder Nelson

P.S. I will not withdraw money from my debit card until I tell you first. If you see a withdrawal or anything let me know. Just in case. Also, for the feeling safe about crime and stuff. I am in a really safe area. Much safer than the actual city. It is still dangerous, but we are obedient and God protects us. We have to be in the house before most of the bad stuff happens anyways. I loved all your questions, and Dad thank you for your letter, I love hearing your experiences. I love you. I pray for all of you every day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Gringo that Speaks Spanish

Hello Family!

I ate chicken feet this week. It was disgusting. Nasty little chicken feet poking out of a vegetable soup, with the toenails still attached. You eat it by putting the whole thing in your mouth and sucking the skin (there isn´t really meat) off the bones. I tried really hard, but I couldn´t eat all of it.

This email might be a little bit shorter because we were having computer issues, so sorry. First things 1st, the questions from your letters. For laundry we take our clothes to a laundromat and they do it for us, but it is expensive. We would do it ourselves but we don´t have a machine or buckets or anything to do it with, not to mention time. For P-day it is usually just Elder Llanos and I. We are the only missionaries for 40 minutes or more. But today the zone all got together to play soccer and basketball, and if we want to do anything with our district we can usually manage it. We are going to the Pyramids next week! Also another tid bit, people around here say that Teotihuacan means the place where the Gods were born. Also people say that this is the land desolation from the Book of Mormon. That is way cool, we are teaching the descendants of the Lamanites in the land where the Book actually took place! (Note from Mom: Several years ago, Braden gave me a book called "Sacred Sites". It tells all about sites in the Book of Mormon and has a whole chapter on Teotihuacan. Look up 3 Ne. 7:12)

As far as the language goes, it is coming. I am still frustrated at times, but I am really lucky. I should not complain because there are others who arrived in Mexico not speaking hardly a word of Spanish. Apparently I am known around the zone and mission as the "gringo who speaks Spanish" so I shouldn´t complain. But the fact is I want to express myself in the way I normally would, and I feel that sometimes my speaking gets in the way of the spirit. But I know that if I am obedient and work hard, it will come. It will come on the Lord´s time and in His way. The Spirit will be conveyed to the people, and His work will go on with out any problems.

An experience I had that was pretty cool was, the other day I was really discouraged. I felt sorry for myself, I missed you all, the Spanish was hard, and I wasn’t learning the things I needed to. That night I knelt down and I prayed. I prayed for a half hour and poured my soul out. The next morning I did the same thing. I was truly humbled, I know for a fact that I cannot say a single word, take a single breath, without the help of God. I prayed for help through the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I didn´t feel any comfort, but what I did feel was resolution, determination. God isn´t going to just hand me Spanish on a silver platter, but I can get it. That day I focused really hard of Spanish, wording, fluency, clarity. God has blessed me so much everyday, and now I don´t have to think about Spanish as much, more about what message I should share than how to say it. I pray everyday for the gift of tongues and interpretation.

I also had my 1st interview with Presidente in the field this week. It is awesome and I love him so much. He has such a love and excitement for the Gospel. He really loves my companion too. He was an office missionary for a while because of health problems. Presidente told me that Elder Llanos is the best trainer he has, which says a lot. I told him we were going to have 5 baptisms on Sunday and he said he was a little disappointed. He thought we were going to have more than that! That taught me a couple things, one we need to work harder, two Presidente has really high expectations of me and E. Llanos. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming, I am to open an area that has been closed for 6 months because of a lack of success, I am to be the companion to the District leader, I was given the best trainer in the mission, and Presidente expects more than I thought possible. I don´t know what kind of work God and Presidente have planned for me but I need to work harder to be ready. Presidente said that (not promising that this would actually happen but yeah) he needs me to be ready to be a senior companion and trainer after Elder Llanos leaves in December...I have a lot of work to do. There are so many things I need to improve, so many things that I need to learn. But I won´t worry about expectations, I won´t worry about future assignments, I will put my head down and work. Come what may I will be ready.

I forgot my camera in the apartment, so next week I will send pictures of the baptism. It was awesome. I baptised them and E. Llanos directed the program. It was standing room only. It is amazing to me that people accept the gospel so readily, and make covenants that will have eternal consequences.

We had a miracle this week. We arrived to teach the Family Martinez Avila, the one that was baptised this week. We were going to teach them some of the commandments that they needed to learn before baptism. Jose Luis wasn´t there. Apparently he had had an argument with his wife and decided he didn´t want to be baptised anymore. He didn´t even want to come out and talk to us, he wanted nothing to do with us. We were devastated, but prayed all week for him. At the baptismal interview He showed up with his family, we thought he was just dropping them off. But the Zone Leader said "We will start with the head of the family" and took him back. We were shocked and a little confused because he wouldn´t even talk to us the day before. He had a change of heart, learned all the things he needed to to pass his interview, and was baptised on Sunday! We are going to set the goal of one year to be sealed in the temple! How awesome is that?!

I will write more about DIa de Los Muertos next week because I am running out of time.

Kolby- Thanks for the letter, I love to hear how things are going for you. I will try to answer you questions next week, but I didn´t really know what to expect in Mexico, so it was everything I imagined, yet totally different. We have a half hour to do exercise in the morning, but I usually write in my I am going to be in really bad shape when I get home. But we do walk pretty much all day. Usually close to 6 or 7 hours, so I do get some exercise.

Cameron- I just got your dear Elder from when I left the MTC...mail takes a while here. Thanks for your update. I hope Homecoming went well...a little piece of advise for the future, don´t do, say or think anything you would do, say or think if Mom was sitting right next to you. Congrats on your job, save your money you will need it in the future.

Melissa I love you. You are a daughter of God and He loves you more than you can imagine. Love Him back through you actions and you will be happy for the rest of your life.

Mom and Dad, I love you. Your trip to Vegas sounds like it went well. Keep setting the good example you always have for our family. We are going to be together forever, so we might as well be obedient now so that we can be happy in the hereafter. Mom I love you so much for the things you have taught me. Don´t worry about the Christmas package, it will come when it comes. Dad, you have always set a quiet example, but an example of action. Doing the things you need to in a quiet dignified way. Thanks, it has helped me a lot here in the mission.

Darci and Joe, I love you too, and I pray for you everyday.

I love you all, until next week.

Elder Nelson

P.S. it helps if you have questions so I know what to talk about, so any questions you have I would love to answer.